Some Kind of All American

When this life of mine is over, if it’s been of any worth
Royal Oak can lay a claim as the place of my birth,
and where my ash is scattered they may choose to put a plaque;
the rest is just conjecture unsupported by the facts.

When you say you’re from somewhere, does it mean just recent years?
How can you call one place your home if throughout your career
the most you’ve settled down is long enough to catch your breath,
and write a song or two about the place that you just left?

I could say I’m from Michigan, but that was long ago;
or from outside a farming town in northwest Ohio;
and those years in California where I played my first show
surely count for something meaningful, but sometimes, I don’t know…

It seems more truthful to just say I am
a product of each new place where I stand:
some kind of all-American.

I learned to love the outdoors on that farm for seven years;
spent high school out in California, starting my career;
But my roots are bent and twisted, they don’t lead any one place,
what you hear in my voice is not reflected in my face.

I’m German, Swiss and Irish, but the only thing that means
is that mountains and pastures are both buried in my genes;
the sea, wild rivers and lakes are there, too.
Not one set of geography will do.

In the South, they call me Yankee;
In the North, they call me hick;
maybe somewhere in the middle,
there’s a label that might stick.
In the East, they say I’m laid back;
In the West, far too high-strung;
but it doesn’t really mean that much
when all is said and done.

I could say I’m from Boston, but just for those years in school;
or Memphis, where I learned the difference between hip and cool;
Seattle, where I reconnected, strangely, to my past,
or New Orleans, where I discovered my true love at last

It seems more truthful to just say I am
a product of each new place where I stand:
some kind of all-American.

27 MAR 2006

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