• twenty-one times

    by  • November 10, 2013 • friends, music, time • 7 Comments

    If you have followed this blog for very long, you have heard me make reference to my songwriting days with my friend, Billy Crockett. This week, his wife Dodee posted a video of him singing what is perhaps my favorite song we wrote together. The idea grew out of our reading Paul Bowles’ amazing novel The Sheltering Sky together. We were particularly moved by this paragraph.

    Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don’t know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It’s that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don’t know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.

    Our conversation led us to this song. Here is Billy offering a wonderful performance. I have also included the lyrics below.

    twenty-one times

     

    she saw the sun go down

    twenty-one times

    twenty-one times

    in thirty-five years

    she saw the sun go down

    she thought there’d be a million

    and she thought that she would see them

    she saw the sun go down

    twenty-one times

     

    she stayed and danced all night

    only one time

    only one time

    in thirty-five years

    she stayed and danced all night

    the moonlight fell like laughter

    on her happy ever after

    but she stayed and danced all night

    only one time

     

    and over new england

    geese are flying south

    a november nightfall

    settles round about

    while a lighthouse

    calls another home

     

    she walked away from love

    so many times

    so many times in thirty-five years

    she walked away from love

    and hearing lesser voices

    she turned them into choices

    she walked away from love

    so many times

     

    and over new england

    geese are flying south

    a november nightfall

    settles round about

    while a lighthouse

    calls another home

     

    hearing lesser voices

    she turned them into choices

    she walked away from love

    she stayed and danced all night

    she saw the sun go down

    twenty-one times

     

    Peace,

    Milton

    About

    Blogging since December 2005

    http://donteatalone.com

    7 Responses to twenty-one times

    1. November 10, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Thank you.

    2. November 11, 2013 at 6:28 am

      this is so beautiful thanks for sharing it with us.

    3. Charles Smith
      November 11, 2013 at 8:00 am

      song brings me a different meaning in this stage of life. Thanks for the reminder.
      Love,
      Charles

    4. Sarita
      November 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      <3

    5. Helen Holmes
      November 12, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Yes, it’s a good one. You guys put heart and soul into that one. Every autumn I find myself singing, “And over New England geese are flying south.” Love you…and want to see the sun go down in Durham very soon.

    6. November 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      Well, you guys do not write ditties! Thank you!

    7. Susan
      November 13, 2013 at 3:03 am

      Wow so beautiful! So relevant for me right now. Thank you for that.

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