"Everybody's Got Love"

© 1981-1982 Lee Ruth


Lee Ruth
The Wall of Voices Choir

Lee Ruth - Guitar & Vocal
Ron Morris - Guitar & Harmony Vocal
Annie O. Ruh - Violin
Kathy Gordon - Upright Bass

Tim Buckler, Debbie D'Agostino, Bob Dyer, Phil Easley, Dr. Dave Foley, Jerry Foster, Barbara Garrison, Carol Goodnick,
Kathy Gordon, Win Grace, Tomi Greentree, Beth Horner, Steve Jerrett, Sharon King, David Lackey, Pippa Letsky,
Howard Marshall, Carolyn Mathews,
Lu McNichols, Steve Meyerhardt, Neal Miller, Ron Morris, Doireann O'Brien, Stacy Roberts, Bob Runyon, Annie O. Ruh, Ben Ruh,
Andrew Ruth, Lee Ruth, Rena Ruth,
Willow Ruth, Dave Sabath, John Schneller, Katherine Schneller, Ken Shepherd,
Kitron Tate, Reed Vonder Haar,
Violet Vonder Haar, Roberta Weir,
Jerome Wheeler, Jeff Wilson, Sally Wilson


Lee's Lyrics:
Love, love, love
Everybody's got love, love, love
Everybody's got the gift of love
Everybody's got love
Everybody's got love

Shine, shine, shine
Everybody can shine, shine, shine
Everybody's got the gift of light
Everybody can shine
Everybody can shine

Soul, soul, soul
Everybody's got soul, soul, soul
Everybody's got the gift of soul
Everybody's got soul
Everybody's got soul

Everybody's got rhythm
Everybody's got their own beat
Everybody's got rhythm
Everybody's got rhythm

Sing, sing, sing
Everybody can sing, sing, sing
Everybody's got a voice and a song
Everybody can sing
Everybody can sing

Love, love, love
Everybody's got love, love, love
Everybody's got the gift of love
Everybody's got love
Everybody's got love

Artist on the Song:
Lee on the Song:

I got teary-eyed the first time I heard this song, which was at the gathering for peace as the country geared up to invade Iraq. Recording it was the best: getting to play with Annie Ruh, Ron and Lee, and then
singing it with the "wall" of voices. We got to sing it many times because we couldn't stay together until Ron became the "human metronome" and kept us on track. It was so soul satisfying to be a small part of this
wonderful project. Kathy Gordon

Only the following--me and some of my friends; my family; my generation; residents of my city, state, region, nation, continent, planet, galaxy; people from my school; members of my ethnic group; members of my church; followers of my religion; people of my gender; people with my skin color; beings of my species; members of my club, fraternity, sorority, or other organization; people of my economic class; those who work for companies or at occupations I approve of--are fully capable of and deserving of a full measure and fair share of: freedom, opportunity, understanding, justice, health, wealth, natural resources, heart, soul, happiness, humanity, faith, hope, charity, creativity, music, life, etc. Make your own lists. We are all victims of elitism and we are all guilty of elitist thinking and action. Humans, one and all, are capable of more.

One of my favorite "blue highways" is Colorado 96, which runs east from Pueblo, Colorado, to Kansas, where it becomes Kansas 96 and runs more than halfway across the state. It's well maintained, straight, not heavily traveled; the small towns are widely spaced and reminiscent of another time; and it is a viable and welcome alternative to US 50, which it parallels, or the drone of I70 an hour or so to the north. For a number of years it was my route of choice returning to Missouri from Crested Butte, Colorado, at summer's end. Late August of 1982 found me eastbound on 96 somewhere in eastern Colorado or western Kansas at around two in the morning. The phrase "Everybody's Got Love" sang itself in my head, and I began to sing it out loud, soon finding a series of simple phrases to go along with it, and soon they formed themselves into several verses. Not wanting to risk losing a new song to memory failure, I picked up a portable cassette recorder that was in reach, stuck a blank tape in it, pushed record, and shouted the song into the built-in microphone over the sixty-five-mile-an-hour roar of engine and tires. Pushing rewind and then play, I checked to make sure I had indeed caught the song on tape and proceeded homeward. (I've still got that tape somewhere.)

Lee on the Recording:
The Wall of Voices Choir

Back in 1979 when I recorded the song "Thief," live for the "Bocomo Medicine Show" album, I assembled a small group of friends to sing it with me as the "Thief Chorus," and it was so much fun and sounded so good that I thought I would like to record another song sometime with a group of people singing with me. It took until 2003 to find another opportunity to do so. "Everybody's Got Love" is probably the best sing-along-with song that I have. Initially I thought it a bit weird for me to be singing a song on an album intended as a tribute to me, but as the project evolved it became clear that "participation" was a considerable part of what the album was about, including my own, and any initial notion I or the producers may have had of screening participants--of auditioning performers and performances, of picking and choosing by some criteria, the best--almost immediately gave way to the much richer notion of inclusion--of realizing that each of the performers, whether they were full-time professional musicians or not, brought a full measure of heart and soul, imagination and talent to their chosen song.

Still, as the two discs approached capacity, there were more people who wished to find a way to lend their talents to the project than there were songs, and many who were not seeking a song of their own to do. So, the notion of having me do a song and lots of people singing it with me made sense, and we gathered up as many friends and family members who liked to sing as we could. After we laid down the basic tracks, we filled up the studio with the forty-two people who came to sing with me. Since some of the singers had not heard the song previously and there had been no opportunity to rehearse as a group, the group sing started off a bit shakily, but we kept singing it and figuring out how to better coordinate all the voices, until we finally got a couple good takes. There are some rough edges on it, but the energy and spirit and feeling was good, and I'm not convinced we would necessarily have gotten a better final take even if we'd sung it some more times in an attempt to smooth those edges. My heart-felt thanks to everyone who sang and played with me on this song, and everyone who played and sang on all the other songs.

Ron Morris/Annie Ruh/Kathy Gordon

I wrote about Ron in the comments to "Willow Song." I first met Annie in the early 1970s, and she didn't hesitate to pull her violin out of the case and play music with me. We've played many times since then, on stage and off, and her violin playing on all but one of the songs on my 1988 album, "Happy Hollow Songs," is one of the main reasons I still enjoy listening to it. Listen for her elsewhere on this album. I've been seeing and hearing Kathy play bass in numerous configurations of local Irish and old-timey musicians, but this was my first real opportunity to play with her. It'll happen again I'm sure. She also can be heard elsewhere on this album.

Producer's Notes:
Recording Credits:
I think the first time I heard "Everybody's Got Love" was during the recording of KOPN's 20th Anniversary CD "Where the River Rolls" at the Thespian Hall in Boonville, Missouri, in 1993. It was a very simple tune and Lee performed it with Bartholomew Bean, Lou McNichols, with Annie O. Ruh on fiddle. The song seemed perfect for a sing-along, with a simple melody and sparse lyrics that everyone could understand and sing. It really was not a surprise to me that Lee chose this song to record. It really sums the whole project up very nicely in Lee's very understated way. Lee wanted to have a wall of voices to sing with and the ad hoc choir that assembled at the studio the night we recorded was as much a tribute to Lee as anything we recorded. After Lee, Bartholomew Bean, Annie O. Ruh, and Kathy Gordon recorded the basic tracks, we filled the studio with all the folks who came to sing. We loosely grouped sopranos, altos, and bass voices into three areas on the sound field and let them listen to the basic tracks rough mix in order to record the wall of voices choir. The human energy was so positive and inclusive, I'm surprised it didn't dawn on me that night that "Everybody's Got Love" should be the title track for the two-disc collection of Lee's songs.

Recorded at Pete Szkolka's Studio

Record Date: 4/9/03

Mixed: 12/10/03

Mixed by Pete Szkolka and Steve Donofrio


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