August 15th

Kage Baker loved the late, much-lamented British musician Nick Drake. She had all his albums, and his voice was part of the sound track of her last year.

Drake tragically killed himself in 1974, at age 26. He was arguably one of the most gifted guitarists of his time, and one of the most unknown. He and his clever hands and his sorrowing bard’s voice have become well known in the last 5 or 10 years, though; now, all sorts of people know who he was. He wrote music like flowing water and moving leaves, and most of his songs were sad.

Kage said he sang like a yendri …

Her favourite song was called Pink Moon. It’s exquisite and I love it, too – but the one that has come to mean the most to me is Black-Eyed Dog. The instrumentation …  is mist moving on a mirror-still lake; silver embroidery on a white sleeve; braided water over stones. The words are very simple. If you have to think about what they mean, you will never understand.

That dog knows my name. I’ve been walking with him the last little bit. I haven’t come home, but I have come back.

We resume our program in mid-catharsis.

A black eyed dog he called at my door
The black eyed dog he called for more
A black eyed dog he knew my name
A black eyed dog he knew my name
A black eyed dog
A black eyed dog.

I’m growing old and I wanna go home
I’m growiing old and I don’t wanna know
I’m growing old and I wanna go home.

A black eyed dog he called at my door
A black eyed dog he called for more.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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9 Responses to August 15th

  1. Miz Kizzle says:

    Good heavens, those lyrics aren’t very jolly, are they?
    What would Spike Jones make of them, I wonder? Add some “arf-arfs” and some barrel house piano and it becomes a rather fun little tune.

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  2. Kate says:

    No, not very jolly. But very beautiful, and for those of us of a Celtic persuasion – rather tragically romantic. I am Welsh, you know (as Shakespeare has Henry V say) and we dearly love sad songs.

    Trying to imagine Spike Jones doing this made my brain hurt.

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  3. ~ Becky says:

    goodness, it certainly isn’t the Scottish part being frivolous, lol! I loved listening to that song again, Kate. Thanks for reminding me about it.

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    • Miz Kizzle says:

      Not all Scots are grim. Colin Ferguson is a case in point. Dude is funnee! Mi’kmaqs are said to have no fear of heights, and thus many of them work in high-rise construction, gravitating to NYC because there is not a whole lot of high-rise construction in rural Nova Scotia, where my paternal relatives live. I am terrified of climbing a step-ladder. The Dutch are said to be a very tidy bunch, but I’m a little lax in that department. So there go the stereotypes.
      It is a well-known fact that Welsh women are witches. And they wear odd-looking hats.

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      • Kate says:

        All Welsh women are witches, eh? A bagatelle, I assure you, an envious tale spread by the saisen. If we were all witches, we wouldn’t still be using a name bestowed by invaders, which means, literally, “Strangers”. In our own country? Please.

        It’s a fair cop about the hats, though.

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  4. Miz Kizzle says:

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that I actually believe all Welsh women are witches (although some may be, for all I know.) It was meant to illustrate how ethnic/national stereotypes are frequently erroneous. Reductio ad absurdum, in other words.

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    • Kate says:

      Don’t worry, Jill – I understood! My response was meant to be stuffy and pompous. But it really is true about the hats … I like the old photos where ladies are wearing those classic Wicked Witch hats, plus the petticoats and aprons – all short enough to show their clunky boots. No end of funny …

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