Kanan Road Performs “Down Home in Southern California”

On Saturday, April 24, at the Merc Songwriter Night, Kyle, Kanan, and Kory Cox, also known as the Kanan Road Band, performed to a rowdy and enthusiastic crowd the song “Down Home in Southern California.”  The first public performance of the song co-written by the Cox brothers and me was well received.

The song is a Californian answer to all the country songs that praise life in the small Southern town.  I hope you like what our collaboration produced.  Here is the video, followed by the lyrics to the song.

DOWN HOME IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
by Pam Bowen, Kanan Cox, Kyle Cox, and Kory Cox

SMALL TOWN LIVIN’ SURE GETS ITS SHARE
OF COUNTRY MUSIC PRAISIN’, OOH, OOH, OOH
BUT I’M NOT ASHAMED TO TELL Y’ALL
‘BOUT MY CITY RAISIN’, OOH, OOH, OOH

OUT MY WINDOW
NO GEORGIA PEACHES GROWIN’
JUST CALIFORNIA SUNSHINE IN MY EYES

CHORUS
I’M AS COUNTRY AS A PALM TREE IN THE WIND
I’M AS SMALL TOWN AS A CITY SLICKER GRIN
GOT MY REDNECK FROM THE SUNBURN IN THE SAND
I’M AS A SOUTHERN AS A SOUTHERN CALIFORN-I-AN

WE MAY NOT HEAR THE WHIPPOORWILL
‘NEATH A HICKORY TREE, NO, OOH, OOH, OOH
BUT PALM TREE PIGEON CONDOS STRETCH
AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE, OOH, OOH, OOH

OUT MY WINDOW
NO JOHN DEERE TRACTOR PLOWIN’
JUST FREEWAY TRAFFIC BACKED UP FOR MILES AND MILES

CHORUS

BRIDGE
TAKE SAN DIEGO, CORPUS CHRISTI, OR KNOXVILLE TENNESSEE
YOU KNOW THE SOUTH’S THE ONLY PLACE YOU REALLY WANNNA BE
BUT EVEN IF YOU’RE SENT TO NOME, ALASKA SOME FINE DAY
YOU’LL STILL BE PROUD AND GRATEFUL LIVIN’ IN THE USA

CHORUS

© 2010

Listen to the Latest: “I’ll Be Fine”

On Thursday, April 22, Jim Sims sent me the mp3 of our song, “I’ll Be Fine.”  It was inspired by the death of my dad.  Lots of songwriting books tell me to write what I know and include true feelings.  That sort of thing isn’t commercial, but I hope you will find the song moving, especially when you hear what Jim does with the music.  The chorus, on the suggestion of our friend Ernesto, comes from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer (non-copyrighted).

Here is the link to the song, with the lyrics following. The link goes directly to the song.

“I’ll Be Fine,” performed by Jim Sims

I’ll Be Fine
Lyrics by Pam Bowen
Music by James R. Sims

Verse 1:
I hold my father’s papery hand
As he  lies in his final bed.
His breath draws in, puffs out.
I’m not sure he knows my name.
Some days I’m me, some days my mom,
Some days a total stranger.

Verse 2:
I want to ask him what it’s like
To come so close to death.
I want to ask advice on life,
Like he gave me in the past.
He always knew just what to do.
I need his guidance now.

Pre-chorus:
His tarnished eyes smile into mine
To say, “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”

Chorus 1:
Receive, O Lord, your servant, for he returns to you,
A sheep of your own fold,
A lamb of your own flock,
A sinner you redeemed.
Let his heart and soul ring out in joy to you.

Verse 3:
I’ll remember his strong hands
That bandaged up my hurts.
I’ll recall his constant love
That filled our family’s hearts
I’ll remember his quiet faith
As I live on, an orphan, in this place.

Pre-chorus:
His tarnished eyes smile into mine
To say, “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”

Chorus 2:
Receive, O Lord, your servant, for he returns to you.
May he gaze upon you, Lord,
Face to face and taste
The blessedness of perfect rest.
Let his heart and soul ring out in joy to you.

Bridge:
I have to dry my tears.
I have to calm my fears.
I have to loose my selfish hold
And give him permission to go.

Chorus 1 Repeat:
Receive, O Lord, your servant, for he returns to you,
A sheep of your own fold
A lamb of your own flock
A sinner you redeemed.
Let his heart and soul ring out in joy to you.

Lyrics © 2009 Pamella M. Bowen
Music © 2010 James R. Sims