Thursday, August 21, 2014

For Joan's Dog, Coltrane, Buried in Tunisia: Prelude & Tombeau

"Treat Africa well, for some of the deepest roots are there."

We was lookin' for somethin' like the root of a tree,
one of us black, and two white out of three.
In certain deep matters, no trace of a doubt
that our black dog Coltrane had reached mastery.

So we got into Tunis as hot as could be,
the shimmering desert was all mystery.
We'd come from a land, glutted and proud,
in need of a knowing that'd set our souls free.

So a man from the mountains with a gaze of maratabat
spied us and instantly saw what we sought.
He appeared as a mirage, or a shadow in a shroud,
we hadn't a chance for action or thought.

Lifting up Coltrane as if proffering a gift
he looked to the sun, and with only a shift
the dog disappeared and the man spoke out loud,
"The African sands have been too long bereft.

"The blood and the bones of the master returned,
look over your shoulders and see what you've earned -
that which is holy and can't be snuffed out,
though the body's been butchered and buried and burned.

"Return to your country and be brave and free,
listen for Coltrane in the waves and the breeze.
Friends you were once with all of you live,
and friends you are still and will ever be."

Now Coltrane, pure black dog of desire,
lies buried in Tunis, his heart still afire.
There's no way around it and there's no way out:
there's a soul in the center, and a heart that's for hire.

Diesel "Mel" Cats - vocals
Jeff Massanari - electric guitar
Max Ah-Moongus - bass
"Cat" Jones - drums

Stu "Cats" Mulligatawny - baritone sax
Fathead Cats - alto sax
Jeff Massanari - electric guitar
Felonious Cat - piano
Manx Ah-Moongus - bass
"Cat" Jones - drums

For Joan's Dog, Coltrane, Buried in Tunisia: Prelude & Tombeau © 1991 Dennis Criteser