During this harvest month seasoned with a spirit of giving thanks to God for family, friends and the goodness of creation, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are pleased to share the music of Andrew McKnight, a masterful acoustic musician and vocalist whose creative skills as a song/lyric writer are equally awe-inspiring. Since permanently leaving his corporate environmental engineering career in 1996, the award-winning folk and American singer/songwriter and Falling Mountain recording artist’s musical journey has traced nearly half a million miles of blue highways and small towns nationwide, and earned him a wealth of critical acclaim.
“Cedars” is a lament for every generation that reaches the age and awareness that you can truly never go “home” again, for you will find the place forever changed from your memories. Here in rapidly suburbanized northern Virginia, one doesn’t have to wander too far from my home amongst the ghosts of American history at the foot of the Blue Ridge to find seemingly endless patchworks of homogenized cul-de-sac enclosures neighborhoods of three quarter million dollar homes, whose occupants know little of their dependence on the land or the stories buried in their backyards. Here, the transition of land from a family farm to a city in the fields is usually marked by a few fallow years when the fast growing cedar trees begin their doomed attempt to regenerate forest.
“Cedars” comes from my latest CD, “Something Worth Standing For”, an album of songs both celebrating and acknowledging the childhood ideals of America that were taught to love, and our frustrations at how much we have let them erode. Choosing to transcend political viewpoints in favor of finding the common ground that politicians, corporations and the media seem to want us to forget that we share, it is an American album born of these times we are living in.
All five of my CDs are available at iTunes, at CDBaby.com and at our record label’s Falling Mountain Music.
The unmarked blacktop winds back in time,
remembered ways I’ve known and left behind
the signs have changed but the way is clear
it’s been so long since I’ve been here
Memories point past that sycamore tree
make a left where the Miller’s red barn used to be
the gravel gently gives beneath my wheel
and I remember how it feels
A rusted tractor rests among the cedar trees
a pause between the past and what’s to be
ten thousand houses don’t leave any space
this was home, when this was a different place
These windows watched three generations grow old
silent statue stands to times long ago
when they say you can’t go home again,
I know what they mean
I still see those fields of green
Now open red clay wounds weep every time it rains
castles grow instead of acres of grain
I wonder if those kids will know where food comes from
and if someday they’ll ask where we have gone