Caught by the River

Jeb’s Jukebox

Jeb Loy Nichols | 2nd September 2020

Sunshine Lady
Warner Brothers

Quiet day.  Woke up early and went for a walk.  Saw a stoat on the lane and then, on my return, a weasel in the woodpile.  By midmorning the fog had crept down through the hills and settled in around us.  I did what I always do on foggy days, I sat and watched the mist curl across the fields.  Is there anything better than watching nothing?  I did myself some wondering about what happiness is and I thought of a poem by Li Po.  So I had to get up and find the poem and see exactly what it was he said and then I copied it out and sent it to my buddy Rob.  Then I had some lunch and a cup of tea and read the poem again.  It’s called Best Happiness Of All.

I am old and I am bored.
I was never very wise and my mind
Never walked further than my feet.
Only to the forest…
I go back and wander there.
You ask me what is the best happiness of all?
It is to be in the forest and to hear
A girl singing on the path,
After she has stopped to ask the way,
And thanked you with a smile.

That’s pretty good stuff.  Hard to argue with Li Po.  I sat by the window and twenty minutes later the sun broke through the fog.  Blue skies.  Blue skies and song birds too, of the kind with yellow bellies and copper tails.  I don’t know what they’re called; Matt Sewell would know.  To me they’re little brown song machines.  I listen to them and watch the sun and think about Li Po in his forest and then I go inside and play Sunshine Lady by Dion.  

Dion is a whole lot of cool – ask anyone, they’ll tell you.  People love Dion and they should.  Dion is worth loving.  Dion is so hip that he doesn’t even know it.  He made four records on Warner Brothers in the 70s that are full of all the very best stuff.  Ask Jerry David DeCicca, ask Dylan, ask anyone who’s heard em, this is stuff worth loving.

I let Sunshine Lady walk around the room for a while and in my mind she’s the same woman who asked Li Po for directions in the forest.  She’s here and the sun’s here and Li Po’s here and my buddies Rob and Jerry are here and Dion’s here too; it’s a full house and that’s OK.  It’s the best happiness of all.  


You can follow the Jeb’s Jukebox Spotify playlist here.