Greenback Blues

While many of my songs are about Best Beloved, this one is not.

Although the lyrics reference any number of U.S. Presidents, the astute observer will note that it is not even remotely about politicians.

Without boring you with musicological details, the intro to this song is a challenge when we perform it live. While many of my other songs can be shifted up or down as much as a full key, those where I play the harmonica don’t have that luxury. Mostly because I don’t own enough harmonicas.

Someone called Ireland the land of happy wars and sad love songs. This song always feels like a little of both.

Greenback Blues

You should have married Andrew Jackson
I know that you think more of him than me
I’ll bet Ben Franklin would be fine with you
And that’s fine with me as far as I can see

Alexander Hamilton is only half as much
As Andrew Jackson in your twisted mind
George Washington‘s just peanuts; Abe Lincoln‘s not much more
But Grover Cleveland would be quite a find

Too bad Woodrow Wilson don’t circulate no more
Got your hands on him he’d never leave
But gimme just one Roosevelt to call a cab
And I’ll be gone for good you’d best believe

4 thoughts on “Greenback Blues

  1. You’re such an intense guy, Joel! But ya look like yer having the fun of your life when you do your music. In Roseville, I see, too!

    Say, I never thought to ask, what is your native background? “Canfield”…ain’t good with these things.

    1. That was the second time I’d ever performed my songs in public, so I was a little wound up. But man is it fun. I do a house concert in our living room every 6 weeks or so, and I cry every time. It’s cathartic and intense, though to everyone else, it’s just fun.

      In 1066 a guy from Belgium crossed with William the Conqueror to take England. Five and a half centuries later, his descendants had adopted the more Norman surname Campfield. Since “field” is the Saxon translation of the Norman “camp” it’s repetitively redundantly repeating.

      In the early 1630s Robert Campfield went to America. His three sons took the ancient and venerable last name Canfield in order to fake a connection to the wealthy owners of Canfield castle in Great Canfield, Essex.

      So, my last name is a con worked by generations of American Canfields.

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