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Row, row, row your boat: The 6 of Swords Just A Dream

There is a song that I recall singing in kindergarten. Perhaps I learned the song there, but I imagine it's more likely I had learned it sometime much earlier (relatively speaking), before ever attending school. If English is your native tongue, I'd be very much surprised if you hadn't learned it too, back when you were just a puppy. I mean, haven't these words been in your head since... well, forever?

                 Row, row, row your boat
                 Gently down the stream
                 Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
                 Life is but a dream

Jeez. The lyrics to that song are so simple. And if you cut out all the repeated words, you shorten the song by almost half. And yet, there's something kinda cosmic about the song, kinda cosmic and... I don't know,... Zen-like? And is it just me, or doesn't this itty-bitty ditty seem to have psychedelic qualities? (Could this song, as a meme, as a viral thought infecting a whole generation of my peers, have been a heretofore unrecognized major factor contributing to the birth of the Psychedelic '60s? ...Or am I just having a flashback, man? Yeah, ya think so? Well, far out, man. Groovy, man. Cool. Uh,... What's the question again, man?)

The following song includes a few allusions to "Row, Row, Row" (Row-x3? Row³? Row-cubed?). In my song we're still in the same boat, I think, but the stream on which we've been traveling now carries us through the Shadowlands. Forget all that "merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily" (Merrily-x4? Merrily-to-the-power-of-4?) stuff.

But the stream still flows. And so it goes.

Read the lyrics below, check out the Lead Sheet for words and music, or listen to the homemade demo MP3 (with the moody fiddle leads). — BD

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Just A Dream
Words and Music by David R. Lister

Dreamin' again
It's a kind of masturbation of the mind
Hey, it's no big sin
But then again too much can make you blind
To the fact that you've been dreamin' all the time

Wake up
It's time for you to wake up to your dreams
To recognize potential in those scenes
You keep imagining
The universe spins 'round you
While you're flowing with the stream
Going on beyond the dream

It's just a dream

These blues kick in
And I swear to God I'd just as soon be dead
If that's a mortal sin
And Heaven's lost, I'll dwell in Hell instead
At least the demons there won't all be in my head

They're all that's left since I lost my faith in dreams
I failed to find the promise in those scenes
I kept imagining
The universe wound 'round me
While I drifted down the stream
Drifting on in just a dream

It was just a dream
Just a dream


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© 2001-2012 David R. Lister • All Rights Reserved.