Fields of Dreams and Glory

by Dan McKinnon

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released June 23, 2005

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Dan McKinnon Halifax, Nova Scotia

Blessed with a glorious baritone voice, a graceful mastery on guitar, and a hearty laugh that delights any room, Dan McKinnon has carved out his own unique, musical path. From early beginnings in the coffee houses, pubs and bars of Atlantic Canada, to yearly tours throughout the UK, Dan’s performances reveal an enduring respect for the past, tempered by a profound attachment to the present. ... more

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Track Name: Wandering Days
Wandering Days


I have walked in many footsteps
I have faltered in the rain
Many shadows left behind me
Filled with pleasure, filled with pain
No regrets have I encountered
No time wasted in the sun
I will walk this road before me
Till my wandering days are done

I have searched for many answers
I have danced along the way
Found some questions to send me reeling
In the cold, cold light of day
Many friends have gathered ‘round me
When I could not walk or run
They help ease this load upon me
Till my wandering days are done

Now I have dreams like many others
Some are foolish, some are bold
Yet the ones I’ve least expected
They have crossed my path with gold
There are journeys yet not taken
There are stories still unsung
Many miles I’ve yet to travel
Till my wandering days are done

There are journeys yet not taken
There are stories still unsung
Many miles I’ve yet to travel
Till my wandering days are done

© Dan McKinnon
Track Name: Aesop's Fables
Aesop's Fables


Grandfather fished by an old millstream
An Errol Flynn moustache and a can of worms
We’d share his lunch from a fishing creel
In the shade of an old oak tree

We’d cast our lines then we’d sit and wait
Fish and talk till the day turned late
He’d tell me his stories and I’d tell him my dreams
In the shade of that old oak tree

CHORUS: Grandfather taught me everyone can learn
He gave credence to the saying, “One good turn …”
He always found joy in the rain and the sun
And pride in a job well done
I listened as he talked about the wind and the sun
How gentleness prevails where strength proves wrong
How things were easier said than done
In the shade of an old oak tree he told me Aesop’s Fables

With time I came less to that old millstream
Summers were a time for friends and dreams
The last time we fished he seemed old and frail
Still he smiled as we talked a while

He said the path of life is a river my son
Its twists and turns not a straight easy run
And fools know all the answers but little of themselves
Then he spoke of the wind and the sun

CHORUS: Grandfather taught me...

Years have passed since my grandfather’s time
It took a lot of living but now I find
So many lessons he left behind
I learned by that old oak tree

So I take my son fishing by an old millstream
We share my lunch from a fishing creel
I tell him my stories he tells me his dreams
In the shade of an old oak tree

CHORUS: I tell my son everyone can learn
Give credence to the saying, “One good turn …”
And always finding joy in the rain and the sun
And pride in a job well done
He listens as I talk about the wind and the sun
How gentleness prevails where strength proves wrong
How things are easier said than done
In the shade of that old oak tree I tell him Aesop’s Fables


© Dan McKinnon
Track Name: Kith and Kin
Kith and Kin


It’s not that I so want to leave, in truth I’d rather stay
To leave the only home I’ve known so very far away
We stood within cathedral walls and swore we’d never part
I follow now the stilling wake of he who won my heart

I still recall my mother’s tears as we sat down to tea
The sound of father’s breaking voice as he called out to me
The daffodils we planted being washed by gentle rains
The time has come for me to leave I’ll ne’er be back again?

CHORUS: Goodbye years of hunger I thought would never end
Goodbye tears of sorrow each time I lost a friend
The endless days the blacked-out nights when fire rained from the sky
Goodbye my land of kith and kin, I’ll love you till I die

Soon we’ll board that waiting ship, we’re sailing with the tide
One last hug – a kiss – a tear – perhaps our last goodbye
The dockside band, the waving flags, the tears upon my cheek
No breath I have within my lungs no words have I to speak

CHORUS: Goodbye years of hunger...

I still can see the youthful face that boarded ship that day
To leave her home for Canada 3,000 miles away
Though sixty years has come and gone, the feelings still remain
To follow him who won my heart I’d do it all again

CHORUS: Goodbye years of hunger...

REPEAT CHORUS

© Dan McKinnon
Track Name: This Side of the Sod
This Side of the Sod


I bumped into a friend we took to talking
His wrinkled clothes had seen a better day
The three-day stubble made me stop and wonder
What could have caused my friend to look this way

He must have sensed the questions that were coming
For he shrugged his shoulders seeking words to say
But in his eyes a glint of mischief flickered
Then he said, “I just turned 50 yesterday.”

CHORUS: But at least I’m still on this side of the sod
Although I’m growing older I’m still out on the hob
And if the flesh grows weaker or my mind is in a fog
At least I’m still on this side of the sod.

Last Saturday while reading Sunday’s paper
And thinking that my life was trouble free
I read a man who was still living
But pronounced dead by a federal agency

All the letters had sent had gone unanswered
When he phoned and finally spoke to someone real
They said, “You’re dead! Our records clearly show it.”
He said, “Good. You’ll need no income tax from me.”

CHORUS: But at least...

Now my forehead wins the war my hair is losing
Retreating further with each passing day
And when I exit from the shower each bright and brand new morning
Looks like somebody’s hamster’s passed away

And it used to be my thoughts were well respected
Friends seeking advice would call me on the phone
Now I’m talking more and more but no one ever stops to listen
Even if I am the only one at home

CHORUS: But at least...
All bushy-tailed and bright eyed
At least I’m still on this side of the sod

© Dan McKinnon
Track Name: Angeline
Angeline


Young Angeline and her true love talked late one winter’s eve
Their banns announced, the date was set, they’d marry in the spring
A wedding day like none before blazed in her eyes like fire
A wedding dress from Halifax, it was her one desire

Her love opposed his Angeline’s leaving at dawn’s light
Naught would she hear, her mind was set, her wedding dress to buy
Three days from hence she would return never more to stray
But while she slept his parting words upon her mind did play

CHORUS: Angeline, don’t stray so far from me
You have no need, my love, to risk your life so needlessly
It’s you I want, my heart’s desire, to hold you close each night
Don’t sail away, dear Angeline, all for your dress o’ white

At dawn’s first light on Friday morn, the ship it did set sail
But late that night off Sambro light they ran into a gale
Three days and nights, no sail, no lights, they ran her out to sea
And Angeline, young Angeline, sailed farther from her dreams

Near three weeks out the ship was lost when heavy seas ran high
But providence proved both strong and kind for “Providence” lay by
Young Angeline and crew were saved but now were London bound
Each passing night brought dreams of home and her true love to mind

CHORUS: Angeline, don’t stray so far from me...

Three months from when she first set sail Angeline returned
She vowed no more to go to sea her wanderlust consumed
No dress in hand she made for home, there she arrived to find
Her own true love had ventured forth, his true love for to find

At each day’s end Angeline stares longingly to sea
Horizon’s edge, the billowed sails, that stole her love away
To search the whole world over, his true love for to find
And when she lays her head to rest, these words come to her mind

CHORUS: Angeline, don’t stray so far from me...

Young Angeline and her true love talked late one winter’s eve….

© Dan McKinnon
Track Name: The Lovers of Our Time
The Lovers of Our Time


We are the lovers of our time
Nights fueled with passion and desire
Warm summer nights speed by so fast
If we could only make them last
And stay the embers of the fire
We are the lovers of our time

We are the poets of our age
Youth fans the flames in voices new
While every chorus from every song
Helps us distinguish rights from wrong
And in our hearts we hold them true
We are the poets of our age

We are the dreamers of our youth
We give our visions wings to soar
But dreams like keeps need solid ground
For if there’s not they’ll tumble down
Crumbling to ruins upon the shore
We are the dreamers of our youth

Soon in our children’s eyes we see
Our world much brighter than before
We feed their hopes we fuel their dreams
We give them their own wings to soar

Now nights grow dark and words do fail
Our dreams passed on now fade from view
These wondrous years speed by so fast
We have the choice to make them last
Or disappear like morning dew
We were the lovers of our time

These wondrous years speed by so fast
Some of us choose to make them last
Precious the nights now spent with you
We are the lovers of our time

© Dan McKinnon
Track Name: Many Miles to Go
Many Miles to Go


In ‘41 I watched my brother marching out the door
The fighting raged for nearly two years then
I fought as well to gain an ear that I could do my share
But at fifteen years I still was not a man
So one morning as I left for school I kissed my mom goodbye
I’d heard there was a ship that needed men
I told them I was seventeen just looked small for my age
Then I took my place as Peggy with the crew

CHORUS: And the war raged on as we headed out to sea
Courage filled our hearts and fear our souls
We put on steam as we watched the shore decline
And the old man said we’ve many miles to go
And the old man said we’ve many miles to go

We’re on our way to London we have fifty ships in line
And the bitter autumn winds begin to blow
I was heading for the fo’c’sle as the sun was going down
When I glimpsed a movement off our starboard bow
A blinding flash, no air, I cannot breathe
There are stars before my eyes, I cannot see
They’ve called all hands, got to shake these stars away
Then it’s boats away and overboard for me

CHORUS: And the war raged on...

I swam for near ten minutes when they pulled me from the brine
Just in time to watch our ship go down
We combed the sea for others only two more could we find
When we caught our breath we found we were alone
Scotty fell, then Harris, they just couldn’t stay awake
Oh Christ, if you’ve got ears then hear our pleas
We’re twelve days in a lifeboat and our hope is almost gone
Then a ship we sighted daring not to breathe

CHORUS: And the war raged on...

Now I served the merchant navy till the last days of the war
After that I stayed at sea she was my home
There are times I sit in wonder, was it worth the price we paid?
We had our jobs to do, we did them well
Some called us mercenaries, it still brings my blood to boil
We gave our lives and then we gave our souls
Now the final battle’s waging and we’re running out of time
And the old men say we’ve many miles to go

CHORUS: And the war raged on...
And the old men say we’ve many miles to go


© Dan McKinnon
Track Name: Rose of Allendale
Rose of Allendale


Oh the morn' was fair the sky was clear
No breath came over the sea
When Mary left her highland home
And wandered forth with me
Though flowers decked the mountainside
And fragrance filled the vale
By far the sweetest flower there
Was the Rose of Allendale

CHORUS: Sweet rose of Allendale
Sweet rose of Allendale
By far the sweetest flower there
'Twas the rose of Allendale

Wherever I wandered to the east or to the west
And fate began to lower
In solace still were she to me
In sorrow's lonely hour
Though tempests wrecked my lonely barque
And they rent the quivering sail
One maiden form withstood the storm
'Twas the rose of Allendale

CHORUS: Sweet rose of Allendale...

When my fevered lips were parched
On Africa's burning sands
She whispered hopes of happiness
And tales of foreign lands
My life had been a wilderness
Unblessed by fortune's gales
Had fate not linked my love to her
Sweet rose of Allendale

CHORUS: Sweet rose of Allendale...


Trad. Arr. Dan McKinnon & Nic Jones
Track Name: The Road Less Travelled
The Road Seldom Travelled


So long in thoughts I have wandered this highway
On four whirring wheels with acres of sky
Traversing black ribbons where little else matters
Only dreams of tomorrow in mind
Though dreams keep me sane they just can’t keep me warm
And your love is the light that holds darkness at bay

CHORUS: Let me wander down roads of brown dirt and gravel
Let me pause where the sea touches sky
Let whispering winds flow gently around me
Let me rest for a time in your arms
Let me rest for a time in your arms

At times I have reached the goals I intended
At times I’ve had no destination in mind
Seldom they’ve equaled my great expectations
And restlessness grew when I lingered too long
Each gentle sunrise stirs my heart into waking
And warm knowing breezes they whisper my name

CHORUS: Let me wander down roads...

Often I find it’s the journey that matters
The places, the people you meet on the way
Can shape you in ways you never intended
And friends become family wherever I’ve strayed
Though roads seldom travelled have made me much wiser
Be thoughtful when choosing the right road for you

CHORUS: Let me wander down roads...

REPEAT CHORUS


© Dan McKinnon
Track Name: The Same Pillow
The Same Pillow


Some say love is a deep flowing river that flows ever gently along
Or a road that we travel down streets broad or narrow
Some liken love to a song; yes some liken love to a song

A melody pure but so simple to be sung in the sunshine or rain
To hear voices ringing a song worth the singing
These words to its easy refrain, these words to its easy refrain

CHORUS: May your heads always share the same pillow
May your hearts harbour each other’s dreams
May the two arms that know you, reach out and hold you
When the darkest of nights fills your dreams
When the darkest of nights fills your dreams

I happened upon this fine couple, a shared glass, a shake of a hand
They spoke of the pleasure, forty years spent together
Their eyes shining bright as eyes can, their eyes shining bright as eyes can

I wondered if they held some secret, they thought long then answered with care
With rhyme and in measure they both spoke together
These few words they gave me to share, these few words they gave me to share

CHORUS: May your heads always share...

Those thoughts and these words I will leave you and this wish as you wander along
When lost and alone may your heart find its home
May their chorus of love find your song, may their chorus of love find your song

CHORUS: May your heads always share...
May the two arms that know you, reach out and hold you
When the darkest of nights fills your dreams
When the darkest of nights fills your dreams


© Dan McKinnon
Track Name: Border River
Border River


Often when I think of you I see a border river
Changing with the melting snow both there and gone forever
You're the river I'm the road that runs along your ridges
Giving you the right-of-way and always building bridges
River ramble as you will the road's a cruel hard master
But I can't change the water's flow or travel any faster.

I know there's a crossroads on this road I'm bound to travel
Straight ahead's a long smooth way, the others dirt and gravel
And the hardest thign you'll ever learn to bear as you grow older
Is to watch a dear friend walk away without the turn of a shoulder
And I can be as hurt as you although I seldom show it
I'm so easy going that I'm gone before you know it

One day you will reach the sae and I'll be on a mountain
Running out of old dirt track beside a flowing fountain
Wondering is this the place where everything got started
The well-spring at the road-end for the lost and broken-hearted
And I'll become the river and the road I know will lead me
Back to where you made the turn that showed you didn't need me

And everywhere the heron flies the winding river follow
Then in turn she claims the skies and stalks along the shallows
And often when I think of you I see a border river
Changing with the melting snow both there and gone forever.


© Archie Fisher
Track Name: Fields of Dreams and Glory
Fields of Dreams and Glory


Where are the boys who used to run
On fields of dreams and glory
Where are those days spent in the sun
On fields of dreams and glory
Those games of youth we’d laugh and despair
The skinned-up knees; the wind in our hair
Youth shone on all we deemed precious and dear
On those fields of dreams and glory

Remember when our hearts were full
On fields of dreams and glory
Passion blazed within our souls
On fields of dreams and glory
Hand in hand as we walked along
‘Neath shaded lanes with hearts on the run
And thrushes joined in love’s tender song
On those fields of dreams and glory

Then one cold spring brought the rain
To fields of dreams and glory
Our lives would never be the same
On fields of dreams and glory
Heads held high as we marched along
But open hearts have so much to learn
For some of us would never return
From those fields of dreams and glory

I walked the park just yesterday
Near fields of dreams and glory
I stood and watched young children play
On fields of dreams and glory
Thinking back on days we used to share
Those carefree times and the wind in our hair
And I wish for one last moment to spare
On those fields of dreams and glory

© Dan McKinnon