1. Keep on Tryin'

From the recording Bound to Happen

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Keep on Tryin’. © Maria Gillard, 1997

I was born in 1957, daddy died in 1964
Mama married once again July when I was 12
I watched my brothers and my sister walk right out the door
That left me and my other brother and my other sister still at home
Mama tried to make us understand
That she needed a man, she said “He’s doing the best he can”.
But that didn’t sit too well with me

Daddy, when are you coming back I’d say
I’d knew he wouldn’t answer but I asked him anyway
I’d sit beside his grassy grave
Praying I would find a way
To Keep on tryin’, Keep on tryin’

The man that mama married wasn’t so bad
Even though she made us call him dad
Then he ripped up all the rhubarb and cut down all the trees
Told us to scrub the floors on our hands and knees
But my dad taught me how to back flip on the trampoline
Let us paint the kitchen cupboards blue and green
He planted roses and bushelled apples for the pies
And when he talked to us, he looked us right in the eyes

BRIDGE: And I’d look for him in other people’s fathers
I was looking for him all the time
My brothers never came home and mama never knew why
I’d shout at her and walk away cryin’

The man that mama married died in 1975
Mama, she died 12 years after that
I’d imagine all three of ‘em up there somewhere
Smokin’ up the Chesterfield Cigarettes
But once in West Virgina, I saw him
A warm blue light in a dream
He said, "I’ve been with you all along, how do you think you got so strong?"
Then I knew he lived deep inside of me.