The Sunday Song: Up Near Witch Creek

 Posted by (Visited 6785 times)  Music
Oct 282007
 

Of course I had to write a song based on the wildfire experience. But honestly, the suburban wildfire experience doesn’t make for much of a song. Plus, I was also slightly annoyed at all the people saying stuff like “boo hoo, affluent SoCal people” when anyone who lives in San Diego County knows there’s quite a range of incomes and lifestyles around here.

So I decided to do the song from the point of view of someone who lives out near where the fires started — where there are lots of folks who have farms or ranches. Wrote it today around 2pm, and then wrestled with my recording setup for three hours (misconfigured recording input). So this is just a quick sketch of it done in the last hour.
The song is called Up Near Witch Creek, and it goes like this:

When the fires took off they raced long and low
They crackled and cursed through valleys out in Campo
The apple trees are burning and man it smells so sweet
The Santa Anas are blowing smoke along with heat

I don’t know how it started
Maybe power lines are down
But the night is getting brighter
Witch fire’s coming round

When the fires took off they raced long and hard
Chewing up the sagebrush, the scrub and chaparral
You know it’s been real dry here, beetles killed the pines
And now we’re paying tolls due earlier up the line

I don’t know how it started
They say it’s in the crowns
And the night is getting brighter
Witch fire’s coming round

So hush my baby girl, don’t cry but don’t you dare go sleep
And son, you’ll need to be brave and decide which toys to keep
Your momma’s got some pieces of our lives packed and no its not enough
But we’ll all stay together until the sun comes up

When the fires took off they raced long and low
From up near Santa Ysabel to down in Mexico
The horses are all panicked from the embers in the sky
I can’t take them all with me, but I can’t just let them die

I don’t know how it started,
But we have to leave our town
The night is getting brighter
Witch fire’s coming round

So hush my baby girl
Son, you’ll need to be brave
Your momma’s got some pieces of our lives
We’ll be together after the Witch fire

Guitar info: Open D tuning on the 62 Gibson L000 acoustic. Electric slide on the Melody Maker (hurriedly, sorry). And bass.

  5 Responses to “The Sunday Song: Up Near Witch Creek”

  1. My dad was trying to write a poem based on Tennyson’s Charge of the Light Brigade. One verse works really well for what was our situation…

    Fire to right of them, fire to left of them, fire in front of them…

  2. Very piercing. I liked this verse the best:

    “When the fires took off they raced long and hard
    Chewing up the sagebrush, the scrub and chaparral
    You know it’s been real dry here, beetles killed the pines
    And now we’re paying tolls due earlier up the line”

    I’m trying to visualize what “chaparral” is and looking at Google images.

    I’m glad you’re all ok.

  3. […] Raph Koster of Metaplace was not able to fly out of Southern California because of the wild fires so I couldn’t follow up on what had been an interesting debate on 2D versus 3D social networked spaces at the San Jose Virtual Worlds Conference and Expo. If Raph had been there I would have loved to ask him some questions about interoperability and Metaplace also. Ian Hughes of IBM talked with me about how Metaplace’s use of RESTful APIs will create many interesting possibilities. And I had a long conversation with Bruce Joy CEO of the newly launched Vast Park which potentially will be interoperable with Metaplace. […]

  4. Cool!

    I just turned in my assignments for the chuck children’s play, Jack and the Beanstalk. Not nearly as timely as what you are riffing. Good luck out there. Rita said you were in the midst of it.

    http://home.hiwaay.net/~cbullard/mp3/FeeFiFoFum.mp3
    http://home.hiwaay.net/~cbullard/mp3/jack.mp3
    http://home.hiwaay.net/~cbullard/mp3/MooBooBouree.mp3

  5. […] Strings absolutely do affect tone. 😛 Jangliness, sustain, intonation… I use .013's on my acoustic. That's a Medium, not a Heavy. I think I have .011's on the electric and on the Baby Taylor.Supposedly SRV used heavy strings on his electric.Posted a new tune yesterday, btw. https://www.raphkoster.com/2007/10/28/the-sunday-song-up-near-witch-creek/ […]

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