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The Rifted Valley

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3.1 & 2.4

The Rifted ValleyiTunes | Amazon | Google | Spotify Previous | Next
Written by Max in 1985 and newly arranged for the album Long Way Home.

"I saw a news release about geologists discovering an ancient rift valley under the Midwest, similar to the one in Africa but filled with coal and oil: fossilized prehistoric life. I kept re-writing the lyrics over the years, performing different versions with Terra Incognita and Wickiup. This final version of the lyrics dates from 1993 when I rented a studio in an Oakland warehouse."

Lyrics

Smell the rain -

Smell the rain -

No one's planting the bottom land -
No one's planting the bottom land -

Light of day fill your leaves
Heavy water fill your leaves

Smell the rain - summer is around the bend -
to follow the Rifted Valley,
to follow the smell of decay.

No one's planting the bottom land
No one's planting the bottom land

Passing away, sink, sink, sink
Muddy water, so dark, so deep

Black and fecund, crumbling in my hand,
bodies of ancient creatures,
distant relation to me.

Got to go down in the bottom land -
Got to go down in the bottom land -
Got to go down in the bottom land -
Got to go down in the bottom land -

Copyright © Max Carmichael 1985, 2012.

"What amazes me here is suddenly we are no longer in the artist’s beloved New York post Punk Loft dreamscape, but somewhere deep in that intellectual alt Americana that folks like Andrew Bird inhabit. It is fitting that this is the last song of this random journey, because the music is epic, growing, dense and like all that we have heard today, full of ideas, but never disregarding the raw emotion of it all."

The NBTMusic Review 142: The Random Playlist Experiment

JonBaska Remix

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