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Little Sister Debbie and Brother Gene Sing a Song, Gene

I don't believe in predestination, per se. But in doing some research for a recent writing project, I came across these words that I had written a few years ago in an e-mail to Dear Daphne, a close friend: "I truly appreciate every moment that we're together. Whenever I'm with you, I feel like I'm in the right time and the right space in the right universe, I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be."

Now here, while typing out the lyrics (see below) for this song that I wrote so long ago, I find a parallel sentiment in a closing line: "We're here where we all belong."

And these words renew my awareness now and remind me to appreciate the centering effect I experience when with dear family members and my true friends. (Otherwise, I often have this tendency to feel out of place: "I don't know when it happened, but sometime years ago when I was still very young, I was kidnapped by a pack of Trans-Dimensional Time-Traveling Dingoes one night as I slept. They took me away from my native home and family, and they brought me here to this life in this world in this universe that all exist simultaneously and parallel to my own." Excerpt from introduction to Out of Time)

I first met Brother Gene and Little Sister Debbie when I lived in Germany in the early 1970's in this lifetime, at least, that's where and when we first met. They are two of my true friends, two members of my soul group. Bless their hearts.

When Gene found out that I could kinda/sorta play guitar, he asked me to teach him what I knew. So, hey, I began a thorough training program whereby I would impart to Gene absolutely everything I knew on the subject. Whew! And then 10 minutes later, after I had completely exhausted my deep well of both generalized musicianship and guitar-specific knowledge, my final professorial exhortation to my graduating student prodigy was, of course: Practice, practice, practice.

Well, Brother Gene and I practiced together often during the year before he and Little Sister Debbie left Europe behind to return to Oregon and college and home.

I stayed on in Europe for another year. Then after returning to Indiana and going back to college, it was still another year before I saw Gene and Deb again.

We reconnected at the AMSF Freaks' Reunion in Minnesota, 1976, at Dan's and Kathy's farm not all that far from Minneapolis - St. Paul. (Brother Dan and Sister Kathy: God bless their precious hearts too. Amen.)

When I could once again strum and sing with my friend and former student, what I found most notable was that Gene's confidence in his playing was now sufficient to allow him to give more energy to his voice. Where once he had sung so softly while playing his instrument, he could now belt out the lyrics with self-assurance.

Anyway,.... The following ditty was written first for Brother Gene, of course, but it was also penned for Little Sister Debbie, Ruth, Kathy, Dan, John, et al all the freakin' freaks at that particular freakin' Freaks' Reunion. (And so it freakin' goes.)

Read the lyrics below, check out the Lead Sheet for words and music, or listen to a homemade MP3 song demo recording. BD

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Sing a Song, Gene
(Freaks' Reunion in Minnesota, circa 1976)
Words and Music by David R. Lister

It's a twelve hour trek, I've got the wheel in my grip
Hey, you can pray this car of ours can make the trip
Keep fingers crossed and then bite your lip
Until we've crossed that muddy Mississip

My lady and I, why, we were somewhere near crying
Flying straight into the face of the sun
It burned us blind, but it did not mind
Whether doom or destiny were won

Entering Minneapolis, I just thought of Jesus
Sending angels to save Silas and Saint Paul
I need my friends when the summer ends
'Cause then's when I'm expecting a fall

Then we're strummin' on our steel strings
And hummin' until someone sings
A song to Minnesota's moon and stars
I say again, "Our souls have always been
More in tune than our foreign guitars."

It's the end of the day, we're packin' Olys away
And smokin' home-rolled gold cigarettes
Our minds expand into No Man's Land
And the sweeter the music gets

Sing a song, Gene
Come on, sing a song
Your voice has gotten so strong
Sing a song, Gene
Sing some old song
I'll try to play along

Sing a song, Gene
Go on, sing your song
We're here where we all belong
Sing a song, Gene
Sing that old song
Your friends will sing along


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