~Being Politically Correct & The Sweet Apple Ballad~
The Sweet Apple Ballad
The Sweet Apple Ballad is unlike anything I had ever written. I went through a period for two years where I wrote a song everyday. One morning I awoke and sat down and penned almost all of this. However there was no ending to it and not much point to the story. About a year later, I wrote the final two verses that brings it all together. I remember a poem that was read on “The Smothers Brothers Show” and that may have been the inspiration for this although it was not about apples. I think this one has a rhyme and rhythm close to what I heard on their program.
You will see the “Seeds from Heaven” art on several of the music videos including this one. This stems from my budget control program which I proudly have named, “El Cheapo productions.”
When anyone asks,”How are you doing?” I usually answer that I’m doing my best to stay out of trouble. For a creative person this is not an easy task. My first music video of “Politick’n included a lot of posters with Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe starring in Robin Hood movies. When the cheap video movie editor crashed and destroyed the production, I figured it was God speaking to me that I may be infringing upon their creator rights! Yep, God saved me alright. Having the local sheriff knocking on my door with a warrant is not my idea of keeping out of trouble. I did keep one old antique French poster in the mix and dropped the rest of it. Hopefully I will not hear a Frenchman banging on my door yelling “I know you are in there! Come out with your hands up!”
I imagine the movie studios would have welcomed the free advertising however GOD HAD SPOKEN and that was the beginning and the end of it. I work hard to stay free of copyrighted material.
My Big Jim character in “Seeds from Heaven” was based upon a student who loved Kenny Rogers and in my first draft I used Kenny Rogers in the story. I did not want to go though the trouble of obtaining permission to use his name in my story and eventually changed it to Cheney Carson.
On a final note, the line, “Number One wasn’t sweet to the core,” in this song was originally written as “Number One was ROTTEN to the core.” In fact, that line was the original concept that inspired the lyrics. It took me a decade to decide that “rotten” was too severe on the little fella! Hey—he was a bad apple and maybe deserved to be called, “rotten to the core,” but heck if I was gonna do it! In this day and age you must be politically correct. Otherwise you’ll end up with kids with picket signs tossing putrid apples at your front door with the sheriff standing behind them protecting their rights.
Bear in mind this tune was written over two decades ago. It seems as fresh as ever ( except for the rotten apple part). Some would say that it is timeless. Will it have relevance a hundred years from now?
Big Jim wishes to field this important question. “Probably.”
“Will anyone care?”
“Probably not.” He licked on a radish.
“The world will be bankrupt and everyone will be living in tents.” He pulled out his badge. “And everyone will be under arrest!”
Reynold Jay warbles the tune!
Video with trees but no music!
The Sweet Apple Ballad
Many years ago there grew an apple tree.
It stood proud and tall for all eyes to see.
Alone in the meadow it stood so straight and grand.
Folks would come to pick its fruit the best in the land.
Juicy red apples grew sweet to the core
If you ever had one, you had to have more
Years went by more trees began to grow
Around that great tree, row after row.
One stormy night in the rain and the wind
The great mother tree came to her end
The lightning thundered with a terrible sound
She stood tall and proud holding her ground.
The wind blew her branches to the left and to the right
And the mother tree put up man honorable fight.
But age was against her in that cold windy blast.
She held herself tall and proud to the last.
When morning came and all was a tither
For who among them would act as the mother?
The strongest among them was chosen to reign.
Now on this point I wish to explain
This process happened time and again.
Many years passed in the orchard of trees
And all seemed content as nice as could be.
The orchard spread far across the land,
Much farther than anyone had planned.
Millions of apples tanned in the sun
Under the bough of tree number one!
A tradition that was so carefully passed
Not knowing or caring how long it would last.
The first trees were gone without a trace
And new saplings stood in their place
Happy they stood in the earth and the sun
Content to be a part of tree number one.
Across the land came a terrible blight!
Apple began falling to the left and to the right
All the little apples turned to number one
But he was too busy tanning in the sun.
All the apples did not know what to do.
Number one was tanning, wouldn’t help them through.
His apples were lost to power and greed
Given to him through tradition and seed.
So on the hill they suffered and stood
Through the terrible blight; each did what he could
The blight finally passed, but it wasn’t like before
Knowing number one wasn’t sweet to the core.
Gone were the days when mother did what she could
And the air was fresh and the water was good.
Gone were the days growing ripe in the sun
When days were spent living with number one.
Now you look and as far as you see
Beautiful apples grow from each tree.
But in the air you sense something more
Something rotten you can’t ignore.
For the love was gone that mother would share.
There were too many apples for number one to care
Gone were the days, those days of lore
Millions of apples were sweet no more.