Inquiries into the early years of SJI

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Look Out Mama - MP3 (Happy New Year)

Illustration by Pam Woodland
Here is an entry entirely divorced from the usual theme of this blog. But I write this in the spirit of the New Year.

Pam and I, since October 2010, live in a fairly remote area of southwest Saskatchewan. The village we live in has a population of under a hundred people. The nearest population centre, of 15,000, is a ninety minute drive away, and the nearest large book store or movie theatre is a four hour drive from here. We have had snow since late October, and the morning temperature this December averages about -20C (or about -5F).

What does one do in these circumstances? Among other things, I belong to a musical trio that practices weekly for about four hours. Our lead guitarist is the noted nature photographer James Page, and our multi-instrumentalist (rhythm guitar, ukelele, accordion, tin whistle, etc.) is the painter Colleen Watson. I play hand percussion (African drum, bongos, sticks, rattles, and so on).

The name of our trio was derived from the opening lines of Neil Young's song "Powderfinger." So, we are known as "Look Out Mama." I have been writing quite a few songs, too, of which we now include three in our regular practices. What I want to do here is include one of those songs.

I wanted, early this summer, to write something that was based both upon our trio's name, and upon  the history of the area we live in. So, the song "Look Out Mama" was born. While I wrote the lyrics and the melody, Page helped me work out the musical structure, and of course "Look Out Mama," the group, worked out an arrangement.  The only similarity with SJI is the fact that the song has no chorus. The link here is to a recent practice, pretty darned crude, with James Page on electric guitar, Colleen Watson on rhythm guitar, and me on percussion and lead vocal. And so, as the clock turns over from 2012 to 2013,  I present it to you with no further ado, "Look Out Mama" by Look Out Mama. Happy New Year.


Look out mama
The sun is sinking low
Look out mama
The sun is sinking low
I can hear Blackfoot calling
And pounding hooves of buffalo


Look out mama
The water is rising fast
Look out mama
You know the water is rising fast
Wolves are in the river
Don't know if they're gonna last


Look out mama
The wind is blowin' strong
Look out mama
The wind is blowin' strong
Hawks circlin' up above
I fear we done something wrong


Look out mama
The moon is high in the sky
Look out mama
The moon is high up in the sky
Y'can see those tepee circles
Remnants from a long lost time


Look out mama
Coyotes are on the prowl
Look out mama
Coyotes are on the prowl
When that evenin' sun goes down
Whoa whoa listen to them howl