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You Just Wait and See
August 15, 2008 |
Dear Mr. Keillor,
I was fortunate enough to see you last night at The Indiana State Fair and would like to thank you for the excellent performance. One of the main reasons I became such a fan of you and your radio show is the wonderful unfamiliar and terribly hard to find songs you or your guests often perform. Is there a collection of these numbers available? If there is not please consider making one, or in the very least if you would be kind enough to suggest some of your favorite songs that the average twenty year old punk rocker such as myself may not be familliar with it would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks for coming, Nick. It was a wonderful night. The big crowd on folding chairs on the dirt racetrack, the crowd in the grandstand, people singing "On The Banks of the Wabash"—you knew that one, didn't you, kid? The candlelight gleaming through the sycamores? Didn't they force you to sing that in grade school? (Not many sycamores in punk rock, and not many smells of new-mown hay.) The great song Pat Donohue sang, "Too Late," is one you could learn—Pat wrote it—and you'd find that on our archive. "Sleepless Nights" is an old Everlys song, widely available online, ditto "Too Far Gone" (Billy Sherrill) and also the songs Suzy Bogguss sang. Some of the songs were my originals—nothing for you there—but the song I'd love for you to learn is "Lonesome Robin" which was the one about the death of the outlaw Robin Hood. Bob Coltman wrote that and I heard it sung many times by the late great Helen Schneyer, and when she died, I thought I ought to learn it and sing it. You can find that online too—there's a very sweet video of some English actor singing it on YouTube, in fact. So there's no need that I can see for me to publish a book (Wonderful Unfamiliar Hard To Find Songs) since everything is online. On the other hand, books are more permanent than digital. When the planet falters and the lights go out, our descendants (while cursing us for our foolishness) will gather in their smoky caves and pore through books. You just wait and see.