Caught by the River

Jeb’s Jukebox

Jeb Loy Nichols | 19th March 2018

I Don’t Want To Take A Chance
Wee Willie Walker

Two weeks ago we had the daddy of all drifts across our lane.  A six foot high wall of snow.  There was no getting out or getting in.  We hunkered down and waited for things to thaw.  When I say no getting out or in, I mean for us; the birds and rabbits and foxes had no such problems.  I trace their prints in the morning, winding across the snow in search of who knows what – food, shelter, friends.

Today, after a night of rain, the sky is clear, the sun is out, the stream is over flowing its banks.  The melt has come.

There is no best.  There’s only a whole lot of stuff that keeps changing.

I remember as a child, driving along the Texas coast with my father, listening to the radio, and telling him that the song playing was “the best song ever!”  When the next song came on I dismissed it, saying “this song is awful.”

He stopped the car and we stood on the beach.  After a few minutes he said, listen to everything!  Who are you to turn up your nose at someone’s hard work?  You can’t say that anything is the best.  I don’t wanna hear that.  You can’t dismiss anything.  That’s like standing on the beach and saying you got a favourite wave.  It’s nonsense.

Music, he says, just keeps coming.

So maybe this record isn’t the best.  Maybe it’s not my favourite.  But right now, this morning, it’s pretty near.  I put it on the turntable and watch the dripping world.  I listen to Wee Willie Walker sing as the snow melts.  This song makes the world a better place.

If ever I’m asked about my favourite song this is the one that comes up.  I don’t know why.  If I did it wouldn’t be so powerful.  Something to do with memory and waves and a summer beach and the Texas coast and the radio and my father.