Song Lyric Sunday: Last – ‘The Last Lonely Eagle’

Helen’s theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is ‘Last’. A couple of pretty obvious tunes popped into my head – and yours too, no doubt: ‘The Last Time’, ‘Last Christmas’ (which I thought about, but perhaps it’s too early).

But to step just a little outside my usual comfort zone, here’s a song by The New Riders Of The Purple Sage – a group that emerged from the same scene, and often to be found on the same bill, as the Grateful Dead, with members frequently sitting in on each other’s performances. Indeed, this album version of one of their best known songs features Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar and also Micky Hart on drums. It’s a sweet, elegaic (thanks to that pedal steel) little song.

If you go down round the bend in the river
You’re gonna find a few changes
Been going down there
‘Cause the people who live
Round the bend in the river
Have forgotten their dreams
And they’ve cut off their hair

And take a last, flying look
At the last lonely eagle
He’s soaring the length of the land
Shed a tear for the fate
Of the last lonely eagle
For you know that he never will land

If you go down where the lights
Push the nighttime
Back far enough so you can’t feel the fear
Remember the boy who you left on the mountain
Who’s sitting alone with the stars and his tears

If you go down to the gas-powered flatland
Where most of the people just think
That they’re free
Remember the peace that you had
On the mountain
Come back to the love that you had here with me

Written by John Dawson

Song Lyric Sunday 2 December 2018

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