The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
J R R Tolkien
Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and soul primary to humankind. Walking is the exact balance of spirit and humility.
Gary Snyder “The Etiquette of Freedom”
Today on Great River Radio we’ll be doing an entire show on the theme of walking. Dan has been walking more than running lately, due to a (hopefully minor) knee problem. Walking in St. Paul and Minneapolis, along the Mississippi River and seeing the river flowing, the trees losing their leaves, the barges moving slowly upstream, and catching the eyes of fellow walkers, some solitary and quiet, others side by side and animated, one begins to experience a different kind of world, the outside world, the world of trees, grass, crows, dogs, rivers and sky. There is a different awareness of the body in nature. You see the world up close. The legs are moving, the heart is pumping and the blood is flowing. It is life. It is humility and solitude and a sweet kind of meditation.
Many songs have been written about walking and we’re sure that many titles are springing to your mind right now. Today, we’ll play some of them, and introduce you to a few new ones. People walk away, they walk when they are blue, they walk when they are happy, they walk home. And, sometimes, people run.
We’ll hear classics from Patsy Cline (the first song you thought of?), Dionne Warwick (the second?), as well as bluesmen Paul Butterfield and Robert Lockwood – walking has been the subject of some great blues tunes. God walks, too, and we’ll hear from Iris Dement and The Blind Boys of Alabama on that topic. Tune in this afternoon for these and more from Greg Brown, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Stacey Earle, Yo La Tengo, Vampire Weekend and Cloud Cult. You may even want to download this show for later walks with your iPod.
The Blues Walk-Clifford Brown and Max Roach
Cakewalk Into Town-Taj Mahal
Two Little Feet-Greg Brown
Walkin’ After Midnight-Patsy Cline
Walk On By-Dionne Warwick
Ramble On-Led Zeppelin
Blue Sky-Allman Brothers
New Walkin’ Blues-Paul Butterfield’s Better Days
Take a Little Walk With Me-Robert Lockwood Jr.
God Walks the Dark Hills-Iris Dement
Just A Closer Walk With Thee-The Blind Boys of Alabama
Walk With Me-Neil Young
I Walk Alone-Los Lobos
Long Walk Home-Bruce Springsteen
I Feel Like Going Home-Yo La Tengo
How I Ran-Stacey Earle
Running With The Wolves-Cloud Cult