Tag Archives: Sam baker music

Trains in the Snow

We’ve had a little snow. It’s now progressed from ‘it has snowed, everything is broken’ to ‘ok, we can handle this’.

I’m gonna disregard the fact that am sitting on a train which isn’t moving. Although apparently that’s because of a man, not a fault.

So, I had an early finish when bus services in my area gave up, and an unexpected day off when they didn’t restart. I wasn’t supposed to be at work yesterday and I’m on the way right now.

Social media is equal parts people angry and public transport and people praising it (I’m in the praise category, it might take me hours to get somewhere, but I get there alive). Bus drivers have helped me with tickets when I was loaded down with babies and bread, trying to get home with food.

However, there’s not so much on social media about other stuff. A lady got on my train wearing a dressing gown. My first thought? I am continually surprised by the randomness of these journeys.

Then I realised it was a group of homeless people, who were probably using the trains to keep warm. That’s not unusual at all. But the number of seen this morning on 2 trains is more than I’d normally see in a month.

As always, I have my iPod. I was listening to Sam Baker’s song ‘Snow’:

Pass a stranger on the street, he’s way out of sorts, he says ‘hey mister, I came up short, you got any change, the Lord loves a giver I believe’ Small change to a stranger, change on the street, change to a man who thought he’d never get beat

But small change doesn’t do a lot. Homeless people on the train never ask for money (I imagine they’d get reported and thrown off the train, I know buskers do). But if I’d given them what I had (about £11 I think), it wouldn’t have fixed anything, or made anything better.

Before I moved buildings I few weeks ago, I’d travel through a bus station each day on my way to work. There were some older men who mostly live in the bus station. They don’t seem to bother anyone, they sleep there and get up and move out when the station manager comes in. People buy them tea and coffee to drink.

One, particularly cold morning, having felt bad about this for a while, I contacted an outreach team to see if they could help. There answer was? ‘We’ve already tried’. So.. the promise of a hot meal, somewhere to go…. it wasn’t enough to get these guys to accept help. So what would be? How do we help people get past whatever it is that’s keeping them where they are?

I guess everyone is stuck somewhere to some degree. Maybe we’re all just waiting for the right help.

Music: Sam Baker, Say Grace

Anyone who read this blog before crochet landed on it will probably have read something about music. You may even have seen my drunken rambling a after the last Sam Baker concert I went to. (My excuse for drunken ramblings is that I don’t get to drink a lot these days).

Anyway, recently, Sam announced he’d be using kick starter to fund the distribution of his new album, ‘Say Grace’. I learnt how to use kick starter (surprisingly easy), put in my $7 and got my digital download a little while later. For the record, the project made over twice it’s target amount, and if I’d had more money, I’d have given it. There were signed CDs and prints on offer also, but I gotta feed my babies!

In the car yesterday morning, I was telling my husband about a news story I’d read online. It was about the heat wave in the US, and mentioned (in one sentence) how 7 migrants had died in the last month, whilst attempting to enter the US. I played him ‘migrants’, Sam’s song about 14 men found dead, who got 12 lines of news print telling people about their deaths. My husband remembered the song (and story) from seeing Sam live once. He said ‘I remember, he told us that story’. His comment started me thinking about why I like Sam’s albums.

And what I like about Say Grace (and the other albums). Is Sam’s ability to tell a story in a song, combined with beautiful and sometimes haunting tunes that stay with you, and make you empathise with the people/characters they are about. I’ve never been anywhere in the US other than Florida (my bad, and when babies are grown, I will), but you get a real sense of where places you’ve never been from listening.

It’s like the guy (I forget his name) who took photos, someone borrowed his camera and broke it, and gave him a pen in return. Now, instead of taking pictures, he writes them.

(I’m having a rambling day, it’s not unusual).

Anyway, I listened to all 4 albums together, and decided to email a little note saying ‘well done’ to an email address I had from a mailing list, I said I was listening to all of the albums in order, because I like the stories they told, and wanted to hear how ‘Say Grace’ fit it. I was surprised to get a reply from Sam himself…

Sam said:

“Thank you. I have never listened to all four in order. I will try that. Thank u for the idea

When I do a re release I will prob put it out as

Pretty world

And then Of course say grace

I want mercy to start the trilogy and end with that lovely version of pretty world with the complex cotton in the middle.”

So that’s now the recommended listening order!

Anyway… Say Grace is another great album, and my recommendation for today is, if you’ve never heard a Sam Baker song, download one and listen to it. The older albums are on iTunes, and if you can’t afford an album, a song is 79p – that’s gotta be worth a shot!

As for me, I’m working on tickets for the next tour. It’s my birthday this month, so I can hope!

Anyway, I’ll leave you with this..

“Go in peace
Go in kindness
Go in love
Go in faith
Leave the day, the day behind us,
The day is done
Go in grace
Let us go
Into the dark
Not afraid, not alone
Let us hope
By some good pleasure
Safely to, arrive at home
Let us hope
By some good pleasure
Safely to, arrive at home”
Sam Baker