On a midnight bus from a good ol’ boy town
Wheels keep turning as they’re leaving downtown
She’s tire of losing and going solo
Coming in third in a two man race so
Now she’s leaving old friends behind
She’s got lots of baggage and it is so unkind
Black-eyed Susan couldn’t sew up her holes
A patchy bird, a dark-eyed junco X3
I said your acting kind of strange
She said I always act this way
Her only wish she had more roots than branches
I gave her my number on a book of matches
She took with her to pass the time
A birders handbook, a field guide
BLACK-EYED SUSAN (TAKE FLIGHT ON A CALL TO ADVENTURE) is a song I wrote while sitting outside of Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, OR. I had a cousin who was trying to escape her life by hooking up with a man she met online. I empathized with her feeling of needing to run away from a dissatisfying life. The only thing she has with her to pass the time on her long bus ride is a Birds of North America field guide. She flips through the pages to ease her weary mind.
When writing a song you need to be careful to make sure that what you are saying is what people are hearing. In this song I sing, “Black-eyed Susan couldn’t sew up her holes, a patchy bird, a Dark-eyed Junco”. What most people unintentionally hear is, “Black-eyed Susan couldn’t sew up her holes, Apache Bird, a Dark-eyed Junco. I was trying to describe someone who had a lot of patches on her clothes and ended up making the main character of the song a Native American. By the way, a Black-eyed Susan is a flower and a Dark-eyed Junco is a species of bird.
This tune turned into a Reggae/Ska thing and the John R. Burr takes you to new places with the organ. Jonathan Stoyanoff on fretless electric bass. Joe added a bridge that really helped the song to breath.