Saturday, July 05, 2008

Maple On The Hill

We rode down to the river today to have lunch with our good friends Tom and Judy. The weather was not unlike Panama. For an instant I was back there in the jungle in 1972 hot as a candle with humidity that would qualify as rain in most places.
There were probably a hundred people there today swimming, boating, and enjoying the warm day.
After we ate, we pulled out the guitars and played under the gazebo. It was an old timey day - which means that most of the folks there wanted to hear the old songs. We played some Everly Brothers, Vern Gosdin, Hank Williams, and the Stanley Brothers.
An elderly gentleman sitting next to me leaned over and said "I love the old songs." I asked him if he played and he said he did not. But he knew an old song. I asked him to sing it and he did. People were lost in their conversations and his song did not ring loud, but it rang true. It put chills on my arm. I think I was the only person who heard the tune.
He told me that he had been married for many years and had lost his wife three months ago. She had asked him to sing the song at her funeral. He said it was hard but he did. The story put a lump in my throat.
Maple On The Hill
In a quiet country village stood a Maple On The Hill
Where I sat with my Geneva long ago
As the stars were shining brightly we could hear the whippoorwill
As we sat beneath that Maple On The Hill

We would sing love songs together while the birds had gone to rest
We would listen to the murmur o'er the hill
Will you love me little darling as you did those starry nights
As we sat beneath that Maple On The Hill

Don't forget me, little darling when they lay me down to die
Just one little wish, darling that I pray
As you linger there in sadness thinking darling, of the past
Lay your teardrops kiss the flowers on my grave

I will soon be with the angels on that bright and peaceful shore
Even now I hear them coming o'er the hill
So goodbye my little darling, it is time for us to part
I must leave you and that Maple On The Hill

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