We were playing this song somewhere well east of here. There was a group from Nova Scotia. They were clapping and enjoying the music. Then I played this song which is: “ROSEMARY.” A woman came out of the audience and stood beside me during our break. She said, “I really love that song.”
Two years later we were playing to a packed house at the upstairs bar of the Empire Hotel. And it was hot. They sold too many tickets to the event. There was no standing room. A person called out from the crowd, “Play Rosemary!” It was the same woman from two years before.
There really was a Rosemary. I have no idea where she is now.
Here’s the song.


We live in the present, because no other place exists.

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Ursula Fugger
Ursula FuggerWalker – Bill, yes.Staying focused in the now you taught me with the books you gave me..3 pillars of zen.


Waking in Alexandria

He woke up in Alexandria.
He didn’t know where he had been.
He thought there was a woman
Who had mattered once to him.

He looked out a window,
Saw a madman called Khalim;
Uttering predictions
 In the dust and alley wind.

“There will be a great burning
In this city once again;
This town will be ravished
By an army of our friends.”

There were clouds of colours
In the street;
And dust on the laden wind.
Pyramids in the distance,
And crumbling new contruction.

The passing carts threw up the dust
A glimpse of neon in the street;
Someone was playing a clarinet…
Scales of an eastern variety.

“The great battle is within us!
The soldiers – our cells and minds.
You don’t have to go downtown…
There’s nothing you need to buy!”

This man down in the alley
Shouted up at him;
Waving a bottle of  whiskey
 Above his head   
And singing Sunday hymns.

“The priest sent you a message.
 Says, ‘Listen! Now begin!’
The doubt you have within you
Is your only sin!”

The street crowds were distracting,
He wrote somehing down like this,
“You see cobra and the mongoose
   Fight until the death!”

The crowds were passing slowly…
Such a colourful array
Of camels, birds and monkeys,
It was hard to concentrate on the page

It seemed there was some dancing.
In the alley right below,
Dancing on the cobbles
In the scent of hashish smoke

“There will be a great burning
In this city once again!
This town will be ravished
By an army of our friends!”

He tried to close the window.
It was impossible to do.
He put his feet up on a table,
Leaned back and dreamed of youth…
He had a drink of something new.

The liquor in his glass was smoking.
The laughter in the street                      
 Seemed to be less racous,
A voice was speaking in a dream.
“The great mountain is within you!
Most difficult to climb
Most slippery of all mountains
You will ever find!”

The priest sent me a message,
 Said, “Listen:  Now begin.
The self-doubt you have inside you
Is your only sin.”

“Caesar and Alexander
Met on an island just one time.
They had one thing in common:
No division in their minds.”

He closed the window and went to sleep
He thought,”Is all of this a dream?”
He put his head upon a pillow..
And that ended everything.

                                          (C)2013 by W.G.Milne
                                                       North Bay

Here’s a traditional blues song… something a little more up tempo.
and I’ve inserted a few verses of “DON’T YOU DO ANY MOURNING FOR ME!” which I wrote to the same pattern. So the song has a split personality. One guy’s wondering where the train is that’s taking his woman away; the other guy is sneaking out of his woman’s bedroom at dawn. Nevertheless here it is. Peter has a bad habit of shouting an obscenity that rhymes with “truck”, every time he makes a noisy blunder. And of course the word is in the song. But those days we were laughing when stuff like that happened. I make blunders, too, natch, but I just pretend nothing happened. Pretending that nothing has happened is not a bad philosophy, if you intend to live a life anything like mine.


“JOHNNY PLEASE HOLD ME”. In this version you can actually hear the words. This clear-eyed take was done in Rowland’s studio. It comes from a period of time when the band was playing along Queen St. West, Toronto. Playing the Black Bull, The Elmo upstairs,Grossman’s the Cameron House, Albert’s Hall, The Upper Lip on Yonge St. and at an after-hours club near the Black Bull.
Romance was in the air those summers and I met a woman at the Spadina Hotel. We made love most of the night. When we took breaks for food and wine . I’d play the piano in what was to become the Boom Boom Room or a name something like that. We didn’t meet there often, but there was something magical about the Spadina Hotel for me in those days.
This song is about one of those love-making episodes. The song tells the rest of the story: “JOHNNY PLEASE HOLD ME.”


I’m trying to post it now. It’s briefly disappeared. I wrote in when I was living in Caledon – in a large house in the middle of a field. I was working in a law office during the day…But I spent a lot of time alone that year and I wrote some good songs – some really long ones, which take a real effort to perform. “COLD, COLD, COLD,” is a long song, also, I’m very fond of some of the imagery in the song. OK, I love it! And the COLD is of course a metaphor for something else. Though it’s hard to pull that off in Canada – because it really is cold, not just metaphorically.
Enough said, the song is long enough — may have to cut a verse or two and one lead break.