Thursday, November 06, 2008

How Many Times.

Last night, my friend Pam and I traveled south through wind and rain to hear Martin Sexton perform at the Fargo Theatre. It was fabulous and I'll have to blog more about that later.

An unexpected treat was Ryan Montbleau who opened for Sexton, playing acoustic guitar and performing without his band. I'd not heard of Montbleau, but I was pleased with his easygoing humor and entertaining lyrics. One of my favorite songs was one called "Quickie" and that's exactly what it was about. Yet, the most moving and thought provoking song from his set was an A Capella number called "How Many Times?" and I have reprinted the lyrics here for your reading pleasure.

I would encourage you to open the following link in a separate window and then follow along as you listen to him perform this song. This version has instrumental back-up, though the version we saw performed was truly just him singing. I almost think that was more powerful, perhaps because of the starkness of the song.

Listen to the full song here.

How Many Times?
By Ryan Montbleau

There's a coat that I won't wear again 'til late sometime this year
And when I hang it in my closet I'll go on about my day.
Just a passing little chore,
but before I close the door I take one final look up on it and I wonder just the same...
How many times? How many times will I get to see the seasons change and stand here at the door?
How many times?
How many times will I be standing here, how many times?

There's a general store in Maine where I spent some younger days.
I took a drive one day to see it with a long lost love of mine
And, though that day, it now was years ago,
I cannot help but feel as though I was such a foolish child
As we we argued on the ride..
How many times? How many times did I look for something petty as loved stared me in the eyes?
How many times? How many times will I get that chance again, how many times?

There's a simple understanding in the moment undemanding of our notice.
Years spring up from months and days until we're suddenly afraid of what we've chosen.
Have I done all that I can? Could I have been a better man?
I need to do more with these moments, need to do more with less time-
It's time to ease from concentration into focus.

There's a friend that I once knew and before his days were through,
He was dark and he was stormy but he could laugh at all the world.
I loved and took it all in stride
And though I laughed on the outside, I'd give my life to take the loneliness that he had to endure...
How many times? How many times did I get to see my friend
Alive and think nothing of it?
How many times?
How many times did I look upon his face, how many times?

And though he's gone now, I have this song now.
And I still get to sit here, remembering the lines.
And though I'm not yet under,
I can't help but wonder: will I get this chance again and how many times?

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