(Another in the series of stories behind the songs of unknown songwriters - David Russell in case you forgot - who listened to lots of Crosby, Stills and Nash when they were young).
This is a song about my favorite place on earth. It’s in Montana, in the woods, on a lake, near Yellowstone Park. My parents tell me I was conceived there. Yuck.
When I was a kid, I would spend entire summers puttering around in our fishing boat, scaring the hell out of myself doing tricks on my BMX bike on the dirt roads, and “reading” my uncle’s porno magazines up in my loft while listening to the White Album and Fleetwood Mac.
I also spent a lot of time hanging out with my cousin, Jennifer, who insisted she was a witch. Jennifer and I knew every square inch of the surrounding area: The swing tree, the rock fort, bird island, and every bit of the beach in front of our cabins.
We knew our kingdom so well in fact, we could cruise around in the dark, with no flashlight, which we did many nights after our parents were asleep. We would sneak out and do little rituals, or run like wild animals, or start small fires under a planetarium of stars.
I know it sounds idyllic and it was; though it was also at times mind-numbingly boring or fraught with family drama. Mostly though, it would have made a good 70’s coming of age movie, all super saturated colors and golden lens flare.
Anna Blue is a guess at what it would feel like to live in our cabin, with no other people around, if I were a woman, and slightly crazy, and also a witch—not the pointy hat kind, but more in a Stevie Nicks singing “Rhiannon” sort of way.
Seriously though, I love that place. I hope a fraction of that feeling comes through in the recording.
Musically, it wants to owe something to “Dear Prudence” (which is just about a perfect song, if you ask me), as well as the more pastoral English countryside vibe of XTC. To be honest, there is probably some Crosby Stills and Nash in there too.
The song has a Sandhill Crane in it (beautiful, freaky, pre-historic) and also crickets. In the chorus my friend Steve makes a sneaky guest appearance on trumpet, and Eric mixes all this disparate stuff into a cohesive whole.