Land remembered


Words and music by Bobby Angel

Across the Windmill Prairie there was a place my Grandpa knew, a cabin on the isle of pines not far from the dried up slough. He built a place, my dad and him out of old scrap metal and wood where they were free to hunt and just be back in the days when time were good. We get it, this modern world, it’s a place of compromise, but we can’t forget it either, how they tore it from our lives

Cause a man can build a cabin, and a man can shake your hand

But a handshake don’t mean nothing when lines get drawn on the land

Every autumn they went out, it was a tradition I guess you could say, forged in the sweat and blood of doing it the old fashioned way. Along the trail we passed the camps where the Indians stood firm and deeper we’d see a bear with so many lessons to learn. We get it, this modern world the frontier days long gone. But we can’t forget it either, how they smoked us out with their laws

We always knew there were bad actors and we did what we could

But the new sheriff didn’t separate the guilty from the good

We knew the end was coming, but we ignored it all because we still had a crazy hope it would go back to how it once was. That all changed the day Dad up and died out of the blue. His lifetime lease was suddenly void, there wasn’t anything we could do. We get it, this modern world, it’s signed away in ink. But we can’t forget it either, how they betrayed our handshake

They ran people out of the glades back in 1949

But they promised us it would be a different this time

I split the wood and lit it and sat and watched the flame thinking how so much unraveled with so many people to blame. We stayed up that whole night almost to the dawn in denial an era had ended and not ready to be moving on. We get it, it’s the modern world, you take what you can afford, but we can’t forget it either, how they took us back on their word.

They promised us our traditions in the swamp and the glades

Only to be boxed out of the table when the decisions were being made

I packed up what I could and left the all the rest to rot to be return to nature, ashes to ashes dust to dust. I kept a stoic face and didn’t once even turn back. Doing so would be admitting defeat and opening wounds to more salt. We get it, it’s the modern world nothing’s sacred anymore, but we won’t forget it either how they pushed us out the door.

Maybe they stopped the drainage and maybe they saved the land

But they killed a kind of freedom folks will never understand

Some people say the future is a screwed up version of the past. But me I’m just trying to enjoy whatever time I have left. Can you hear the wind a-blowin’ nd the call of the red shouldered hawk? None of this would even be here if they’d built the old Jetport

We get it, this modern world we all got what we deserve

But we can’t forget it either how they turned it into a preserve


This Bobby Angel song explores the sense of place …

And loss behind one man’s relationship with the land.

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