coverlyrics

    GULF WINDS
    (Words and Music by Joan Baez)

    It's only when the high winds blow that I wish my hair was long
    Sailing through the autumn leaves singing an ancient song
    Or falling in love in the streets at night at the edge of a local square
    It's only that I'm here tonight thinking I was there

    There are high winds on the pier tonight, my soul departs from me
    Striding like Thalia's ghost south on the murky sea
    And into midnight's tapestry she fades, ragged and wild
    Searching down her ancestry in the costume of a Persian child

    And gulf winds bring me flying fish that shine in the crescent moon
    Show me the horizon where the dawn will break anew
    And cool me here on this lonely pier where the heron are flying low
    Echo the songs my father knew in the towns of Mexico

    When I was young my eyes were wise, my father was good to me
    Instead of having a flock of sons he had two other girls and me
    And if we had used our Spanish names, here's the way they'd run
    Thalia, Margarita and Juanita, I'm the middle one.

    The screen door kept the demons in as we moved from town to town
    It's hard to be a princess in the States when your skin is brown
    And mama smoothed my worried brow as I leaned on the kitchen door
    Why do you carry the weight, she said, of the world and maybe more?

    And gulf winds bring me flying fish that shine in the crescent moon
    Show me the horizon where the dawn will break anew
    And cool me here on this lonely pier where the heron are flying low
    Echo the songs my father knew in the towns of Mexico

    My grandfathers were ministers and it came on down the line
    My father preached in his parents' church when he was ten years and nine
    And mama dressed in parishoners' clothes and didn't believe in hell
    Her daddy fought the DAR, if he'd lived I'd have known him well

    They said go find a Sunday School, we must have tried them all
    I never stole from the silver plate, my sisters had more gall
    One preacher said sing out loud and clear, it's the only life you've got
    And the next one said be good on earth, you've another life at the feet of God

    And gulf winds bring me flying fish that shine in the crescent moon
    Show me the horizon where the dawn will break anew
    And cool me here on this lonely pier where the heron are flying low
    Echo the songs my father knew in the towns of Mexico

    My father turned down many a job just to give us something real
    It's hard to be a scientist in the States when you've got ideals
    And mama kept the budget book, she kept the garden, too
    Bought fish from the man on Thursday, fed all of us and strangers, too

    But time will pass and so, alas, will most of what we know
    Though tonight my memory's eye is clear as the story's being told
    And I'll play ball with the underdog and sit with the child who's wrong
    Be still when the earth is silent and sing when my strength is gone

    And gulf winds bring me flying fish that shine in the crescent moon
    Show me the horizon where the dawn will break anew
    And cool me here on this lonely pier where the heron are flying low
    Echo the songs my father knew in the towns of Mexico

    Now father's going to India sometime in the fall
    They tried to stay together but you just can't do it all
    I'll think about him if he goes, there's a little grey in his hair
    Though not much because he's Mexican, they don't age, they just prepare

    And if he goes to India I'll miss him most of all
    He'll see me in the mudlarks' face, hear me in the beggar's call
    And mama will stay home, I guess, and worry if she did wrong
    And I'll say a prayer for both of them and sing them both my song

    And gulf winds bring me flying fish that shine in the crescent moon
    Show me the horizon where the dawn will break anew
    And cool me here on this lonely pier where the heron are flying low
    Echo the songs my father knew in the towns of Mexico

    © 1976, 1977 Gabriel Earl Music (ASCAP)


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