Caught by the River

Jeb's Jukebox

Jeb Loy Nichols | 4th September 2013

21. dream world

Dream World


I have no desire to learn the multitude of names we’ve given birds. For me they’re small or smaller or perhaps very big or brown or not so brown or maybe they have a large sloped beak and webbed feet or a patch of red between their wings. Some sing one way and others differently; some live in nests and some don’t.
That’s enough for me.
I watch them come and go and I wish them well.
Many are the things I don’t know.
I’m a big fan of Not Knowing.
There’s a lot about this song that I don’t know. I have no idea who sang it, who wrote it, where it was recorded, or who played on it. I’m not even sure how I got it. I know that I was doing a show in Louisville and someone left a bag for me. In the bag were several records, a meal voucher for a local barbeque joint, a signed picture of Buck Owens, a baseball card of Amos Otis, and a box of quarter inch tape.
The bag was waiting for me in the dressing room after the show; I didn’t even look inside until I got back to my hotel.
I have no desire to know who left me this treasure trove.
They know what a good and magical thing they did.
And they know that I know.
The tape contains 13 publishing demos, some of them fragments. They range from country to pop to soul; a couple tracks are by George Soule; at least one is by Ava Aldridge.
Of all the tracks, Dream World is my favourite. A two minute meander through southern optimism and truth.
Whoever she was, and whoever wrote it, they knew what they were doing. They managed to condense Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech into a melancholy, joyous, ramshackle plea.
“Let me take you to my world of dreams…it’s all I have today.”

I don’t want to know who she is. If anyone knows, keep it to yourself. Like the names of birds or the names of trees, I’m happy Not Knowing.

Jeb Loy Nichols.