Month:

June, 2011

Twelve More Miles to Clatskanie

Twelve more miles to

Clatskanie, river’s runnin’ on my right,

Sun’s so low through tall Doug fir – it’s heaven’s own twilight.

Left my stories far behind, nothing left to hold me down.

Twelve more miles

to Clatskanie – Twelve miles and I’ll be home.

Many rivers to cross my friend from the tideland to the peak.

Listen to your quiet heart – let wisdom speak

Nothing more to ask for,

no questions to ask why,

Angel band singing by my side, cross the Great Divide.

What’s a soul to do today so far away from home?

Watch the raindrops fall and run from mountains to the sun.

Every river runs together, every river becomes one.

This one goes to Clatskanie – this one takes me home.

Twelve more miles to

Clatskanie, river’s runnin’ on my right,

Sun’s so low through tall Doug fir, it’s heaven’s own twilight.

Left my stories far behind, nothing left to hold me down.

Twelve more miles to

Clatskanie – Twelve miles and I’ll be home.

Twelve more miles to

Clatskanie – Twelve miles and I’ll be home!

- Lyrics by Tom Tower,

BMI 2006

Recorded by Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising

 

Celebrating Clatskanie

Editorial Comments
by Deborah Steele Hazen

Almost a year ago, we were delighted to announce that a song written by Tom Tower of the original roots bluegrass group, Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising, was teaching music lovers worldwide, not only how to pronounce “Clatskanie,” but was also garnering many votes in the Internet-based CityLove Music songwriting contest.

Tom, who visited the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce late last July along with Kathy (Jackson) Boyd, who grew up here, wrote “Twelve More Miles to Clatskanie” as an ode not only to the band leader’s hometown, but also as a tribute to a place he’d gotten to know and love through visits to the Great Vow Zen Monastery.

“Somehow that green ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation) sign that marks 12 more miles to Clatskanie also marks the boundary between the rush, push and self-absorption of the city and the serenity and self-acceptance of the country,” Tom told the Chamber.

He is referring to the ODOT sign that hangs on the overpass at the bottom of the Rainier hill. If you are coming up the hill from the Lewis and Clark Bridge, you miss it. It is directed at westbound traffic coming from Rainier on Highway 30.

The visit to the Chamber and learning about the ability to vote for it on the Internet galvanized people who love Clatskanie, and, amazingly – not because it isn’t a great song, but because it was competing against songs about cities such as Paris, Sydney, Los Angeles and other large cities around the world – “Twelve More Miles to Clatskanie” won the CityLove contest and Tower received the $10,000 prize.

With some of that prize money, Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising put on a free concert to say “thank you” to the people of the Clatskanie community in March.

In recognition of their efforts in making Clatskanie, in Kathy’s words, “the most loved town in the known universe,” the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce’s Heritage Days Committee chose “Twelve More Miles to Clatskanie” as the theme of the 2011 4th of July celebration, and named the band as grand marshals.

It is worth noting that Kathy (see the story elsewhere in this issue for more information) served as the queen of the 1979 Heritage Days court.

While he does not have family roots in Clatskanie, Tom Tower has come to love our community, and has captured in his lyrics the feelings many of us have for this town.

Celebrate that feeling this weekend. In between the parade, the fireworks, the logging show and the music – “Listen to your quiet heart – let wisdom speak.”

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