It Must Be Shared
(A Song for Some Ordinary Folks)

copyright © Edward L. Stauff 1994

Written mostly on a business trip in Las Vegas on March 21, and inspired by Gael Baudino's novel Gossamer Axe, which I was reading at the time.

1. I'm not an easy poet,
       the words come one by one
Like some miner panning nuggets from a stream.
Like a puzzle I keep pushing round
       the phrases and the words,
There's a song here if I can only sort it out.

2.   I was born with strings for tendons
       and a tom-tom for a pulse
I can no more still my music than my heart.
I am a vessel for the music,
       it fills me up, I pour it out
To fill the chalice of each ear that hears my song.

Refrain:   And the music, like an ancient tale
       passed down from mouth to ear,
Must be sung and heard and heard and sung anew.
Like a hand to pull you up,
       it must be offered and grasped; it must be shared:
As it was given me, I give it now to you.

3.   It is said the music lives inside
       the space between the notes
Like we read to find the truth between the lines.
And though it may not always
       give you everything you need,
It can give you strength to find it on your own.


Bridge:   Sometimes the music is a bird
       soaring up beyond my grasp;
The chords slip through my fingers,
       my lips won't form the words.
And sometimes when I stop reaching
       I see the bird beside me,
And beneath my feet I feel the open sky!
instrumental interlude
4. Blessed be the ones who taught me
       and the ones who wrote the songs
And those who built the instruments I play;
Blessed be the ones I teach
       and those who stand beside me here
And all of you who hear this song we sing.