Monday, December 10, 2007


God, there's nothing better than when two beautiful things/people/events/etc. come together to make something WAY better than the sum of its parts. LOVE that. Love everything about that!

Way back in June I had the profound experience of spending an evening with two ROCK STARS! Well, not rock, better, FOLK STARS! Tracy Grammer and Kate Power. Kate told a beautiful story of having a song "downloaded" to her by the Universe. She wrote the song, "Travis John" and what happened continues to happen. Synthesis. Synchronicity. No accidents. Then Kate sang the song for us. We wept. Then Tracy sang the song for us, her own rendition. We wept. The beauty of these two women's voices. The beauty of the lives they touch by singing. The beauty that Tracy has vowed to sing "Travis John" at every concert until the war is over. Beauty, beauty and more beauty.

So, here's the song, and the story. You need both these CDs, for sure.


Under a foreign sky,
my fate awaits me.
There but for God go I,
do not forsake me.

I am a boy,
full of promise,
full of freedom;
And now the joy
is dead and done,
I am gone.

Before the western sea,
my home was in the valley.
There with my family,
I took to manhood early.

I was the one
my brother called,
my mother looked to me,
her fine, strong son;
And now the joy
is dead and done,
I am gone.

Finding my way to go,
the call that I should answer;
My country's own hero,
like music to the dancer.

I am a boy
full of promise,
full of freedom;
And now the joy
is dead and done,
I am gone.

Under a weeping willow tree
you planted roses.
There in my memory,
where my eternal ghost is.

I was a boy
full of promise,
full of freedom;
And now the joy
is dead and done,
I am gone.

And now the joy
is dead and done,
I am gone.

Kate Power

"Power's song, 'Travis John' speaks to the grief of war and the heroic idealism of America's youth. Travis John Bradach-Nall was one of the first Oregonians killed in Iraq (July 2, 2003). 'Travis John' captured the attention of local media, who responded with newspaper articles and radio airplay. A special feature on Oregon ArtBeat (OPB) was created to tell the story of the song, the boy, and the studio where it all came together, only to discover that 'Travis John' was unknowingly recorded in the studio that was built by the boy the song was written for.

'Travis John' won 1st prize at the 2006 Kerrville Folk Festival in the 'Music to Life' song contest for social change sponsored by the Public Domain Foundation founded by Noel Paul Stookey. Adopt-a-Minefield is the beneficiary of the prize money in memory of Cpl. Travis John Bradach-Nall. The song was judged by a panel of judges including Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey, Mary Travers, Judy Collins, Cheryl Wheeler, Janis Ian, Tom Paxton, Christine Lavin, Len Chandler, John Stewart, Tom Chapin & Holly Near." (Information from Artichoke Music)

To order Kate's (and her cute husband's, Steve Einhorn) CD, "Pearls," click here.

To order Tracy's new CD, "Book of Sparrows," click here.



La La said...

Just read Tracy's story about her time with David Carter. I was reading along expecting to discover that they got married or something only to discover he died in her arms. Her response to this horrible loss is inspiring. Thanks for sharing her music with me.

Michelle O'Neil said...

My grandfather figure's name was Travis. He fought in WWII.

He died 12 years ago. Seth keeps naming things Travis.

Jess said...

Yes, everyone does need both those CDs! You tell em. And Tracy has a new Xmas CD out, too, called American Noel. Great stuff, old stuff with her and Dave....

I heard Travis John's uncle on OPB the other day and it made me cry in my car.

kario said...

Thank you for this story. Thank you.


shauna said...

Sheesh. I've got to click away from your blog, Carrie, because I'm about to weep openly here. These poor library attendees! The impact of the written word, especially when put to music!

Deb said...

I agree with every word of your post. Powerful beautiful women with magical voices and huge hearts- Kate, Tracy and you.