Black-eyed Susan Music Video (official)

October 9, 2017


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.  

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