"Candy from Delaware"
© 1973-1974 Lee Ruth
||Carolyn Mathews Band|
Carolyn Mathews -
Guitar & Vocal
|MP3 Sample of Lee's Original|
|Take me to Delaware, take me to
Let me know you where you live in understanding grown.
Take me to meet your family, and live among your friends.
Take me to Delaware, take me home again
Is the seacoast rocky, the water cold and clear?
I have never been there 'cause I've been here.
Come to Missouri, come with me to my home.
Interlude: Love, love, love, everybody's
got love, love, love,
Come and listen, it is true, I'll do the same
Come meet my family, and live among my friends,
|Take me to Delaware
Take me to your home
Let me know you where you live
In understanding grown
Take me to meet your family
And live among your friends
Take me to Delaware
Take me home again
Is the seacoast rocky, the water cold and clear?
Come to Missouri
Can my brother play his fiddle, and make his banjo
Come and listen, it is true
If love is not the only thing, worth living for
Take me to Delaware
|Artist on the Song:||
Lee on the Song:
When I checked out what songs were left to record,
after the better-known songs had already been chosen, I didn't remember
"Candy from Delaware" at first. I really liked hearing the song
on Lee's demo tape, decided to choose it, and worked on learning it. As
I practiced it
I believe this is a song about hope. It encourages the listener to feel we should never give up on love. You know, no matter how far away the other person may be, if we try hard enough, we can make it work. Some lines are deceptively simple, with the repetition of "Take me to Delaware," "Come to Missouri, come with me to my home," but there are really some strong feelings underneath. I believe it's a deep conviction about the importance of home, family, and friends that is emphasized there, with the implication we are not just isolated individuals. Someone who loves us and is trying to decide about making a commitment toward us needs to know us in context, to meet those we love, who've supported us in so many ways. We are part of our environment, we are close to the land, and the surrounding circle of friends and family and community that is a big part of what makes us who we are.
The magic of sharing music with friends, in Lee's
world and mine, just has to be an important part of anyone getting to
know us. It's such a joy and such a blessing to share music with others
who love it too,
I truly think that's part of the reason this area's called the "Heartland," not just because we're in the middle! It's a place of the heart, expressing the idea that home is your land area, your circle of extended family, your community--not just your own house and immediate family. Lastly, of course, Lee speaks volumes from the heart when he sings "if love is not the only thing worth living for, it's the best thing I have found, I believe it more and more." Who could say more than that?
|It was the eve of
New Year's Eve 1973, and I was sitting in Denny's at two or three in the
morning, drinking coffee with a young friend. He rather excitedly told me
a story of having just met a young woman named Candy, from Delaware, who
had recently been in Columbia visiting a friend of hers who was attending
college in Columbia. It was the end of the first semester and both young
women were getting ready to go home for Christmas vacation. Candy and my
friend, Don, had been hitting it off well and before she returned to Delaware
she asked him to come with her, no strings attached. He hadn't done so,
but for several weeks his mind had been buzzing with thoughts of this offer
that he'd turned down. Several cups of coffee later, our conversation drifted
to other topics, and he asked me, "How do you go about writing songs?
Where do you get your ideas from? How do you start a song?" (perhaps
not in those exact words). So I opened up the spiral notebook I usually
carried with me to the first blank page and wrote at the top of the page,
as a title--"Candy from Delaware." Then I wrote out a verse, beginning
with the lines, "Take me to Delaware, Take me to your home," and
handed the notebook across the table. He read the verse, looking a bit like
a cartoon character with a light-bulb caption over his head; surprised to
see his recent romantic adventure turned into a song topic. Then he looked
puzzled again. "OK, I see how that can work, but what comes next? Where
do you go from here?" Taking the notebook back, I reversed the dramatic
situation in the budding song, and wrote out a parallel verse, beginning
with "Come to Missouri, Come with me to my home." (A cheap trick
perhaps, but it can sometimes be made to work.) In the course of the next
hour I puzzled together the rest of the song.
Here's a further word about the phrase "the great Missouri Ocean," which has caught listeners' ears as well as puzzled them. Some months earlier, sitting in a window booth at that same Denny's at a similar small hour of the morning, I was talking with a sailor on leave, stranded for a few hours between buses. At some point in the conversation he was complaining about the lack of an ocean here. I asked him, "But what about the Great Missouri Ocean?" He looked at me like I was crazy, and said, "What do you mean?" I pointed out the window and said, "Look out there! What do you see?" He stared out the window, across the sparsely-carred parking lot toward the closed gas station on the other side and the big trucks rolling by on Interstate 70, and said one word, "Nothing!" I grinned at him, pointed out the window again, and he thought about it again. Then he grinned back at me and said, "Oh! Now I see it. The Great Missouri Ocean."
Two further notions: (1) We live at the bottom of an ocean of air. (2) The vast expanses of prairie between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains have been likened to an ocean of grass, and the state of Missouri at one time had its fair share of prairie land.
|Artist on Lee Ruth:||
Lee on the Artist:
As for Lee, wow, I've known him a long time. I guess I met Rena first, while she and I were both staying at the Missouri Farm near Fulton, about 24 years ago, I think. That would be '79, but I believe I met Lee in late '80 or early '81, when I started volunteering at KOPN. He and Rena got together somewhat before that, I guess. Actually I think Rena told me in '79 that she was hanging out with this folksinger, songwriter guy. I also saw him at KOPN while I was a DJ for the "Carry It On" show for approximately four years, at first by myself, and some of the time with Diana Nomad, and later with Carol Greenspan and Rose Wise for a short while.
I got to know Lee and Rena more, and I'm not sure
exactly when I started going out to their house for gatherings. My two
boys and their two oldest were close to the same age and hit it off pretty
well, and I loved Lee's music and singing with him. A few times he accompanied
me when I was performing at benefits, events, Earth Day, etc., as well
as the many times he offered his solo performances at such events over
the years. Diana and I would often go to the Chez Coffeehouse and listen
to him play with Bartholomew Bean, or sometimes singing along. More often,
at least once or twice for many years, I went out to their place at Happy
Hollow near Lupus and we sang and jammed and played on and on for hours
with whomever was there. Sometimes it was bigger gatherings, like a pot
luck with music, outdoors by the fire if the weather permitted, with a
number of musicians, ranging from Greg Renfro to Rick Aiken and Bartholomew
Bean, with numerous others joining in with voices, drums, maracas, tambourines,
like Sharon Feltman, Diana Nomad, and occasionally some of Lee's family.
Although Lee has many great songs, one of those I loved the most is the
wonderful "Love, Love, Love" song, which made a great sing-along
at many of these events. It has a simple
Other times it was a get-together like at Thanksgiving,
with lots of great home cooking, or Easter, a festivity lots of families
would come and enjoy, complete with Easter egg hunt for the kids, or sometimes
just an evening with a few of us. Several times, gatherings would dwindle
down to just Lee and Diana and I and maybe a couple others into the wee
|I met Carolyn in 1980, during that first year that Rena and I were together. In 1979 she and Rena had both lived at the Missouri Farm, a branch of the Tennessee Farm. Carolyn grew up in Columbia but had been away for many years. After she returned, she became actively involved in local (and beyond) political and social justice issues, and as participating members of the local community we often found ourselves at events that presented an opportunity to play music together or with larger groups of musicians, which we often did. She has detailed this quite well in her parallel notes, so I'll not duplicate her tale. I'm pleased that she chose to sing "Candy from Delaware" and give it a shot of new life. Doubtless, as the years do pass, we will continue our family and community friendship and find more opportunities to play music together.|
|Carolyn defied Lee and my suggestion to keep the arrangement of "Candy from Delaware" simple. So the tune turned into a full musical ensemble instead of a simple arrangement. I'm glad she didn't listen to us. The expanded arrangement gave more musicians and friends a chance to be a part of this special project. Carolyn also gets credit for verifying that "Everybody's Got Love: The Songs of Lee Ruth" was the right choice for the title of this CD. You may have to come to Missouri to find that great ocean the song talks about.||
Recorded at Pete Szkolka's Studio
Record Date: 9/3/03
Mixed: 1/21/04 and 1/22/04
Mixed by Pete Szkolka and Steve Donofrio