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Memorial Day on Cattle Point Road

Britt Arnesen
Language: English



[2012]
Lyrics and Music by Britt K. Arnesen
Album: Solo Acoustic at the Stensrud Building
Solo Acoustic at the Stensrud Building


"A week from my departure to Montana, I had hoped to be writing about that. But something else is on my heart right now.

It’s Memorial Day out on Cattle Point Road
We honor the heroes who’ve fallen at war
Here another young life lost but for nothing at all
What a shame now..


Yesterday I learned that the young man who died in this weekend’s car accident was the homeless banjo player who had played with me at the Doctor’s Office. Last night I nicknamed him John Banjo and stayed up late recording his song. I played it until my fingers hurt, with Canyon sleeping next to me the whole time. I have posted draft lyrics at the bottom and appreciate your feedback and suggestions.

Britt Arnesen


Yet another waltz, yet another eulogy. This one for John Parish, aka Sabien, an artist my age whose life was lost to alcohol, the consequence of yet another young person’s bad choice. Here on San Juan Island, there seems to be a disproportionately high incidence of drunk driving accidents. The results are tragic. At 6:30pm on Memorial Day the community is lucky that the minivan didn’t collide with a family on their way back from the beach.

At first I thought it would be best to keep this song to myself, that I could best honor the families involved by staying out of it. But this is life or death. I won’t sit back while young people in my generation make choices to throw their lives away. I don’t have an answer except to try to speak my heart in song. It’s what I do. I know John Banjo would have appreciated being eulogized in song, and would have wanted his life to stand for something. I would hope some day that one of my songs could help a young person make the right choice".

Obama Memorial Day.JPEG-04646.r


memorial day flag grave cementary ap 605
Young Dana's got a brown bag from the Little Store
The devil told the young man that he could drink some more
John Banjo hops in through the passenger door
He don't sense the danger

The devil trailed the young men to Cattle Point Road
Where they were headed that evening we'll never quite know
'Cause when the devil tapped his shoulder Dana lost control
Of the minivan

It's Memorial Day out on Cattle Point Road
We remember the heroes who've fallen in war
Here another young life was lost but for nothing at all
What a shame now…
Such a shame now.

Young Dana's back home from that hospital
John Banjo is dead; it makes him a criminal
John Banjo had a family, had a name he knows
Haunts his days now,
He's going away now.

It's Memorial Day out on Cattle Point Road
We remember the heroes who've fallen in war
Here another young life was lost but for nothing at all
What a shame now…
A banjo no one plays now…

In every small town there is a Dana
There's the banjo, there's the brown bag, the devil's waiting
In the choices that we make to break or save us,
Every day now..

Each Memorial Day out on Cattle Point Road
We honor the heroes who fallen in war
Two more young lives lost but for nothing at all
What a shame now…
Such a shame now..

Contributed by giorgio - 2013/2/20 - 08:20



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