I have seen Jackson Browne many times through the years. I think the first time was at an anti-nuke protest at the Seabrook Nuclear Power plant in New Hampshire. I drove up from Providence (I had just graduated from RISD) by myself. Halfway to Boston my trusted Le Mans blew up. I had no money. Somehow I got myself to Boston. I slept that night in the balcony of an open all night porn theater. Waking up periodically making sure I was not dreaming that stuff up. The next day we boarded buses up to Seabrook. In the woods there was a stage. Pete Seeger & Jackson Browne & John Hall. I remember Jackson Browne playing, "Before The Deluge". I must have taken a really good "mental video" because I remember that performance so clearly to this day. That song a big part of my life.NPR posted this Tiny Desk concert today. What a joy.
Below are the lyrics to "Before The Deluge" :
Some of them were dreamers And some of them were fools Who were making plans and thinking of the future With the energy of the innocent They were gathering the tools They would need to make their journey back to nature While the sand slipped through the opening And their hands reached for the golden ring With their hearts they turned to each other's hearts for refuge In the troubled years that came before the deluge
Some of them knew pleasure And some of them knew pain And for some of them it was only the moment that mattered And on the brave and crazy wings of youth They went flying around in the rain And their feathers, once so fine, grew torn and tattered And in the end they traded their tired wings For the resignation that living brings And exchanged love's bright and fragile glow For the glitter and the rouge And in a moment they were swept before the deluge
Let the music keep our spirits high Let the buildings keep our children dry Let creation reveal its secrets by and by, by and by When the light that's lost within us reaches the sky
Some of them were angry At the way the earth was abused By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power And they struggled to protect her from them Only to be confused By the magnitude of her fury in the final hour And when the sand was gone and the time arrived In the naked dawn only a few survived And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge Believed that they were meant to live after the deluge
Let the music keep our spirits high Let the buildings keep our children dry Let creation reveal it's secrets by and by, by and by When the light that's lost within us reaches the sky