From the recordings River of Ballyhoo and The Naming of Things

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The Naming of Things

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The song name came from a poem called "Heavenward" by poet, essayist and funeral director Thomas Lynch:

"Such power in the naming of things—
To walk out in the greensward pronouncing
Goldfinch, lilac, oriental poppy—
as if the shaping of the thing in sound
produced a pleasure like the sight of things
as if the housefinch winters in the mock-orange is
as tasty an intelligence to the lips and ears as
the sight of a small purple bird in December is
perched in a thicket of bald branches.
June you remember: the white blossoms, yellow
jackets, the fresh scent of heaven.
And other incarnations to be named:
nuthatch, magnolia, coreopsis, rose.
Surely this was God’s first gift of godliness—
that new index finger working over the globe
assigning from the noisy void those fresh,
orderly syllables. Ocean, garden,
helpmate, tree of knowledge.
Making came easy, creation
a breeze. But oh, that dizzy pleasure when
God said Eve and the woman looked heavenward."


Verse 1
I beseech you my dear can you make me into wine?
Steam all my wrinkles, with your water, heat, and time?
Doctor’s can’t explain it, point a digit try to name it,
what is true

Verse 2
There are so many words but none I can find
When I’m thinking of you trying to justly describe
Poets they have pondered, I did the math but still wonder,
about you

All springs are in you
through the fall, past winter’s lapse to the summer days
All springs are in you
through the fall, past winter’s lapse to the summer days

Verse 3
THE Letters laid out as stones, with spaces in between
Like that place before you wake, after you have dreamed
Can I be your instrument, carving cliffs as a torrent, I’ll ballyhoo

From Itasca out the Delta veins, You are the font and the aim
From Itasca out the Delta veins, we palindromes, Your voice arranged