North Country Songs by John Elwood Cook

by Jim Bouchard

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1.
Don't Rush Me (free) 02:50
Verse 1: Don’t rush me, there ain’t no place to get to, Don’t rush me, my bodies all been bitten through Don’t rush me, don’t try to make me stay in line... Glad o been’ left behind Verse 2: Don’t rush me, the reason I had you over Don’t rush me, I’m lying’ in the clover Don’t rush me, know I’m eeling’ overtired... Maybe I’m just overtired Bridge: Drown me, baby, drown my sorrow, Round me, there’s a cold tomorrow, Push or steal beg or borrow I..gonna take my time! Verse 3: Don’t rush me, you ]can’t save up the good days, Don’t rush me, given up on big plays, Don’t rush me, I Got a lot of mysteries I..never gonna find Verse 4: Don’t rush me, don’t hang me by the neck, Don’t rush me, I won’t be coming’ back, Don’t rush me, there’s nothin’ I expect to ]find... Hangin’ round at closing’ time Bridge: Drown me, baby, drown my sorrow, Round me, there’s a cold tomorrow, Push or steal beg or borrow I..gonna take my time!
2.
She's A Great Guitar (free) 04:00
Verse 1: She’s a great guitar, she’s got a real nice neckD I picked her up, I can’t put her back She’s a great guitar, she’s got a sweet sweet sound Gonna bring her along with me when I ramble ’round Chorus 1: The old lady says “man, you don’t need another axe You got bills to pay, you got no income tax Dammit this time you’ve gone to far” But I don’t care! She’s a great guitar! Verse 2: She’s a great guitar listen to her sing She’s got those bass notes, and the high end ring She’s a great guitar, she’s got a sweet sweet sound Gonna bring her along with me when I ramble ‘round Chorus 2: “Good afternoon, ma’am, this is Bob down at the Guitar Center, We got an old Gibson come in here your husband’s just gonna love” “Well thanks for callin’, Bob, I’ll be sure to tell him.” ......................................................... verse 3: “He’s got a 335, he’s got Hummingbird, Got an old SJ, this is my final word. Gonna be a star at the corner bar” And I don’t care! She’s a great guitar! Half Verse: “Hey honey I’m home, anybody call today?” “No.”, ”Well, oh, okay.”
3.
40 Acres Shoal (free) 04:04
Verse 1: Forty acres we did row across the Forty Acre shoals We were singing river songs, searching’ for the muskelunge Row Forty Acres row 2X Verse 2: We were singing river songs, Searching’ for the muskelunge Row Forty Acres row 2X Verse 3: It was Forty Acres I dreamed all night, of this mornin’ comin’ bright Silver spoons dropping’ down, trollin’ for the muskelunge Row forty acres row 2X Verse 4: If spray and water is all I am, out here I”m a happy man See how my life has gone, driven by the muskelunge Row Forty Acres row 2X Verse 5: It was daybreak when she struck and then we ran the white flag up Row forty acres row 2X She was a brave one strong one true and all my life I wanted you Row forty acres row 2X Verse 5: See how my life has gone, driven by the muskelunge Row forty acres row 2X
4.
Chippewa Bay (free) 03:22
Verse 1: Chippewa Bay is part of me, part of eternity in a painted scene. And though I’ve traveled west, the places long the best to return and dream Chorus: In my North Country home I never felt alone Birds and trees and memories and the places I’ve grown to kno-o-o-ow I was raised up where the great north river rolls.... At the [endin’ of a perfect day, the Cobalt blue turns grey ... Off Chippewa Bay Off Chippewa Bay] Off Chippewa Bay Verse 2: Chippewa Bay and the Northern Light And the stars of a summer night ...The rainbow’s end In my Rushton canoe I paddle the current through The river bend Chorus: In my North Country home I never felt alone Birds and trees and memories and the places I’ve grown to kno-o-o-ow I was raised up where the great north river rolls.... At the [endin’ of a perfect day, the Cobalt blue turns grey ... Off Chippewa Bay Off Chippewa Bay] Off Chippewa Bay The Cobalt blue turns grey ... Off Chippewa Bay Off Chippewa Bay] Off Chippewa Bay
5.
Riverstruck (free) 03:58
Verse 1: If I had my way, I’d swim to the bottom I’d take to the river like a diving duck Not a swimmer, I know, I know, I know, I’ve not forgotten But I don’t care anymore because I’m river struck Verse 2: River struck in the the morning or, more like early afternoon River struck in the evening when I’m more or less in tune But I don’t worry, I don’t worry, about feelin’ down on my luck! There’s a big river out there rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, and I’m river struck, I’m river struck Verse 3: River struck, there’s no where and no real rules of my own River struck, there’s no where and no real way back home Hey I don’t worry, I don’t worry about feelin’ down on my luck! There’s a big river out there rollin’, rollin’, and I’m river struck I’m river struck Verse 4: River struck, on a windy blue sailboat afternoon, River struck, by the white clouds high above me and you, I don’t worry, I don’t worry about feelin’ down on my luck! There’s a big river out there rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, and I’m river struck I’m river struck There’s a big river out there rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, and I’m river struck I’m river struck
6.
Chorus: Woody’s Bait and Tackle by the side of the road, Woody’s Bait and Tackle by the side of the road It’s started out small and out it growed We’re goin’ after the big one, Woody! Verse 1: Woody’s got worms, Woody’s got leeches, Crab stew in his breeches, Naw, not really! Woody’s got worms, We’re goin’ after the big one! Woody! Woody’s Live Bait is certified, You won’t need no fishing’ guide, Woody’s a hero in the great outside Woody’s got wrigglers, Woody’s got crawlers, Canned feeds for all you sprawlers, You’ll be glad you stepped inside Chorus: Woody’s Bait and Tackle by the side of the road, Woody’s Bait and Tackle by the side of the road It’s started out small and out it growed We’re goin’ after the big one, Woody! Verse 2: Now Woody’s got 2 dogs, they both is black, Woody’s got 2 dogs, they both is black, Them two dogs, they got Woody’s back, They’re a couple of good dogs! Woody! Woody’s Live Bait is not dead, They’ll be wiggling’ and well fed, Woody’s live bait won’t die in worm beds, Woody’s got worms big and trials He fills his hands and he smiles Woody’s messing’ with your head Chorus: Woody’s Bait and Tackle by the side of the road, Woody’s Bait and Tackle by the side of the road It’s started out small and out it growed We’re goin’ after the big one, Woody! Outro: Mommy that man smells like a fish, Mommy that man smells like a fish That’s because Woody’s in fisherman gear
7.
Verse 1: It was hard to tell when the nighttime fell and the moonlight came Came across dark water and called my name Chorus: Where did all the years go? Shooting stars underneath the sky And I...standing by Do I dream, do I dare to try? She said keep trying trying maybe soon you’ll get it right She said keep trying trying maybe soon... .. .. . you’ll get it right It’s all mixed up in the living sky at night It’s all mixed up in the look of the sky at night It’s all mixed up in the look of the sky at night Verse 2: When the river flows indigo in the afterglow We pondered answers nobody knows Chorus: Where did all the years go? Shooting stars underneath the sky And I...standing by Do I dream, do I dare to try? She said keep trying trying maybe soon you’ll get it right She said keep trying trying maybe soon... .. .. . you’ll get it right It’s all mixed up in the living sky at night It’s all mixed up in the look of the sky at night It’s all mixed up in the look of the sky at night
8.
We Rule The River (free) 04:16
We Rule The The River Verse 1: When the sunlight fades We rule the river, Lit by starlight, We’ll be coming’ round When the sunlight fades , We rule the river, Rum runnin’ to a border town Chorus: We rule the river, til we drown We rule the river, til we d-r-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-w-n We rule the river, Verse 2: Ride with me now , My soul is approaching the far shore as the moon goes down Ride with me now The stars are exploding, Rum runnin’, to a border town Chorus: We rule the river, til we drown We rule the river, til we d-r-o-o-o-o-o--o-w-n We rule the river, Verse 3: Come steer me home We’ll be silhouettes slipping’ round Dark islands , just toward dawn Come steer me home, And we’ll live or we’ll die here, Rum runnin’, to a border town Chorus: We rule the river, til we drown We rule the river, til we d-r-o-o-o-o-o--o-w-n We rule the river, 2X
9.
Verse 1: At the tomb of the unknown artist Everybody had a quirk At the tomb of the unknown artist Everybody was aaaa jerk It’s a shame we never got to know him Before he went berserk Verse 2: At the tomb of the unknown artist Everybody wore a smirk At the tomb of the unknown artist and they were piling’ on dirt At the tomb of the unknown artist Everybody wore a smirk ... And they were piling’ on dirt Verse 3: At the tomb of the unknown artist They rolled out a giant garbage can They said please don’t let this affect your opimion of the man At the tomb of the unknown artist She pulled down her pants It’s a shame he never got to know her Before she got implants and everybody danced Verse 4: And everybody danced on the grave At the tomb of the unknown artist Everybody danced on the grave At the tomb of the unknown artist Screwballs stood in line With absolutely no percentage left in their screwball mind Verse 5: At the tomb of the unknown artist Nitwits looked askance It’s a shame he never got to know her before she pulled down her pants And everybody danced ...And everybody danced At the tomb of the unknown artist Everybody danced on the grave
10.
Verse 1: Somebody loved that old truck, Lyin’ in the woods half rotten Somebody loved that old truck, Now they’re lyin’ dead forgotten Chorus: If I could be at home, be at home runnin’ free If I could be at home runnin’ free Where somebody loved me Where somebody loved me Verse 2: Somebody loved that old dog Now the old dog’s dead and gone Somebody loved that old dog And they play that old dog a song Chorus: If I could be at home, be at home runnin’ free If I could be at home runnin’ free Where somebody loved me Where somebody loved me Verse 3: Momma poppa, they’ve both died they’ve got graves up on the hillside I like to rest there sometimes in my mind With my memories Verse 4: This all we’re ever gonna have This is all we’re ever gonna find This is all we’re ever gonna see And it’s comin’ on closin’ time It’s comin’ on closin’ time Chorus: If I could be at home, be at home runnin’ free If I could be at home runnin’ free Where somebody loved me Where somebody loved me Verse 5: Somebody loved that old house Now the roof’s been all caved in Somebody loved that old house and they Never will again Chorus: If I could be at home, be at home runnin’ free If I could be at home runnin’ free Where somebody loved me Where somebody loved me
11.
Dog In The Picture (free) 03:56

about

John Elwood Cook was my neighbor growing up on Wellesley Island on the Saint Lawrence River in the Thousand Islands Region on the NY side of the border with Canada. He passed away a short while ago but left a rich wake of artistic accomplishments behind him between his mastery of the visual arts and painting and his carefully guarded wealth of songwriting. He was an inspiration to me in pursuing my studies as a painter and as a guitar picker, and he left some great songs behind.

There is regional flavor to a lot of the music that comes from the Thousand Islands that is as distinctive as the flavor of music from the Mississippi River that is probably a consequence of being surrounded by the flowing water as a highway to and from the heartland, and John's music has a strong helping of that. I've tried to capture the original feeling but did take some liberties, some intentional and other not so much.

All these songs were written by John and I pretty much learned them by ear from the few youtube recordings and other stray audio that I could find on the web. Some of the arrangements stray far from the original but I have tried to get to the heart of the songs and interpret them the best I can. John was a creative individual and he had mildly pitched to me, on the rare afternoon when he'd stop by camp to shoot the shit with me, some of the roadhouse sort of songs that he had in his bag as perhaps being appropriate for the americana-flavored rock band I played with the past 10 years to play. So I think he would be okay begrudgingly with the ones I maybe interpreted more creatively.

credits

released June 19, 2020

recorded by JB at home in Jamaica Plain MA and mixed by Maurice "Mo-Rice" Bouchard. Harmony vocals on We Rule The River by Gray Bouchard, all other instruments and vocals by Jim Bouchard: acoustic and electric guitars, tenor and baritone ukuleles, ukulele bass, electric upright bass, bass guitar, fretless bass, drum programming and percussion, jew's harp, banjo, 4 string electric mandolin, charango, various keyboards

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Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.

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Jim Bouchard Boston, Massachusetts

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