Kieran Kane Lyrics: “Rosie’s Gone”

With this post, I’m returning to the topic of the noted songwriter, Kieran Kane, with a song entitled “Rosie’s Gone,” about a woman “emotionally and psychologically devastated by the loss of a loved one” in Vietnam.  You can read a fine article about Kane’s album, The Blue Chair here.  I recently purchased it and have enjoyed the music greatly. For years, I’ve taught “A Rose for Emily” by Faulkner in freshman composition. Somehow the song “Rosie’s Gone” made me think of that story and the circumstances of life that alienate us or drive us inward and away from others.  I transcribed the lyrics from the CD.

ROSIE’S GONE by Kieran Kane

Rosie lives inside a house
Whose paint is cracked and dry
The fence outside is falling down
The grass is three feet high.

Children in the neighborhood
Knock on her door and run
Then want to see who answers it
But no one ever comes.

Rosie’s gone
Where nothing can reach her
Rose’s gone
Away in her mind
To a sweet yesterday when love was alive
So long, Rosie’s gone.

Dust has gathered everywhere
The shades are pulled down
Everything is still arranged
As if he were around.

A letter from the president
Still lays there on the floor
Praising a young man’s courage
In a southeast Asian war

Rosie’s gone
Where noting can reach her
Rosie’s gone
Away in her mind
To a sweet yesterday when love was a live
So long, Rosie’s gone.

New Orleans, Mon Amour by Andrei Codrescu: A Third Post

I decided to make one more post based on Condrescu’s book, New Orleans, Mon Amour. For this post, I want to simply list some quotations and “did you know” phrases that caught my attention. Codrescu does have a way with words. I didn’t know:

1. That New Orleans had two German langauge daily newspapers in the mid-1800’s.

2. About the book, The Mysteries of New Orleans by Baron Ludwig von Reizenstein. Quite a colorful book and character. Codescu calls the author a “skinny eccentric who frequented seedy bars in the French Quarter” (3).

3. About the Nag Hammadi, Gnostic gospels. There is a whole story line he develops from a phrase from them, “Our sister Sophia, she who is a whore.”

4. About several festivals there. I did know about the Faulkner Festival, but not

5. Codrescu gives details I didn’t know about Molly’s and Jim Monaghan, all kinds of foods/recipes I’ve never tried, (like dishwater fish. It’s for real. Google it)  I learned of the turtle soup at Commanders that is over 100 years old, i.e., the turtle soup pot  has never gone out since it was opened in 1888. About writers I was unfamiliar with, whom I must look up soon.

6. About Katrina. He says the residents of New Orleans wondered “at the huge gaps between the reports of the media and the stories of our friends still on the ground.”

7. Though I had read Confederacy of Dunces in 1993, I did not know that “John Kennedy Toole . . . committed suicide here when no big eastern publisher would touch his novel. The small press of the state university finally did the book, and posthumously Toole was award the Pulitzer Prize” (48).

8. About Barkus, the dog parade

Codrescus says that New Orleans still has enough material to give “future readers a slimpse of what is was to be alive, a poet, in New Orleans at the end of the twentieth century and the very beginning of the twenty-first” (6). Other phrases:

“the rapture of legend and rumor” (15) Calls for dead people and that there is “a telephonic voodoo cult in the city” (17).

“New Orleans is a pirate city, in both legend and fact” (19)

*There are so many other good quotations, but perhaps these are sufficient food for thought.

Josh Radin: “What If You” Lyrics

This week, I viewed a movie, Catch and Release and in the background of one of the scenes heard a song. I hastily scratched down some of the lyrics, googled them, found the song, and purchased it from iTunes. It is “What If You” by Josh Radin. His music is acoustic guitar, the lyrics touching, and his talent obvious. (He is also an artist and actor). You’ve likely heard his music on the sitcom, Scrubs. There are tons of sites and Youtube links devoted to him, but his official site is here if you’d like to know more about this songwriter.

Joshua Radin – What If You

What if you
Could wish me away
What if you
Spoke those words today

I wonder if you’d miss me
When I’m gone
It’s come to this, release me
I’ll leave before the dawn

But for tonight
I’ll stay here with you
Yes, for tonight
I’ll lay here with you

But when the sun
Hits your eyes
Through your window
There’ll be nothing you can do

What if you
Could hear this song
What if I
Felt like I belong

I might not be leaving
Oh so soon
Began the night believing
I loved you in the moonlight

So, for tonight
I’ll stay here with you
Yes, for tonight
I’ll lay here with you

But when the sun
Hits your eyes
Through your window
There’ll be nothing you can do

I could’ve treated you better
Better than this
Well, I’m gone, this song’s your letter
Can’t stay in one place

So, for tonight
I’ll stay here with you
Yes, for tonight
I’ll lay here with you

But when the sun
Hits your eyes
Through your window
There’ll be nothing you can do

Scotland and the South: A Nurse’s Perspective

Kate Cumming’s Thoughts on Scotland and the South

There is so much that could be said about Kate Cumming, nurse with the Army of Tennessee during the War Between the States,  but this will be my last post on her for a while.  Her thoughts on Scotland and the South are particular relevant to this blog.  I believe s he expresses some of the real issues of the War Between the States. If you enjoy researching the Civil War, you should find a copy of her journal somewhere. In Kate: A Journal of A Confederate Nurse (LSU Press), she says, beginning on p. 4ff:

About the trial of Wirz and Andersonville, she says, “We begged, time and again, for an [prisoner] exchange, but none was granted.  We starved their prisoners! But who laid waste our corn and wheat fields? And did not we all starve?  Have the southern men who were in northern prisons no tales to tell–of being frozen in their beds, and seeing their comrades freeze to death for want of proper clothing? Is there no Wirz for us to bring to trial? But I must stop; the old feeling comes back; these things are hard to bear. People of the North, the southerners have their faults. Cruelty is not one of them. If your prisoners suffered, it was from force of circumstances, and not with design.

About the cause of the war and the comparison of the South to Scotland, she says,  “When the war broke out, I looked around for a parallel, and naturally my native country and her struggle came up first.  Since I have been mingling with the southern people, I have found that I was far from being the only one who was claiming that land of romance and chivalry.  It was impossible to go any place without meeting her descendants; and thanks to Walter Scott and Burns, they had any other wish but that of disclaiming her.

“I have never seen Scotland to remember her, but have read much about her mountains, glens, and lakes, and I can not see how they can surpass in grandeur and beauty those we have here; and had we only the writers, gifted from the fire to sing, as none but Scotia’s bards have done, in her praise, they would find beauties here as boundless as our empire.

“Many will say that it is impossible that the South can ever prosper in union with the North. For centuries, not four years, England and Scotland, on the same island, a small rivulet dividing them, fought against each other with a ferocity such as no two nations ever exhibited.  In 1603 the throne of England became vacant by the death of Queen Elizabeth.  the next and nearest heir was James VI of Scotland. He ascended the English throne.  The two nations from that time were united in all save the name.  In 1707 the Act of Union was passed, and the two nations formed what is now Great Britain.

“Many years have elapsed since that union. Is a Scotchman today an Englishman? or, vice-versa, an Englishman a Scotchman? All know they are as distinct in nationality as the first day they were united . . .

“Scotland has lost nothing in grandeur or might since then. Her seats of learning can compete with any in the world.  Where is there a nation that can boast of more brilliant lights, both civil and military? Is not her literature spread broadcast over the whole earth . . .

“Many a man, whose name is now a shining light, never would have been heard of had not misfortune come upon him . . . If the southern people ever were a great people they will show it now.  In the whole world there is not such a favored spot as the South . . . That is why the North fought so hard to keep us with her.  We have every climate necessary for the well-being of man . . . Is this fair heritage to become a howling wilderness, because a people we dislike will have us unite with them whether we will or no?

First Blog Entry for 2009

Tempus Fugit

2008 Pittman Facts:

1) Number of books I read in 2008 – 44.

2) Number of book signings, musical performances, libraries, and school programs, Jan. (10), Feb. (14) March (16) April (20) May (11) June (5) July (6) August (5) Sept. (10) Oct. (14) Nov. (8) Dec. (5) TOTAL NUMBER OF PRESENTATIONS IS 124!

Not a bad number, considering I was also teaching college the entire time as well. The number does not include the days I spent driving, traveling when I would be making personal sales or meeting people to set up future programs. Though the writing life is often a brutal life—physically, emotionally and economically—I am totally committed to this nomadic existence.  The business of writing has changed so much. If you’re not willing to work hard on the business end (unless you’re  born with money, just lucky, or have the right “connections”) you won’t make it as an author or musician.


1. To write creatively every day.

2. To create two CD’s of songs and stories. One of Civil War content and the other of Scots-Irish.

3. To travel and see new places for research and experience. The past two years I’ve seen so many new places. Most are listed on my blog, and though there too many to list now, my favorites were Gaylord Hotel at Christmas, Catalina Island, and the desert in California, the Texas Civil War Museum.

4. I have a more personal wish-list of items I need and want for my programs and accomplish physically, but I’ll need to mull over those before I publish them.


As I rose with thoughts of making inventory of my past year, I thought of the lyrics of this song by Kate Rusby that I sometimes perform in my Scots-Irish music program.  Kate Rusby is the beautiful Celtic singer with the beautiful voice I discovered a few years ago.  Her website is here: The song is called “Old Man Time.”  If you want the chords, write me and I’ll send them to you.

Old Man Time is a rare old man
For a young man he’ll ever remain.
With his long grey beard and his clothes so plain,
Oh, Old Man Time is his name.
As one flower dies, the old man he cries,
The young man he plants the seeds again.
With a careful hand, he tends the sand,
Oh, Old Man Time is his name.

This old man has an hourglass,
For every soul on the land.
Oh, Old Man Time, I have seen mine,
It’s the one with the fastest sand.
No sooner is it turned,
back through the glass it’s churned,
I’m wishing I could have each hour again.
With a careful hand, he tends the sand,
Oh, Old Man Time is his name.

To me, Old Man, your time is rare.
Did God not give you all my sand?
Or maybe mine I had to share,
Or is there some left in your hand?
They tell me time is gold, well maybe it’s been sold.
Or was it simply washed away in rain?
With a careful hand, he tends the sand,
Oh, Old Man Time is his name.

If I brought him a sack,
Do you think he’d put some back?
I know one day across my path he’ll come,
But as for now, I can’t say how,
I know the old man’s work is far from done.
For, Old Man Time has just begun.