Red Snapdragons

05:11
Chris Howe: Bass, Organ, Percussion. Bill Karney: Jembe; Roman Rhodes: Vocals, Acoustic, Slide & Lead Guitars.
2005
Words & Music Roman Rhodes, Copyright 1993

Story

 I've written an entire essay on the roots and meaning of this song including multiple interpretations from various academic disciplines...as a satire of course. It does have many layers of meaning and can and has been made to reflect both my beliefs and  some personal experiences, though not in any direct relation. The source is simple, however: The drummer of the original Pagans at a practice in Montreal one night in the early 1990s complained of the overtly political/environmental nature of my lyrics and requested for something more colorful. It was early days and I was a little sensitive. So later that week, back in the country side, I took my guitar and stood out on the stone circle that made up the fire pit in my backyard in Saint Lazare, Quebec, and said: "You want colour? I'll give you colour!" I looked around my native province and sang what I saw with a little poetic license. There was no real love story, it simply grew like a plant out of the first verse. But the stoic philosophy in the song is something I believe with all my heart: you can't own or control love. You have to let it go when it wants, or else it grows bad. And I think such wisdom grows naturally itself out of a natural environment. We've become obsessed in our modern material world with the ownership of love and turned jealousy into a virtue. But this is because we place too much value on possession in our age in general and it has coloured our views of love too.  So this colourful song, speaks of the true colours of true love.  Wild, free, non-possessive. 

Lyrics

Red Snapdragons

Red snapdragons, 
orange tiger lilies, 
gold-green cornfields, 
ripe wheat, blue skies and you. 

And we walked along 
those lane ways overgrown; 
red tractors pulling 
in a harvest of plenty.

(Chorus a): Trains could pass us by and leave us alone. 
                Sorry planes could ever fly so high above our home.
                If they never shattered our skies, maybe we'd still roam 
                hand in hand in paradise, together alone. 

But they lured you on 
to cathedrals beyond: 
the yellow sandstone of Arles, 
rose plaster and marbles, 

Biblical Vatican skies, 
dark Mediterranean eyes, 
turquoise seas and tanned thighs, 
red wine, that man, and you. 

(Repeat Chorus a) 

And I simply let you go. 
I even paid your fare. 
'Cause you know I know 
there's no stopping what is there, 
not, at least, without it bursting out 
in violence somewhere. 

And I could see the fire in your eyes. 
Yet, I'm still surprised. 
When people don't speak their minds, 
when, suddenly, I find 
hidden agendas have been there 
all of the time. 

(Chorus b): Envy and greed, I just can't understand. 
                They're born of need, not from a bountiful land. 
                You were from the city, how dull this must have seemed. 
                 But when I say, "cultivate the self," you know what I mean. 

Rich dark soil, 
you know that it's good. 
I said it reminds me of your skin 
and you understood.

And I'd be there with you, 
if I only could. 
But my crop's planted 
and my yield's not in. 

(Bridge:) Meantime I'll be walking on 
            those lane ways overgrown 

with Red snapdragons, 
orange tiger lilies, 
gold-green cornfields
:and a ripe blue heart for you:.(3x)

Music

Upcoming Lives

  • Dec 21
    The Blarney Stone,  Osaka, Shinsaibashi
     
  • Dec 31
    Murphy's Irish Pub,  Osaka
     

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