it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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I had a heart for art's sake, but no stomach for the business--

This post brought to you because elisem knows all sorts of people whose albums I have been buying for years, and reading her journal keeps reminding me to dig them out and listen to them.

How did I live 24 years of my life without John Gorka? That's what I want to know. I first heard of him when stwish gave me a copy of Jack's Crows with the comment, "He's just like Bob Dylan if Dylan didn't suck." It's become kind of a love affair since. Like Janis Ian, Phil Ochs, Hugh Blumenfeld, Ferron and, most recently, Vienna Teng, Gorka is one of the guitar and/or piano-thumping folkies I turn to when I need music to give me strength.

I used to think joy was the break between sorrows
Like peace was the break between wars.
I'm still partly new now but mostly older
And I cannot say I'm so sure.

I never trusted happiness as far as I could throw it.
Always preparing for the worst 'cause I would know it.
All of that hammering in the dark:
Like a new Noah working on his ark.

--John Gorka, All That Hammering

You know, he might just be on to something.

(you can download that song for free here, along with the rest of the Temporary Road album; I particularly like the title song, and played it to death while I was working on Worldwired. And Can You Understand My Joy, for obvious reasons. Also, The Gypsy Life is a favorite.)

Also, I don't want to even think about how many times I heard this song before I understood it:

Don't want to waste what I have to give
In all of the time that I've left to live
Don't want to waste what I have to give
In any of the time that I've got left
I can do more than I thought I could
Work brings more luck than knocking on wood
There's random bad and random good
Work brings more good luck

You ask the world
And the world says, "No."
It's the world's refrain
Mine says, "Go."

--John Gorka, Morningside (which you can listen to here; this song saved my sanity if not my life during one of the worst winters I've ever been through, and it's still my motto.)

...unless you are a true bad boy, conscience is a constant threat.

Tags: music

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