I suppose this humble old soldier's journey began
as a young boy dreaming of glory as he arrayed his toy soldiers on
the floor before the hearth. I grew with those dreams to learn
music and song from my father, applying the talent early
in life as a trade at inns and weddings, but all the while
wishing I was somewhere else amidst the adventures of the
soldiers all the maidens seemed to revere, hoping one day
to carry a musket myself.
I would fight for king and country, oft reminding the
regulars who frequented the taverns at which I played that I also
was a Briton the same as they, though I had never seen London, to which
they'd betimes jeer.
'Twas such exchanges that made me relish to hear of and sing
about times when we colonists go the best of our sovereign, though
I was chiefly interested in the attention my songs afforded
me from the maidens.
My concern for all things politic started in earnest
not until, as a militiaman I served the king against
France and her savage allies, standing to fight while my
fellow youths in all their pride were torn asunder.
At the tender age of a young man only the thoughts of a particular
maiden whom I had kissed farewell could sustain me through
such woe. Our sweethearts were oft the subject of our
fancy as we whiled beside our fires in the eve, and I was
most pleased to find that mine had likewise thought
Upon my return she rendered herself inseparable of me,
chasing me until I caught her, much to the chagrin of her father,
who wished to see his daughter taken with aught else
but some soldier bard. This battle was not to be won by the
old man, who found in his daughter's beau a formidable
adversary in brawn and wit, finally relenting to give me
Once matrimonially secured, 'twas I who relented to her, giving
over much if not all of my former ways to the virtue of a Godly
life my wife would have prayerfully instilled within
my soul, and I genuinely found the lover of my soul.
Amongst my engagements musically and work in the fields, we
found a new vigour in the pursuit of applying the Christian
standards of the Holy Scriptures to our new family,
joining in the growing movement of faith amongst our
friends and countrymen.
This awaking was the unavoidable result of a people of
virtue facing an increasingly hostile mother country,
leaving the sensible with naught by which to stand but
for God, country and family. I determined to do so,
and in that order, come what may, so I cast off deference
to agents of the king, swearing to never again doff my hat
to their ilk presuming to be my better, and endeavored to
make light of them in my music.
Already men of like mind were called rebels, and the
colonies of America were coming to ever more hot conflict
when I heeded the call to don the coat of a new continental
army in favour of American independence.
I found myself alongside with all sorts - saints and scoundrels,
young and old, gentry officers, poor pirate soldiers, farmers,
fishermen - full of virtue and vice, but each had in
common that these colonies be colonies no more,
agreeing the king had to give over before we stay our hand.
The soldier I had so long dreamed of is what I had become, though
the bard still lived in him, albeit his song of liberty for men who
would be naught but free.
With proud conviction I toiled to the end of my enlistment
before rejoining my family to take them west, away from the armies.
In the county of Kentuck, instead of the tranquil isolation
of the frontier and an end to the soldiery, necessity
had me once again to take up arms.
Admonishing my sons and daughters to stand firm by their mother
in our new frontier home while I left once more to dispatch
an enemy, this time chiefly the savages in British employee, I
turned to my wife to vow I would return to leave no more, though
I would venture anyone who heard her response would be loath to reckon
her in full approval. Convinced I was off to certain
destruction in the wilderness, she lamented my going,
a disposition which had me to depart in utter anguish.
However, we did succeed, and at that beyond all we could have
hoped for. So 'twas with an anguish not unlike that with which
I had left her that I and my comrades parted company, each to his several pursuits.
We leave a changed world for our efforts -
our children, in a legacy of free men.
Blue Stream Records and E.L. Kurtz