Courage My Love


SKU: 1998 Category:


Annie Gallup
Courage My Love
(Prime CD)

“…filled with deft metaphors and riveting images sifted from love’s ashes. It’s so smooth you’d hardlly know it’s poetry.-New York Daily News

“Narrative reminiscences
– fully developed, intently marrying scenes of emotions and brimming with delicious
rhymes.” – Performing Songwriter

Annie Gallup’s third CD is a charm, a bewitching tour-de-force from
one of the keenest minds in contemporary songwriting.
Possessed of a quirky, talking vocal style, Gallup is ably produced
here by David Seitz with the right mix of understated, pulsing rhythms and spare
orchestration, with accompaniment by Michael Visceglia (Suzanne Vega), Denny McDermott (Steely Dan), and David Hamburger (5 Chinese Brothers) among others.

1. It’s Dangerous, Charlie
2. Oh Tom, You Didn’t Mean That
3. Anything Is Possible
4. Blue Dress
5. 100 Miles From Music City
6. A Million Ways
7. All the Girls
8. Saint Fido
9. Flood
10. Hard Work
11. Cowboy
12. Circle
13. Flight
14. Sweet Good Nature
15. Anything is Possible (reprise)

100 Miles From Music City

I go back to the old place after many years away
Imagine all the time I spent here just a hundred miles
From Nashville and never made the trip
Of course Nashville was a different place then,
Yeah the Grand Old Opry was platitudinous and corny
Country music was still hackneyed and banal, not young and hip
And anyhow, we’d play our own music in the shade of the old oak tree
When the afternoon became too hot to work but not too hot to play guitar
And old John Walters would come down the road,
Sing the old song a capella in his strange keening falsetto
Drink too much of what he carried with him in that mayonnaise jar
And tell us how they found his father in the bathtub on the day

When he was through with wondering when his lungs were going to take him
And then John would sing a song so pretty
We’d all grow quiet for a long, long time
While the sun sank towards the chicken barn
A hundred miles from Music City

I go back and the old place is just forty miles from mammoth cave
Just forty miles away and all the time I lived so close

I never even had the urge to go
I guess it’s hard to see yourself give up and play the tourist
When you’re close to home and anyhow
The hills behind the house were full of caves you wouldn’t even know
Were there until it snowed and only then by where the snow was melted
Back from where the rock was open wide enough to slide in on your belly
Until you found the place
It dropped down to a room so big we all could turn our flashlights off
And sit in darkness so complete
That all your other senses were on fire and you had to taste
The lips of someone next to you and breathe their Doctor Bronner’s soap
And wood smoke
And the only sound was the ssssss of your down parkas touching
And you felt so giddy
You drop your flashlight, listen while it rolls beyond a ledge then falls
Forever until it hits the bottom
Forty miles from mammoth cave
And a hundred miles from Music City

I go back to the old place; no I never went to see the greyhounds racing
Even though the track was only fifteen miles
From where I woke up all those days and went to sleep as many nights

Without the wish to see those greyhounds race around the track
Like an unhappy metaphor for life, if I had ever lived that way
And anyhow, I had a yellow dog and he was smart and irreproachable
In all that time I never put him on a leash or made him wear a collar
And he only ran off twice. First time he was gone two days and nights
And I have never felt so lonely as when I was walking
Through the hayfield and hollering
And hollering and bleeding from the barbed wire fence,
But there he was two mornings later
Peppered full of buckshot
And the second time he ran away, well, that was it, he
Never did come back so I can’t kneel beside his grave
Fifteen miles from Coleman Racetrack
Forty miles from Mammoth Cave
And a hundred miles from Music City

©1998 Annie Gallup

“Is it an art or a craft? Oh!! I have this fine arts/metalsmithing background and that was the compelling question of the era when I was involved in that world, and I was determined to create art in a crafts medium and sidestep or confound the whole issue. Because isn’t the whole world made of blurry lines and the attempt to organize it categorically just about comfort levels or the kind of brain that needs to categorize to control (call it by name and it’s yours. yellow shafted flicker. iambic pentameter. art.) what it is and not about how the world morphs through shades of everything? So that everything has it’s own sense and there are no rules and you can’t actually get through life without thinking after all by playing learnable rules? And the point of creating anything worth creating in any medium is that you have to make choices. And of course you are the sum of all you have ever known or heard or experienced and that is why civilizations build on what preceded them and why as contemporaries we have roots in common….. is it an art or a craft?”

For all its off-handed, rambling style, 100 Miles From Music Citypresents a carefully paced trip to the edge of the cliff of knowledge. Each verse of 100 Miles From Music City begins with a description of a kind of public/tourist version of a kind of experience. Then, each time after the phrase “and anyhow,” she describes a more personal/real version of the same sort of experience. She moves from observations on commercial Country music to old John Walters singing, Mammoth Caves to the caves behind the house, Coleman greyhound racetrack to her own “smart and irreproachable” dog. But still, there is more, Gallup insists. At the end of verse 2, she suggests a sense of infinity toward the end of each verse – in the death of John Walters’ father in the first (it’s happening to someone else), in the line “You drop your flashlight, listen while it rolls beyond a ledge then falls forever till it hits the bottom…” -a child’s version of infinity. The author’s experience doesn’t reach infinity until the ending – there’s no reference point for the runaway dog, we don’t know if he’s alive or dead. Here’s an experience which has no marking, a question without resolution. By including her own ignorance in this story, Gallup shows the kind of humility which makes true art possible. She’s done something quite bold and bracing here. -Andrew Calhoun


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Courage My Love”