Cathy Barton: banjo, lead vocal; Dave Para: guitar, vocal; Ed Trickett: guitar, Vocal
Greg Brown is a popular singer/songwriter often associated with Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" radio show, and his musical portrait of the town of Early, Iowa, has made the rounds among revival singers and traditional artists alike. I learned it from the singing of Robin and Linda Williams on their Dixie Highway Sign album (June Appal 031). (Cathy Barton Para)
Early one morning, I walked out alone.
I looked up the street; no one was around.
The sun was just coming up over my home
On Hickory Street in a little farm town.
Ooo-wee, ain't the morning light pretty,
While the dew is still heavy,
So bright and early.
My home on the range,
It's a one-horse town, but it's all right with me.
The clouds rolled the prairies, the prairies brought life.*
Little towns blossomed; soon there were many,
Scattered like fireflies in the dark night.
One was called Early, and they sure named it right.
Many dry summers have burned up our fields
Scorched our fine colors, cut back our yields.
But the rain always comes to wash away our fears.
It'll be the greenest summer we've seen in years.
*Cathy sings this as it was sung by Robin and Linda, which Greg tells us he really likes, but what he actually wrote is: "The plow broke the prairie, and the prairie gave plenty." (Carolyn Paton)