Northbound Bird
by Memphis Evans

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Some time in spring 1993 I saw The Big Wu, a jam band in the tradition of the Grateful Dead. They were upstairs at a bar in downtown Northfield. A woman sang "Eyes of the World" with them and I loved it. I asked her if she would like to sing together some time and we called ourselves The New Roots of Suffering. We had several very fun shows and made some recordings.

I loved the whole vibe of bands like the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, and locally Blue Man Jive. I remember playing downtown at a bar and wishing I had a song that would draw people in in the exact same way those bands' music drew people in. "Tambourine" was my most intentional effort in that regard, but it had too many key changes and metric shifts and my writing was generally more complex at that time.

Now I have nothing left to prove along complexity lines, so in writing this song (in 2022!) I think I finally achieved that goal.

In keeping with this episode's theme, this song would sound SO cool as a New Roots of Suffering song circa 1993/94. Oh well.

Musical note: Like my own "Anything: The End of Something", "Ron Cey" (the new bridge), and Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" (the bridge before the outro) this song leaves the notes D and F# from a D Major chord in place while the overall harmony shifts down to C, G, and e minor. Are you a songwriter? Try it today!


I had four hearts and I had two pair
I had planets, I had space
I felt so lucky it was hardly fair
'Til I needed a queen but I drew an ace

So come here Northbound Bird and stay awhile
Before you fly

All the red flags were in my blind spots
All I could see was the light inside
It was directed at me but now it is not
And now all I want is a place to hide

So come here Northbound Bird and stay awhile
Before you fly

(Northbound Bird on the wing...)

I'll be left out in the rain and snow
I need a drink before I pass on
What ya say about the water and the well I know
But I knew what I had before it was gone

So come here Northbound Bird and stay awhile
Before you fly

(Northbound Bird, oh...)
(You're my Northbound Bird...)
(Come back Northbound Bird...)

Next song: One House

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