Possibly my best song, and certainly a song that is close to my heart, includes these lines:
The rain has turned the yellow grass
Seven shades of green. . . .
It’s only a moment that we can smell the rain,
And taste the salt on each other’s skins.
It’s only a moment and then we’re underground,
So do not waste the time you’re given.
Sometimes I play this song fast, sometimes slow, sometimes with the guitar and sometimes with the piano. Quite often, different lines from the song stand out more than the ones I just mentioned. But if no lines or chord voicings resonate at all, that is a sign that I am losing touch with my center of gravity. I suppose in some sense that makes the song a prayer, although it’s a blessing song too, in the genre of things like Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.”
Here at my writing cabin, in what used to be a pasture where my mom grew up, spring is turning into summer. I can see more than seven shades of green in every direction, and the light changes subtly each day. There are deer and eagles and swans, plus bears hiding out.
In this context I don’t want to waste this song. I don’t love everything about this recording, but perhaps it sounds good enough to share on the principle that the perfect is the enemy of the good. The full lyrics are underneath the picture below, which should open a video of me singing if you click on it. One of these days I hope to record this properly, along with a few others, and the working title for the record is “Seven Shades of Green.”
Calm Behind the Rain © Mark Hulsether
My song is like the shadow of a rooted northern pine
And the echo of the wind across the plain
It soars like the thunderclouds riding above the storm
I feel it like the calm behind the rain
It’s hard to remember as the summer sun beats down
A cooling breeze will come with the night
My song is like the echo of the wind across the plain
And the shadow of a rooted northern pine
The colors of the sunset are dancing on the waves
Birds are singing long before the dawn
The rain has turned the yellow grass to seven shades of green
Ancient rocks are soaking up the sun.
It’s only a moment that we can smell the rain
And taste the salt on each other’s skin
It’s only a moment and then we’re underground
So do not waste the time that you’re given
May the cold winds of winter bear you up upon your wings
May the work you do build bridges and not bombs
May the people in your dreams be friends
May you always find the strength to carry on
May your children learn forgiveness
May your parents age with grace
And may the songs you sing always ring true
May the light that shines within you be the light upon your path
May there always be grace surrounding you.