Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dave Carter, 8/13/1952 - 7/19/2002

Photo by Jason Reiser


My favorite songwriter died suddenly and tragically, five years ago today. I didn't "know" Dave, really...I met him only once, but he was the kind of person who made you instantly feel like you'd been friends forever. There was something magical about him, and his music. His partner Tracy Grammer has done her best to keep his music and memory alive, bless her, but five years later it still makes me sad to know there won't be any more new Dave Carter songs to love. I cried when I heard the news of his death, as hard as I cried when I lost two "real" friends later that same summer, and then I listened over and over again to the following song, which seemed somehow to be an instruction manual for coping with his loss (and those later ones, as well): "do not worry for my comfort, do not sorrow for me so, all your diamond tears will rise up and adorn the skies beside me when I go."

When I Go
© 1998 Dave Carter / Dave Carter Music (BMI)

come, lonely hunter, chieftain and king, i will fly like the falcon when i go

bear me my brother under your wing, i will strike fell like lightning when i go

i will bellow like the thunder drum, invoke the storm of war

a twisting pillar spun of dust and blood up from the prairie floor

i will sweep the foe before me like a gale out on the snow

and the wind will long recount the story, reverence and glory, when i go

spring, spirit dancer, nimble and thin, i will leap like coyote when i go

tireless entrancer, lend me your skin, i will run like the gray wolf when i go

i will climb the rise at daybreak, i will kiss the sky at noon

raise my yearning voice at midnight to my mother in the moon

i will make the lay of long defeat and draw the chorus slow

i'll send this message down the wire and hope that someone wise is listening when i go

and when the sun comes trumpets from his red house in the east

he will find a standing stone where long i chanted my release

he will send his morning messenger to strike the hammer blow

and i will crumble down uncountable in showers of crimson rubies when i go

sigh, mournful sister, whisper and turn, i will rattle like dry leaves when i go

stand in the mist where my fire used to burn, i will camp on the night breeze when i go

and should you glimpse my wandering form out on the borderline

between death and resurrection and the council of the pines

do not worry for my comfort, do not sorrow for me so

all your diamond tears will rise up and adorn the sky beside me when i go

1 comment:

Stinkypaw said...

Interesting song and I find the timing of it all a bit creepy... Monday was the funeral of my MIL and on Thursday a dear friend's of the family...