Walking the Pickets

from by Cheryl and Emerson Martlage

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about

This was the first song written on the blue guitar, experimenting with alternate tunings. Em started to create his own chords and sounds from scratch, inspired by the blue guitar (based on our reading “The Man with the Blue Guitar” by Wallace Stevens). The poem became part of the inspiration during that "blue" period that helped to turn things around for us.

Em was perhaps at his most desperate point. In order to rediscover his creative self and freedom he felt he lost along the way, he was considering the painful option of ending existing relationships and leaving home.

This song represented a real turning point where he realized that the happiness had to be discovered inside himself rather than somewhere outside. He used the ideas of the porch, home, freedom and the picket fence to re-imagine himself in a new way.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise
uncommonpromise.com/story/Walking+the+Pickets

lyrics

Living on the front porch is easy
Sheltered from the wind and the rain...storm
Following the fenceline is something that will never feel like
Walking on the pickets
You’ll find me walking on the pickets instead

Walk on tip toe
Keep your balance
Don’t fall
Always keep your hands up in the air
Don’t ever look down

Walk on tip-toe . . . walk on tip-toe . . . walk on tip-toe

Searching for the freedom to wander
Restless longing, a careless whisper may call you out
Following the obvious answers comes easy
Simply walk through the gate but, watch your step

To another fence
To another gate

Jumping from point to point
Keeping my balance
Where I have drawn the line

Lines form a boundary
Inside and outside
I will not cross that line

Celebrate the fenceline
Appreciate the gate

Living on the front porch is easy
Stepping through the gate is the same old thing
Crossing to the outside is something that will never feel like
Walking on the pickets
You’ll find me walking on the pickets instead

Walk on tip toe
Keep your balance
don’t fall
Always keep your hands up in the air
Don’t ever look down

Walk on tip-toe . . . walk on tip-toe . . . walk on tip-toe

credits

from Never Sleep, track released January 1, 2003
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Tom Tomasello - Producer/Arranger
Jim Bruno - Vocal producer
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering
Inspiration - "Man with the Blue Guitar" by Wallace Stevens

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Cheryl and Emerson Martlage San Diego, California

At the age of 48, and after 25 years of marriage, we headed to a secluded town for 6 weeks, to create a new relationship and begin again.

When we arrived as if by magic, we co-wrote our first song ever— "Never Sleep," evoking the mystery and magic of the new adventure. Twenty years later, we're still making music. Join us on our musical storytelling as the adventure continues to unfold
... more

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