top of page

Song Lyrics

All songs © Kate MacLeod, Courier Music, ASCAP
unless otherwise noted.

Recording: Live - At Ken Sanders Rare Books




This page hosts the lyrics of the Kate MacLeod - At Ken Sanders Rare Books recording. All of these songs were inspired by books and span 30 years of songwriting. It can be purchased through Waterbug Records, and
through Ken Sanders Rare Books in Salt Lake City, UT.



Song 1 - Anam Cara
Based on the book Anam Cara by John O'Donohue

In searching the infinity of our interiority

A wholesome complexity is found

In satisfying our hungry transparency

Imagination befriends our unbound

In nurturing the honesty of our neglected beauty

Icons and imagery unfold

And though you can't go back

You clutch confessions of a traveler

While watching from the edges of your soul


While harvesting our abandonment

The tenderness that sorrow lent

Transfigures into whim

If once we were taught to embrace

The generous light from space

Why do we struggle now with within

Our invisible and exiled reach up for belonging

And guide us to a place of furthermore

Our hidden self will linger

In presence as the texture

Of the soul In the innocence of dawn


Do you ask what is behind, before

Why what is it you're waiting for

Why look for love, when it is yours

Beyond the inner fences

And the landscape of our senses

The soul knows the way

For the ongoing process of the heart that grows

Supported by the secret gathering of days

For the Anam Cara and the heart that knows

Supported by gathering ways

With the love of the Anam Cara

And the heart that grows

Blue Highways - Photo Montage

Song 2 - Love In and Out of Time

Inspired by the book The Time Traveler's Wife

by Audrey Niffenegger


I'll give you my lonely heart 

It is the only one I have 

And I am only me 

When in the the present or our past 

Our future always asks 

That we will always be



In love, in and out of time

If our broken rhymes can fool the world 

Then time can lead us to together 


As sure as the meadow where we met 

One of us is there 

When the other's bare and bleeding

We've traveled years without regret

Sometimes in misstep 

Other times in grieving 




Paper wings and silver bands say 

That in its secret way

Love comes from somewhere else 

As it holds us to a day 

We become as one 

As we becomes ourselves 


If love must be scattered over time 

If we're lost, or if we die 

Memories avail us 

Somewhere in the crossing of the lines 

In the questions of the mind 

The truth has never failed us 













Song 3 - Riding the White Horse Home

Based on the book of the same name

by Teresa Jordan


This story’s trying to make me cry

Or is this the chinook wind in my eye?

Was it the father’s fighting sons

The Iron Mountain mortgage

Or the passing on that won?


Oh the people buried there

Their silver spurs

Were always passed down to someone

They fixed the old corral

They saved the orphan calf

They built the hall where we had fun



We knew the land, so well

We knew each other well

I dream of riding my white horse

While nothing would keep fate

From taking the ranch away


Oh well, the ladies moved away

The local store and the station, they burned down

My Daddy broke another leg

I had my graduation day

Yet only the hog back hills will stay here


A drifting soul I did become

Until I wrote down my memories of my loved ones

And now my new love is sure the one

He knows where I come from

And we ride horses when we’re near some




I remember baking with my Mom

And the little stone under my tongue

How they kept thirst away when I was young

Now I love the life I have

And I’ve plenty of days to face

But I sure miss the old home place





Song 5 - The Annual Menhaden

Inspired by Men's Lives, Peter Matthiessen


Praise the Atlantic

And the Montauk SoundAnd the ghost of a chance

Of making a living, being a fisherman

Doing that seasonal dance

By hauling, hauling, hauling in the annual menhaden


It was once a year for the spring haul

When out of the earth came the need for menhaden

They're taking it inland to make the corn crops

So much better for the sake of them all

By hauling, hauling, hauling in the annual menhaden



And how many of them did it take

How many of them did it take

It took forty or fifty men

Hoping that the net won't break

And never did one stand alone


It was early in the morning to late in the day

Usually cold in the dusting of the spray

But somewhere between the hardline and what had to give

And the men that were lost

That would haunt all the rest of them

Everyone helped and the sea gave a way for them

Sun on the water

New hope for the day




Song 4 - PrairyErth

Based on the book of the same name by William Least Heat-Moon.

Song and title used by permission of the author.



Twisted river in the hills and the grass as tall as the Osage's horse's mane

They loved the cottonwood trees and the grasses' seventy seeds that prayed for fire and rain

It could be haunted from another time, from the hour that we first learned of stone

Now the arrows bury their heads in the sod by way of the white man's home



Grass on the prairie

Where the devil's angels fear to tread

A sigh over the grass of the prairie earth


There was a house on a hill when the prairie was still but a wind took it away last spring

There was a house in a flood but a little bit above you could see a second story wing

Your brother from New York drove US 50 across Kansas, said that he didn't see a thing

So the native birds laughed and the wind sang through the grass, now they love to haunt his every dream


Mud as thick as the blood that buried the battles that buried the tales untold

Who killed Frank Rinard in the barn was a mystery and will remain so

An unmarked grave, a well of water, the cattle graze as the cowhand lives

This bridge was made out of the finest stone that the earth can give




Dust that blows through the cracks that makes the proclaimed landlord a liar

The osage orange is bitter but it cuts the wind like a barb on a wire

A dry year now the crops won't grow, the birds are flying as if they're never coming back

We hope the rain comes as goes as it should as well the bluestem grass


Now we fly over the plains where the valley has risen and the mountains have been made low

How much do we know about the flint rock that could shave the pride from a soul

I could be walking with a wagon train, now I have the illusion that I'm free

Now I make a living with this pick-up truck, the boat of the inland sea




(Repeating last line three times)




Song 6 - Butch Cassidy Was Here

Based on reading Butch Cassidy: A Biography 

by Richard Patterson

(research continues)

NOTE: There is an additional verse included here that was not written by the time the song was recorded, but is now included in performances of the song.)


Before he was a rustler he was Robert Leroy Parker

Born in Utah in 1866

He was the first of 13 children, once such a little babe

With no appetite for a simple life

And neither would he stay that way


The ground here is so dry here

It can choke the means of living

Nature's only kind itself, when it's being warm and giving

We've tamed it with provisions 

With hats and farms and schemes

Why should Bob's life be tamed like that

For the sake of someone else's dreams


REFRAIN (Sung at whim after a verse of choice, sometimes repeating the refrain twice.)

Some say it's all in how you look at it Ma'am

They say it's all in how you look at it


We are an animal of language and when all is said and done

When he changed his name to Butch Cassidy

He sealed his fate on the tongues

Of the lawmen and women and the cowboys and the young

Now people still find wonder in his outlaw trail and the guns


So he took to rustling cattle from the long arms of the rich

He fought against the onset of big business

Then he took to stealing fortunes from the mining company's spit

And he grew to love the smell of cash and he grew to love the chase of it


The stories of his robberies became renowned beyond the west

He romanced the get away, his reputation would attest

That the discretion of the desert can breed the worst and the best

Where even the law is sometimes suspect by the needs of the rest


His wild bunch and their ladies grew more famous every year

From Castle Gate to Robber's Roost they reigned with little fear

And with the dubious distinction of being fair with the poor

Butch was square with himself in his own estimation, I'm sure


By the time his century ended and town lights began to glow

The wild men were driven from the Colorado Plateau

The banks increased in numbers, but so did the posse's grow

So he left his canyon country and echoed south through Mexico



Some say he died in gunfire

As many an outlaw can

Buried with no name in a Bolivian town

Some say he lived to haunt the west

An alias of a man

In Wyoming and Utah, and as far north as Spokane


In defining acts of bravery and our relation to fear

Who of us will spar with chance well enough to be revered

Or grapple with our enemies until our bodies are cold

We might live another year but we say Butch Cassidy was here

Song 7 - The Solace of the Broken

Based on the book Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko


They sent you back from the war to your reservation

To walk your haunted roads of dust

A pick up truck pulls over your friends are in it

The middle seat is open

They're headed to the local bar

And of course they want you to join them


The fight at the bar was such an indication

Of your bitter sleep and useless medication

The amber buzz of the beer

Eases the stories that you share

But it won't take away the scars

And of course won't take the nightmares



Tayo, it's all inside of you

Everything you need to know

And a woman

And a medicine man


The stars are there even when they're hidden

And some people show up when you need them

With fragile links to being a human being

The blue cornmeal is eaten

And the little pouch of tea

Is as the shaman has spoken


You and Robert headed into Gallup

To find the hogan with the medicine man

In rags and relics, he says he can help you

If you are not afraid

And the night was long and strange

While the healing was made




A woman loves you in the shade of the open

And saves your life beyond the edges of town

While the boys that couldn't leave the pain behind

They try to hunt you down

But the violence of the lost

Won't win to the solace of the broken



Song 8 - Blue Highways

Inspired by the book of the same name

by William Least Heat-Moon 

Song and title used by permission of the author 



My name is William Least Heat Moon

I've seen America out on the by-roads 

Roads that you travel when you are lost

I've quenched my thirst and prayed against the worst

Searching for six calendar cafes

Out on the blue highways


Some say the old ways are far behind

I'd say there're more living old ways than new ways

It takes the blue highways to show you the signs

I've seen first hand destruction of the land

Third degree, second and worse

Out on the Blue Highways


There's quicksilver lightning and old ghost towns

People have come and gone, Ghost Dancin' going on

Seems like I know all the folks here by name

With sugar running, fish in the rain

And monks in the mountains

Out on the blue highways


The least I have come to know are how my thoughts in a circle go

East by northwest, west by southeast

Signs of life in whoever you meet

With miles of highway there at my feet

I've been looking for some common ground

Out on the blue highways






Song 9 - Shadows of Avalon

Inspired by The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley


As the ages have brought flowers of spring

Many lives of the Queens have borne the kings

And the names of the gods have been many by the world in sway


For there was a time when one could call a barge

And a cry implored the heavens and the stars

And a land of peace hidden by a mist would open as a thought would will


And as Avalon took courage to its fate

It could not avoid the impending hate

So as many lives that lived to breathe as many truths there were to tell



Call the boatman to come while they can

Sweet Avalon has drifted from the land

Fly the flag of the dragon beside the sign of the cross

For if not half the world could be lost


There was a sword made of meteor iron

In a scabbard of a priestesses design

So that in the hands of a king this Excalibur might defend the worlds


But while the soldiers believed it was their strength

That wielded power over the battles length

It was the Lady of the Lake and her faith that laid the power on the throne




And as women were robbed of their esteem

There was not much to do but spin and dream

But how strange the truth and the will always seek to find a way


And a plot is a plot to see

Whether from the rich or a subject be

And the ties of the born and the sworn are always sure to be in play


And if we once would not betray

One might someday see no other way

To what becomes of a heart that is vengeance or in desperation wills




And if ones dares to embrace their faith

The world their beliefs could shape

For indeed the thoughts that we speak make the shadows of what's to come


And who's to hold the regalia now

The sword and cup meant for a holy vow

And who will keep now the balance of the men and women free


While due west of the isles of priests

The mists of Avalon over the land decrease

So saddened by a double cross, drowned out by the Glastonbury bells 




Song 10 - Lucy (Lucie) of Littletown

Based on The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle by Beatrix Potter


Lucy (Lucie) of Littletown

Lost her pocket handkerchiefs

And her little pinny

Somewhere on the ground

She's asking everywhereIn the barn, in the square

Hoping her handkins and pinny can be found

Tabby kitten just keeps on washing washing washing

Sally Henny Penny, clucking clucking clucking

Sally says I go barefoot barefoot barefoot

And Robin just flew around


She hears...


Lilly white and clean-oh with little frills between-oh

Smooth and hot red rusty spotNever here be seen-oh

If you please 'em, I wash if you please 'em

For all the little animals I'm the one to clean them


Lucy jumped a stile

Scrambled up the hillside

And found little footprints by the stream

They led her to a door

Underneath the forest floor

With a little a kitchen, ironing boards and cups of tea

There the laundry lady sniffle sniffle snuffles

Her little, brown eyes, they twinkle twinkle twinkle

Beneath her petticoat are prickles prickle prickles

And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle sings


She sang: CHORUS


There in the basket were Lucy's lost handkerchiefs

Her pinny mingled with other clean clothes

Mittens and waistcoats, Peter Rabbit's blue coat

All inspected by Mrs. Tiggy Winkle's nose

They delivered the clothing, skipping, skipping, skipping

Jenny Wren sang, thank you, thank you, thank you

Everywhere, were squirrels and mice and bunnies

And all the little lambs were white and clean


They delivered clothing skipping, skipping skipping

Then Mrs Tiggy Winkle went running running

Lucy thought she saw a hedgehog

Leaving behind Mrs Tiggy Winkles clothes






Song 11 - Tom Egan


This song was written by request of the descendant family members of Thomas Egan who sent me this book

for information about the story...

Drop Him Till He Dies, by C. John Egan Jr. 



Look at the waning moonHear the silence of the birds

Search the eye of the believer for the truth if you can find it

Where the air was like a shroud

And the crowd was there to watch it

When the gallows trap made a ghost of Thomas Egan



One time, two times, three times, a loophole beneath the gallows One time, two times, three times, a loophole


The South Dakota, where the earth and sky do meet

The fields so fertile, so beautiful beneath the feet

The perfect place to go, or paint a picture of

Or to find the one who shed their mother Mary's blood


The cabin was so small, the country was so young

The breaking of the ground had just begun

And the mark of Mary, the daughter of the free

Kept her secret like a jewel box without a key

And the folks they laid the blame

On the man who was most likely

But his name was not most likely

It was only Thomas Egan




The skirting dangling jewel

The jury and the rule

Not everything was clear, the sky and the story too

But just like a desert wash 

That takes storm water in

All of the blame, seemed to run towards him


The details and the names

Lie in dakota dust

While the ragged way we rule the world is passed down to us

The daughters restless run, while innocence was hung

Will someday tell the truth to all of Tom Egan's sons


Beneath the July sun

With the silence of the birds

Perched beside the courthouse to observe the human beings

The air was like a shroud and the crowd was there to watch it When the gallows trap made a ghost of Thomas Egan






Song 12 - New Homeland

Inspired by the reading of James A. Michener's Chesapeake


Well did she sail across the sea

With her white sails a'riding the westward breeze

With her bow riding high like the proudest of things

The loveliest thing her hold will bring


Well did she sail across the sea

To bring my love nearer to me

With her head held high like the proudest of things

A promise of love her heart does bring



Today she will come to my island

Where I've planted the grasses green

And the house that I've built with my own hands

Will welcome her to a homeland


Soon did I rise with the light of the day

To be first in the line for the gangway

Well did I dress in the finest of things

To greet what that sturdy ship will bring


Long did I wait 'til the morning was gone

While I watched that ship she sailed on

She stood on the deck like the fairest of queens

A promise of love her heart does bring




Well did she look like I thought she would be

The finest of English ladies

With her head held high like the proudest of things

A promise of love her sight does bring






Song 13 - A Pilgrim's Progress

Inspired by The Pilgrim's Progress

by John Bunyan

(Song written in 1982)

This set of lyrics are as sung on the recording. 

Kate has optional lyrics lines that are interchangeable.



In the progress of pilgrimage

You might fall many times

An ill wind can call you to question your mind

You pick up your feet, you work and you pray

While troubles and stormy hours, they threaten your day

A pilgrim's progress is a long day



Then angels answer the door

And show you the way

You don't know why you are there 

They called (call) you by name

As if they knew

And had expected you there

Welcomes you in

To comfort your sin

You'll not be a pilgrim there


In the lessons of ages you may do well

You savor the Sunday service and the bells

When in the middle of a day or night

You lose your path

You cry for help, yes you pray for that

A pilgrim's progress is a lone path



Then angels answer the door

And show the way

You didn't know why you were there

They call you by name

As if they knew

And had expected you there

They welcome you in

To comfort your sin

You'll not be a pilgrim there




bottom of page