Girl by the River

by Ken Baake

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Written by Ken Baake, Sept. 9. 2013.
Ken sings, plays a Cordoba nylon string guitar and an Oud from Iraq.

I had just read Shirley Jackson's 1959 novel, _The Haunting of Hill House_, which later was made into a very good movie. I was led through dense verdant green banks of consciousness to dark turbulent rivers... unexplained appearances and disappearances. In other words the Gothic world of imagination that became this song. The picture to the right is one I took in the woods of Verdun, France. Shell pocked and ghostly from the carnage of World War I.


Girl by the River

As I pushed through the weeds by the edge of the river.
Sensing the sun’s light fade.
I saw a young girl, lost in contemplation.
Severed vines floating away.
The very last of the day.

I wondered of that young girl at the edge of the river.
What led her through brush overgrown?
I pointed at the sun fading into the forest.
When will you start home?
Can I leave you here alone?

She said that he wasn’t there.
Probably wasn’t anywhere.
I thought she meant a brother
Or maybe a friend.
What made me think so?
What made me think I should know?

She kneeled on the moss on a rock by the river.
Feet scratched red by the weeds.
Gently removing a cross from her necklace.
Placed it in the current’s lee.
As if to set her last secret free.

Verse instrumental

She said that he wasn’t there.
Probably wasn’t anywhere.
Did she mean a father
or a sacred friend?
It wasn’t mine to know.
Still it made me shudder so.

As I turned from the shadows at the edge of the river.
Her willowy form did fade.
No longer saw a girl, lost in contemplation.
Or even the path she had made.
Darkness closed in on the glade.

Verse instrumental


released March 18, 2014
Produced and engineered by Amy DeVoge at Crossroads Studio, Texas Tech University, 2013


tags: folk Lubbock


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Ken Baake Lubbock, Texas

Ken was born in Baltimore in 1955. He grew up hearing everyone from Johnny Mercer and Ray Charles to the Beatles on the family hi-fi, with a usual Saturday encore of Wagner's operas. Ken has degrees in English and economics and a background in journalism. He is currently an associate professor of English at Texas Tech, teaching classes in rhetoric. ... more

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