These are the dedications that Ashley read before each episode of the TELEVISON PRODUCTION of Perfect Lives. So they are on the DVD release, but NOT on the CD release.
This song is dedicated to George Johnson, and the motto is, “If that’s the way it’s gotta be, that’s the way it’s gotta be,” and the interpretation is George has worked hard his whole life and raised a nice family, kept them healthy and put them through school. Like all the rest of us he’d like to look forward to some kind of ease in his old age, some comfort and care, some assurance that he should have no worries, maybe even better than that. Maybe even a house in the sun and a few luxuries. I can’t speak for him on that part. So a guy asks for his daughter’s hand in marriage and he looks at the guy and realizes in all of his wisdom that good intentions, whatever they may amount to, are not all it takes. This guy is probably going to be lucky to get through it himself, much less leave around a budget for luxuries. So it looks like things are not going to change much for George in the way of comfort, care and luxuries. This is a perfect case of selflessness. George says, “Well if that’s the way it’s gotta be, that’s the way it’s gotta be.” These are songs about the Corn Belt and some of the people in it, or on it.
This song is dedicated to Maurice deSutter. The motto is, “Well, it can’t hurt.” The interpretation is, Maurice is pretty old by doctors’ standards; actually he’s pretty old by anybody’s standards. And he’s reached a kind of perfection. I mean the success of his life, as a farmer and the success of his family and their gentleness and generosity has created around him a kind of heaven. It’s obvious when you’re with him that he’s in heaven. So he really has only one problem left, the transition between this heaven on earth to whatever the structure of the next one would be. The moment, in other words, and if I could presume to describe the largeness of his spirit and the contemplation of that moment I always imagined him saying, “Well, it can’t hurt.” These are songs about the Corn Belt and some of the people in it, or on it.
This song is dedicated to Art Nyman, and the motto is, “You can do anything you want, but you can’t do just anything.” And the interpretation is it’s hard to imagine that it’s flawed in any way. Whatever we do to each other on earth and there are a lot of mistakes, there is a lot of pain, a lot of suffering and it’s right that we spend most of our time wishing that it were a lot different. But still in the larger sense there can’t be any mistakes. Se you can do anything you want but in the sense where we are you can’t come into my jewelry store on Thursday afternoon and start breaking up the beautiful glassware and the beautiful dishes just to make a sound. I mean in the sense where we are you can’t do just anything. These are songs about the Corn Belt and some of the people in it, or on it.
This song is dedicated to the Inness family, and the motto is, “It takes one to pedal and one to steer.” And the interpretation is that it’s possible. I mean I don’t know much about the science of what there is to go around and whether we can afford to have a lot more people here on earth than there are, but it’s possible that there just aren’t enough of us, and that that is the source of our problems. The best things we have of ours by far are the things that are the result of our intelligence together. It takes one to pedal and one to steer. These are songs about the Corn Belt and some of the people in it, or on it.
This song is dedicated to Frederick Stegall. The motto is, “The buck stops here.” And the interpretation is, he had to go to war. Oh boy. When he got back the folks were all old and the farm needed attention. There wasn’t much chance to go to town and change himself. So he just kept growing with the farm, and now the folks are gone and there’s just the farm, and so it’s unlikely – not impossible, but unlikely – that any girl will marry the farm. The buck stops here. These are songs about the Corn Belt and some of the people in it, or on it.
This song is dedicated to Snowdrift. She was a friend of mine whose name (apology), among other things of importance (end apology), I have forgotten. If you hear this and recognize yourself, please call me -- collect. It’s urgent. These are songs about the Corn Belt and some of the people in it, or on it.
This song is dedicated to Kay Strahler. And the motto is, “That’s a horse of a different color.” And the interpretation is, one day I decided not to eat meat. It upset my stomach. And it just didn’t seem fair. Then I went to a place where they eat insects, which were just the smallest of all the things that they eat. And there, it seemed fair. That’s a horse of a different color. These are songs about the Corn Belt and some of the people in it, or on it.
Copyright © Robert Ashley, 1983
© P Lovely Music, 1991, 2006
LCD 4917.3 A D D