("Who's yer friends?")
Once upon a time a long time ago, back when I was still a young man, back when I was still married, and back before I became a cave-dwelling hermit monk sworn to honor sacred vows of silence and celibacy, my then-bride and I worked together on a multimedia project code-named "Hoosier Friends."
The project was a labor of love, a "letter" to our dear friends out in Oregon, Brother Gene and Little Sister Debbie. Bless their hearts.
I can't remember all the components of the project now, but I know a painting (16 x 20 inches, watercolor on canvas board; see above-right) and a 7-inch open-reel audio tape were included. Filmed images were included on 35mm transparencies and/or 8mm motion picture film. And I don't know for sure now, but I believe there were paper elements too, 8-1/2 x 11 inch sheets of handwritten copy and photocopies with, perhaps, some photos.
Among the 1-1/2 to 3 hours of stuff on the audio tape was a performance of the following autobiographical song that was written specifically for the project.
And so now, a lot of time has passed and a lot of things have changed, and still, I think, this song provides a valid snapshot of one moment in time in a clear, concise, and clever way. And although we do so separately now and completely independent of each other, both Ruth and I continue to continue "between the cradle and the grave." And so it goes.
Read the lyrics below, check out the Lead Sheet for words and music, or listen to the homemade song demo MP3. — BD
Words and Music by David R. Lister
Ruthie was a preacher's kid, born in Kankakee
But she lived in Indiana all her youth
Always six days shy of poverty
Still her parents stayed in the ministry
At a Bible college in Kankakee
Dave discovered Ruth
David was a country boy who grew in Putnam County
His dad played guitar in bars till Jesus saved
David lived in his own head
Dreaming either in or out of bed
Till our Bible college coed
Ruth recovered Dave
"Who's yer friends? Hoosier Friends?"
They may ask you now and then
While pointing at that painting on the wall
Say, "It's only Ruth and Dave
Between the cradle and the grave.
They're our friends from Indiana, that is all."
"They're our friends from Indiana, that is all."