Favorite Ellis song

Post messages about Ellis Paul's music, CDs, lyrics, etc. here.

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KarenZ
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Favorite Ellis song

Postby KarenZ » Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:51 pm

Well...we have to start somewhere don't we? :wink: Anybody care to get this forum rolling again by telling us what your favorite Ellis Paul song is? And why?

I could never answer this question until recently. I mean, they're all my favorites. ;) And although you all know (I think) that I have a strong penchant for "this old car" and "deliver me", I wouldn't have ever said they were my favorite song. Then something happened this past January (or was it February?)...I was at the show at the Mid-Town Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg....and that's when I knew. For sure. Without a doubt. Because of the overall feel of it...how it soars and I get choked up...not necessarily because of the lyrics or the message....but strictly the feel of it that is so BIG that it sweeps me away....and the song is....

Maria's Beautiful Mess

Now you know. ;)

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Postby Yetta » Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:21 pm

Karen,

I used to actually get stressed out trying to figure out which song was my favorite. It was such a relief when it dawned on me that it really is almost any Ellis song I'm listening to. But IF I narrowed it down to one it would have to be Seize The Day, the first song I heard live - the first song ever for that matter. It's helped get me through several rough times. It's such a tough choice to make, but great for discussion.

Yetta

P.S. I rescued 4 kittens and you'll never guess what I named one of them.
Thank the Lord for the friends he cast
in the play he wrote for you - Ellis Paul

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Postby mdough » Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:26 pm

I joined the old message board just the other day! I just found them, but have been a HUGE Ellis fan since I first saw him in college

My fave song right now (it changes all the time) is Sweet Mistakes. I love the line 'bless your sweet mistakes, they brought you to this place' Helps me to relax and be less controlling with everything in my life :D

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Postby PotatoPicker » Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:26 pm

I'd like to be able to say my favorite song is Welcome Home to Maine...... but I can't yet.

For a long time it was Maria's Beautiful Mess, but at the moment it is either Home or Take All the Sky You Need. Wonderful songs about prioriities and trust, in relationships and in life.

But it could change in a couple of days if I listen to a few more songs.....
Jeff

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Postby KarenZ » Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:30 pm

Jeff,

Ogunquit. August 5. "Welcome Home to Maine". 46 days. Hang tight. :)

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Postby PotatoPicker » Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:41 pm

Assumig I am there I will be at the door demanding the song ;)
Jeff

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Postby Richard + Jela » Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:24 am

Mine is 'Conversation with a Ghost' when I realised the story behind the song it made me like it even more..and was lucky enough to hear it dedicated to me at the Cheltenham concert last month.

The words and sentiments always cause a tingle, no matter how often I listen to the song.

Jela

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Postby wendy » Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:16 am

This is nearly impossible, of course. Do we really have to have a Favorite? There are two songs that always give me goose-bumps: Give In, Give Up and Words.
I love the guitar work, the soaring vocals, the words and thoughts involved... gives me goose-bumps, every time. What more can I say?

If I had to choose just one forever, though, it might just be Welcome Home to Maine. :wink:
-wendy

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Postby PotatoPicker » Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:50 am

Assuming WHTM really exists of course ;)
Jeff

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Postby KarenZ » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:29 am

Jeff,

Didn't we already have this conversation? :wink: The mythical WHTM is no longer mythical!

:D

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Postby PotatoPicker » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:56 am

I keep hearing ABOUT the song......... He just needs to remember there are a lot of us living in exile who pop over to his shows now an dthen. :)
Jeff

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re: favorite song

Postby Jalapenos » Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:43 pm

What's the story behind Conversation with a ghost?

My favorite changes every so often but Changing Your Name, Words, and Take All the Sky You Need are three that I love. I'm still waiting to hear Changing Your Name live!
-Katie

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Postby Richard + Jela » Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:14 pm

Story behind 'Conversation' ......it was written about a friend of Ellis' Allison Higgins who died from leukemia some years ago, she gave him his first guitar. The song was inspired by Ellis picturing her speaking to him via an Ouija board. With friends one day (including Vance Gilbert) they played with an Ouija board and conjured up a spirit - Margaret Puttnam who made some uncanny responses to questions asked as well as some predictions which subsequently came true.

I find it so moving - talking about the races - Ellis was a track athlete with extremely good times who had to give up running because of injury, it was during his recuperation that he came to music via that guitar, his friend Allison, had loaned him. Other things in the song also seem so personal about her mother watching him race, his sister 'in braces' I guess growing up and I always picture his friend looking down on him and being very proud that she was the first to encourage him to play guitar and to see how successful he is and the pleasure he and his music bring to so many people across the world.

I'm not a sentimental person but this song just sends shivers through me every time I listen to it. It's my favourite and he played it at my husband's request, for me, at the concert in Cheltenham, UK last month.

Jela

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Postby Jalapenos » Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:51 pm

Wow, the song has completely different meaning now. Actually, it has meaning now, because it didn't before! The lyrics seem a little scattered to someone who doesn't know the story behind it. I always asked myself, "Who the heck is Margaret?" I interpreted basically everything wrong. Funny. I had to listen to again it once I read your reply.
Do people really believe in Ouija boards?!
-Katie

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Postby Richard + Jela » Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:16 pm

I had a scary experience with a Ouija board when I was about 14 years old-three friends and I played with one and we conjured up the spirit of a boy we had known who had drowned when he was young - in a water tower at an industrial laundry. To make sure that none of us was moving the upturned glass we sent out of the room, the girl who had been in his class at school and in her absence asked him a question and received a response in which he used a swearword (can't now remember which) that only she would have known - when she came back into the room she confirmed the word and it matched the response the board had given us - it really put the wind up our sails and I've never since played with a Ouija board.

So also tied up with 'Conversation' is this memory as well as the memories brought about by the song 'Eighteen' which talks about Jimmy Aberdeen climbing a water tower and falling through the darkness....so sad and so close to a true story from my youth.

Jela

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Postby paddyinthepub » Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:47 pm

Midnight Strikes Too Soon.

Worked a crazy midnight to eight am shift for 12 years.

Would always look around the crowd at concerts and think

those lucky ducks are all going home to sleep afterwards.

I'd love to have a normal schedule and do the same.

But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH.

I'd be dog tired starting my shift. A few minutes in it would be music time.

Ellis starts this song off with amazing harmonica intro.

The song gave me the energy to get thru whatever the wee hours held.

I am so happy..so surprised..so honored..to see that Ellis has decided to include MIDNIGHT STRIKES TOO SOON on the new release.

You have to agree with Ellis, Kathy, and me, it does.

Thanks for asking. Oh by the way, the rest of Ellis' songs tie for second. :D
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
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Postby PotatoPicker » Thu Jun 22, 2006 7:07 am

Richard + Jela wrote:So also tied up with 'Conversation' is this memory as well as the memories brought about by the song 'Eighteen' which talks about Jimmy Aberdeen climbing a water tower and falling through the darkness....so sad and so close to a true story from my youth.

Jela
I have always wanted to ask Ellis (and keep forgetting) if there was a real life inspiration for Jimmy Aberdeen - a former neighbor of mine in PI who would have been 3 years older than Ellis (I think) died at about 18 in a similar fashion..... very sad.

The "Conversation With A Ghost" stories are great as well. Very touching song. There's some background on it in his book, but back a few years ago he had a great story he also told about researching Margaret Putnam. I can't remember it all, but it helped put this song pretty high on my list as well.
Jeff

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Postby Jalapenos » Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:24 pm

Ellis talked about Eighteen in an interview. I found it somewhere on the web a few months ago. Jimmy was a real friend but the name was changed. He chose the name Jimmy Aberdeen because it evoked the idea of James Dean. I bet you could find it on Google.
-Katie

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Postby Richard + Jela » Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:46 pm

When he played 'Eighteen' at TwickFolk a guy in the front row asked Ellis if it really happened and he said that it had but he'd changed the names.

Regarding Margaret Putnam - in the 'Notes from the Road' book he explains that when they were playing with the Ouija board they conjured up the spirit of MP who was known as 'Pug' a nurse in the Civil War married to a Dr Putnam who lived on Beacon St, Boston. Some while later (years) Ellis was in the green room at a concert in Middleboro, Mass, on the shelf was history book 'Boston 1865' and on a whim he looked under 'P' and sure enough there was an entry 'Dr Putnam, 675 Beacon St'

Spooky?????


Jela

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Postby paddyinthepub » Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:27 pm

Isn't Margaret Putnam also featured in another Ellis song?

Maybe the untitled ghost track on one of those earlier cds?
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
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Postby Sue Ellen » Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:30 pm

Ahh, I think I know this, I think it is the hidden track on, on ahh, A Carnival of Voices.

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

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Postby paddyinthepub » Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:17 pm

Ya gotta love those hidden tracks - - and thank you SueEllen - -I told you guys I get lazy when the weather gets hot - -over in the rollin ? thread.

I am always happy to find the Hidden Tracks.

Perhaps we could start a hidden tracks thread?

again I'm feeling lazy...z.z.z.z.z.z.z.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby Lauren » Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:50 am

Hey y'all!

Man oh man - it's been a while! I've missed you guys!!!! I see, though, that I can't take any EP board time off though - what the heck happened here?! I was so looking forward to/dreading reading through all the posts I missed, but now... :shock:

Anyway, for the longest time my fave was "Maria's Beautiful Mess" - the lyrics, the emotions sparked, the emotions witnessed, the pure musical bliss - nothing could conceivably top it.

For a while now, though, "Sweet Mistakes" has been inching past, quite simply for the sheer, earth-trembling impact some of the lyrics have made on my life. Most notably:

"Bless your sweet mistakes that crumbled you down to your knees; they brought you to this place, changing you by degrees, when change was just what you needed."

~and~

"In this wild, blue world there is a soul-weavin' fine-feelin' girl - but you've got to walk in Paradise to find the pearl. If you only believe, you'll get what you need."

*sigh*

Man, I love this music, and man, is it good to be back!!!
:mrgreen:

~Lauren

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Postby Sue Ellen » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:17 am

And it's good to have you back.

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

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Postby wendy » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:59 am

Hey, welcome back, Lauren! :D Good to "see" you!

Before the board crashed, there was someone from Portland (ME), looking for other local EP fans. Keep an eye out... they seem to visit here infrequently.
-wendy

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Postby Lauren » Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:28 am

Thanks for the head's up, Wendy - I'll keep my eyes peeled!
~L~

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Postby PeteM » Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:47 pm

Blizzard is the song that made me a fan. Who hasn't done something like that, totally crazy, to be with the one they love? Or am I just a total romantic fool? :?
Pete
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Postby paddyinthepub » Sun Jun 25, 2006 1:25 pm

Pete,

Have to say that ''Blizzard'' has always been one of my faves too.

Answers to your 2 questions above:

1. none of us

2. total :!:
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby PeteM » Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:43 pm

I knew it Paddy. I have fallen in amongst some cold, cynical jaded types. Is there not a place in the world for the hopeless romantic? :mrgreen:
Peter

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Postby PotatoPicker » Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:43 pm

Pete - you are total..... which is a good thing.

Of course up home, who's to let a ltitle bit of snow stand in between.... :)
Jeff

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Postby paddyinthepub » Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:44 pm

Pete, didn't mean to confuse ya there as I meant that none
of us can say that they haven't travelled great distances
for love( how's the orient to Texas for true love?)

Also, the TOTAL was in a takes one to know one
kind of way. :wink:

Weren't you paying attention from out there
on the outskirts of Lurksville?

Jeezum Crowe :!:
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby KarenZ » Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:52 pm

I'm not sure I've actually ever known a total....and now you're telling me I'm amongst three of you at the same time :?:

Jeezum crow. :wink:

KarenZ
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see." -- Ann Patchett in Bel Canto.

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Postby paddyinthepub » Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:41 pm

roll call for totals:



here :!: :D
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby wendy » Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:13 am

I can't claim Total status - too many cynical moments - but I think I qualify much of the time... :wink:
-wendy

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Postby Lauren » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:33 am

I have to go with Wendy on this: almost, but not quite. So would that make us mostlies???

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Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:39 am

mostly :!:
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby PotatoPicker » Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:31 pm

Total !
Jeff

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Postby PeteM » Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:02 pm

Paddy....The Orient to Texas ? Jeezum, you totally total me!
Peter

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Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:34 pm

Pete, Yup.....long trip......long story....long before Ellis....

That reminds me guys, Antje sings that line in a song, right?

It was long before Ellis?...........or is it Elvis?

No matter, I always hear it as Ellis!

ps - totally
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby bonuela » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:48 pm

In an attempt to bring this thread back on topic, and to bulk up my post count :P I'll reply.

Maria's Beautiful Mess. He creates the illusion of the person I would like to be. Someone not afraid to put their heart on the line, someone so comfortable wth herself that she can't be hurt by others.
I let my music take me where my heart wants to go. ~ Cat Stevens

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Postby Sue Ellen » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:42 am

well said Bonnie.
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

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currently...

Postby worththewhiskey » Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:34 pm

My favorite song is off of Say Something, Just a Jester fool. It has such sweet lyrics. This is a new cd for me, that I bought off ebay. And to my surprise it was signed. To whoever he signed it for he wrote "Play it for your friends". It was a nice little find- the seller wished he new about it....

But I recently found in it my car (aka The trash can...car is green and hazardous inside) and I was singing along, then all of a sudden I had a chours behind me of "I Do, I do". ......my soon to be 2 year old Aryn. So that is why it is currently my favorite songs. I am sure it will soon change once Aryn broadens his Ellis Paul repitore......
Oh I forgot he also sings the opening vocals to Black top train- which is a riot.
Just the "oh's", and then he dances along in his car seat.
I wish I had a video camera, I would post it.

Trish
I don't know where I am going, but I am on my way.

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Postby paddyinthepub » Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:02 am

That is too funny, and cute. Similar story. On vacation in Orange County when our son, Michael, was about 3 yrs old. Lori Mckenna's cd Pieces Of Me came out while there and we picked it up immediately as we were newly huge fans of Lori Mckenna via her first two records. The bonus for my wife and I was Ellis Paul singing 2nd vocals throughout ''FIREFLIES''.

Not to mention the little guy in the back seat singing along, word for word.

They grow up fast, don't they? If I play it for him now, there is some recognition on his part, but he looks at me like I'm nuts when I ask him to sing along like he used to. He's moved on. Ditto on wishing I'd videoed him singing along.

He now sings acapella, ver batum, Loathing, from the hit Broadway
Play, WICKED.

Times change. :(


If You Break Down
from the album The Speed of Trees



If there comes a day
where you wish the clocks
could roll backwards
in the cover of night
you're begging the stars to stay
asking satellites
to stop and help you remember
how to picture the world
before everything had changed

If you break down
I'm at your shoulder
Take me at my word
You can break down
I will tell you over and over
A reliable sound is coming around
If you break down
A reliable sound,
I'm coming round
If you break down

If fear comes without invitation
and lays its head
in the green within your eyes
if it's paralyzing
I will wake you
We will walk a thousand paces
walk away, walk away
till you are walking on your own


This song became a favorite of mine at the time my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer at a youthful 73 years. We brought him to Seattle to live out his last 4 months of life in our loving and caring home. He got to know our son Michael the most during that time. It was a gift for all of us.
Before knowing the joy of fatherhood myself, I guess my dad and I considered each other's voices to be just about the most reliable sounds around. Hopefully, at the end stages of my life, this holds true for me and my son, too.

Thanks Ellis.........I needed that song..........and this cry.



Ellis and Michael, now 7, still two of the most reliable sounds around.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby bonuela » Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:12 pm

While Maria is still my favorite, I have been really obsessed with Sweet Mistakes in a listen over and over kind of way.

I can't even choose a favorite line right now, so here's the whole thing!

Sweet Mistakes
from the album The Speed of Trees



Pop the cork, a champagne glass
Raise to the future, drink to the past
Thank the Lord for the friends he cast,
In the play he wrote for you.

And if you love the girl, man, light up a torch
Blaze a trail to her front porch
Kiss her till your lips are scorched
Till the rain comes down on you

Bless your sweet mistakes,
That crumbled you down to your knees.
That brought you to this place
Changing you by degrees...
When change was just what you needed...
What you needed...

So if you live your life in a three piece suit,
In a cocktail dress, or combat boots
You pick your path, you walk your truth
And the world will come round to you.
It's a long ride, I can't tell you why
But there's a place in your pocket where peace can abide
You pull it out, it's a compass, a guide
And it will put a little soul on you.

And in this wild blue world
There is a soul weavin' fine feelin' girl
You've got to walk in paradise to find a pearl
If you only believe,
You'll get what you need...
What you needed...

Conquer your fear and you'll master the game,
Life is always and never the same.
Use a little faith to light the flame
And I know you'll connect to you.

Pop the cork, a champagne glass
Raise to the future, drink to the past
Thank the Lord for the friends he cast,
In the play he wrote for you.
I let my music take me where my heart wants to go. ~ Cat Stevens

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favorite?

Postby care » Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:33 pm

ok my favorite song.

man this is a tough one....


home

i basically tear up every time.



other songs that i look foreward to hearing and get excited about at concerts are:
Roll Away Bed
Maria's Beautiful Mess (seems to be a pretty consistant favorite)
Words
Speed of Trees <~~ i love the pictures that are painted in this - and i love that he tells the story of how he came up with these lyrics.

since we're talking about songs...
what happened to ...
Nine Months to Change the World
i know it was written while he was waiting for ella to be born... but what has happened to it since? anyone know?

~care

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Postby don hodgdon » Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:47 pm

Howdy Ya'll! My first post here...been listening to EP's music since a good friend took me to see him at a house concert in Pasadena, CA some 10 years ago.

Ellis has written so many wonderful tunes, but the one that always given me chills and lifts my spirits is Maria's Beautiful Mess. You know how some songs just take you back to some special time or event in your life?

She fell to the mattress with the grace of an actress
You're falling like a thief from a roof.
She's asking for proof , "Are you staying?"
Outside you hear mission bells.
Welcome to Maria's beautiful mess,
In a cluttered apartment on the West Side.
She pulls the blinds while,
You watch how her dress falls round her .


Just about 8 hours till Ellis goes on at Soho here in SB. I always try to take someone new to an EP show, tonight it's my friend Susie who's a bit of a metal head...should be interesting :lol:

Don

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Postby Sue Ellen » Sun Oct 01, 2006 4:24 pm

Welcom Don, yee haw; I hope you'll take notes and post a set list. Have a great time and Thank You, in advance.

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

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KarenZ
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Postby KarenZ » Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:42 pm

Don! You're like a voice in the wilderness! :) I always say when Ellis goes to the west coast it's as if he falls into a black hole. ;) Welcome, Welcome! Please do post a report if you can and....equally important....you are in the unique position of being the first person to officially post a setlist on the recently launched Ellis Paul Setlist Project web site! How's that for perfect timing?! :) Looking forward to having an active board member from the west coast!

BTW....you have great taste in favorite songs. ;)

KarenZ
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see." -- Ann Patchett in Bel Canto.

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don hodgdon
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Postby don hodgdon » Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:43 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome. :)

It's always a special occasion when Ellis visits the Left Coast. Last time he was here it was only announced a few days before the show and there were only about 12 people in the club. After two songs he unplugged his guitar and jumped down from the stage, walking from table to table singing his heart out. Certainly the most "intimate" show I've seen him do.

Don

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Sue Ellen
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Postby Sue Ellen » Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:47 pm

So, you going to indulge us with a report and setlist. Pretty please?

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"


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