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  Star Of David Blues
  (4:22) [6/4/01]
  Liner Notes

She tells him
She works the graveshift,
But she gets off
Earlier than she's saying;
& she always
Calls in the morning hours
A-knocking on my window pane.

& I can't stand
When she kisses so gentle now,
& then turns 'round
& walks out while saying, "Goodnight";
But she's got to
Head back to home now
& give to her husband what's right;

& I can't get
Me no rest at night
Even when all my shades are closed
With that Star of
David shining
Through my window,
& these demons
With their scratching
(That I accidentally leased)
Through the registers crawl while I pray like I could be released.

But when her
Fingertips touch my face,
My world's all
She wants me to see,
& when she
Gives me her hand to taste
I don't know what's happening to me.
& so I stare
Up at the ceiling
All night long
& wait for her knock;
I know that that star's glare
Is meant just for me
Sure as those demons
Are prying the locks
Off my vent,
& it's me who have sent
Them scurrying to me like a pox.

Watching this I move up closer to the radiator corner.
The sound of clawing steam arrives & builds while through the ceiling.
One flight up I hear rapid drops on varnished wood
& hold out my hands as the Angel is pulling
A drowned man’s head from an enormous vat of gumbo.
It shocks me down; I leave a faint print there
As I wipe my hands on the wall. I’ve always feared the color brown;
For some unknown reason, it scares . . .

Oh & God knows
That I love you, babe,
& I wish that you did too,
But I can't go
On swaying
To this old Salome tune;
You say you
Wanna feel me
Deep inside of you,
But you're jiving 'cause there ain't no room for me and him too.

& I won't be
Thinking too clearly now
'Till I've got me
Some distance from you,
'Cause in the night
That star so bright
Keeps shining like it just turned noon.

Oh won't you help
Mary Magdalene?
On my behalf
Could you intercede?
I know it's almost
The date of His birthday.
If you could please tell Him
I'd like to be freed?
Just say one word,
One word& I know
If you ask then I shall be released.

[“Star Of David Blues” contains interpolations of “Epiphany” & “Fear Of Dreaming” from Fear Of Dreaming: The Selected Poems written by Jim Carroll (1993)]
liner notes
The Blues seems designed for songs about hellfire and adultery, so it’s no accident that this is dedicated to someone who’s met some demons in his time, or that Ray Charles’ Genius & Soul & Jim Carroll’s poem about Angel Heart helped sculpt this mood of repressed doom that takes form of a blinding lightshaft outside the narrator’s window; for some, Bethlehem’s Star isn’t a beacon but a reminder of unsaid apologies. .

Bessie Smith - “Backwater Blues”, “Honeyman Blues”, “Bedbug Blues”, “Jailhouse Blues”, “Hard Time Blues”, & “Cemetery Blues” / Trevor Jones - Score from Angel Heart / Brownie McGee - “Rainy Rainy Day” / Muddy Waters - “Honey Bee” / John Lee Hooker - “How Long Blues” / Tears For Fears - “Pharaohs” / Rashinban & Seiichi Yamamoto - Score from Adrenaline Drive

“O Lord, until I come to fame
I pray Thee, keep the peace;
Allay all strife, let rancor cease
Until my book may earn its due acclaim.

It ends in strife, unknown. . . .

Favor the world, Lord, with Thy love;
Spare us for what we’re not.
I fear Thy wrath, and Hell is hot;
Don’t blow Thy trumpet until I improve.

Worlds blaze; the trumpet sounds.

O Lord, despite our right and wrong,
Let Thy daylight come down
Again woods and field and town,
To be our daily bread and daily song.

It lives in bread and song.
- Wendell Beery, “Voices Late At Night” (1994)

“Past the church and the steeple
The laundry on the hill
Billboards and the buildings
Memories of it still
Keep calling and calling
But forget it all
I know I will . . .

I’m at the car park, the airport
The baggage carousel
The people keep on crowding
I’m wishing I was well
I said, ‘It’s no occasion.
It’s no story I could tell.’

At my bedside empty pocket
A foot without a sock
Your body gets much closer
I fumble for the clock
Alarmed by the seduction
Oh, I wish that it would stop

I bought a novel, some perfume
A fortune all for you
But it’s not my conscience
That hates to be untrue
I asked of my reflection,
‘Tell me what is there to do?’”
- Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook, “Tempted” (1981)

“In the houses nearby, lamps and lanterns flickered on in yellow flame and far off there was a sound of clattering china and pots and pans and back doors slamming as people went about fixing supper. Way in the distance in some kitchen I could hear a Negro woman singing ----- a weary sound full of toil and drudgery yet the voice rich, strong soaring: I knows moonrise, I knows star-rise, lay dis body down . . . In chilly promenade two guards with muskets paced round the jail in greatcoats, stamping their feet against the brittle ground. A gust of wind swept through the cell, whistling. I shivered in a spasm of cold and closed my eyes, listening to the lament of the woman far off, leaning up against the window ledge, dreaming in a half slumber of mad weariness and longing: As the heart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me . . .

For what seemed a long time I stood leaning near the window, my eyes shut tight against the twillight . . . Yes, I thought, maybe all this is true, otherwise why should God not heed me, why should he not answer? Still the woman’s rich sweet voice soared through the gathering dusk: I walks in de moonlight, walks in de starlight, to lay dis body down . . . Grieving, yet somehow unbending, steadfast, unafraid, the voice rose through the evening like memory, and a gust of wind blew up from the river, dimming the song, rustling the trees, then died and became still. I’ll lay in de grave and stretch out my arms . . . Suddenly the voice ceased, all was quiet.

Then what I done was wrong, Lord? I said. And if what I done was wrong, is there no redemption? I raised my eyes upward but there was no answer, only the gray impermeable sky and night falling fast over Jerusalem.”
- William Styron, The Confessions Of Nat Turner (1967)

“From the tree streamed a light
That started the fight
'Round the tree grew a vine
On whose fruit I could dine
My old friend Lucifer came
Fought to keep me in chains
But I saw through the tricks
Of six-sixty-six

From his hands it came down
From his side it came down
From his feet it came down
And ran to the ground
And a small inner voice
Said ‘You do have a choice’
The vine engrafted me
And I clung to the tree.”
- Johnny Cash, “Redemption” (1994)

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