This year's Thanksgiving post takes its inspiration from "Pumpkin Farmer," a song performed by the Albuquerque-based band Trilobite that I encountered nearly a year ago via a post at stereogum. Trilobite is the performing moniker for Mark Ray Lewis, who is also an established writer, having won an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize in 2002 for his story "Scordatura," nominated by Joyce Carol Oates. The lyrics of "Pumpkin Farmer" have the closely observed quality of a good story, and the lovely harmonies of Michelle Collins keep the sentiment from slopping into sentimentality. Excerpt:
I’ve got 40 acres of regret to see.
My profit loss has been on show for free.
But with the moisture right, in the morning light,
hydraulics lift up the three point hitch.
That’s when I can, I can forget to be
Thankful, thankful to thee.
* * *
Drop the disc down onto a level field.
Watch it churn like an ocean gone brown.
Pumpkin leaves and tendrils turning under me,
an empty slate, ready for the cold.
- Trilobite - Pumpkin Farmer [MP3 link]
This marks my fifth Thanksgiving post. From this Fool's archives, here are links to the others:
- 2006: A St. Cecilia Thanksgiving [feat. St. Cecilia, Fairport Convention, the semiotics of turkey pardoning, and how to celebrate Thanksgiving in Korea -- a land without turkeys]
- 2005: Still Thankful After All These Years c/w The Turkey Pardoner's Tale [feat. Thomas Nast, Fairport Convention, another pardoned turkey, and the phenomenon of the "Christmas Number One"]
- 2004: Now Be Thankful [feat. Fairport Convention and the first of our pardoned turkeys]
- 2003: 10 Brief Lines for Thanksgiving Weekend [from Year One of this weblog, light verse in contemplation of Black Friday]
One last bit of business: the Presidential Turkey Pardon, a recurring theme of recent Thanksgiving posts.
Here, with Official White House Pumpkins, we see "May," one half of the fortune-favored Strut 'n' Gobble team of May & Flower, this year's beneficiaries of Executive Largesse.
The birds are now in residence at Walt Disney World in Orlando, under the care of an enormous Pilgrim Rodent, as you will see if you scroll down through Eric M. Davis' report from the scene.
Pumpkin Harvest at King Estate Winery (Eugene, Oregon), photo by d70focus, via Flickr, under Creative Commons license.
"Smashing Pumpkins" (Deutschlandsberg, Styria, Austria) photo by -cr, via Flickr, under Creative Commons license.
"May" the lucky turkey, White House photo by David Bohrer.