Jan Bell and Melissa Carper of The Maybelles
I received the honour of being invited to the Woody Guthrie Archives to put original music to found lyrics. Deep in the mountaineous files I fell in love with these few short lines.
Melissa Carper - my fellow founding member of The Maybelles, is singing her soulful harmony and playing bowed bass. We recorded this song at Mike West's 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor in New Orleans, a few months before Hurricane Katrina.
I did take the liberty of replacing 'brothers' with 'sisters' on one verse....I hope and pray that's all good out on the horizon of the Union Sea.... My friend Casey Neill out of Portland, Oregon has recorded a version using Woody's words and my melody. Keep an eye out for it in 2009.
When I die on this restless tide.
LIft me over to the windward side
and when my sheet is around me tied.
Lift the old plank, and
Let me slide
Over past hands of Union brothers, and down to my Union Sea
When i meet that long lost foam,
there I'll find my own true home,
Down where the Union Porpoise roam,
Down where my Union Brother's gone.
Over past hands of Union brother's Down to my union Sea.