James Marion Moak

James Marion Moak

BandCountryFolk

I am mainly a poet, humorist and a closet guitarist who cherishes his friends and enemies, his family and home, the land and air, and the South and his Country. My band? My band is me and plays all the time in my head: THE GERAGE BAND

Biography

My influences are the stories of my youth, and the people who have traveled through my life. Growing up on the west side of Jackson, MS, I was blessed to be friends with African, Asian, Lebonese, Arab and a Hinds 57 variety of ethnicities.

Lyrics

I CAN'T SEE THE LEVEE

Written By: JAMES MARION MOAK

I CAN'T SEE THE LEVEE

IT WAS IN AUGUST TWO THOUSAND AND FIVE,
DEATH CAME CALLING, RISING THROUGH THE NIGHT.
WIND WAS HOWLING, LIKE SATIN’S WINDOW FAN.
RAIN, LIKE BUTCHER’S KNIVES, CUT MY FACE, MY HANDS.

I CAN’T SEE THE LEVEE FOR THE RAIN.
AND MUDDY LAKE PONCHARTRAIN

I STOOD AGAINST THE WIND, I FACED ALL ODDS.
THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT. THIS TIME, THERE WERE NO GODS.
THE WIND FELL SILENT, I BARELY HEARD A MOAN.
NOT LIKE I KNEW HER, THIS OLD GIRL WAS GONE.

I CAN’T SEE THE LEVEE FOR THE RAIN.
AND MUDDY LAKE PONCHARTRAIN

I WALKED THE LEVEE AT SEVENTEENTH STREET CANAL.
THAT PLACE SEEMED EMPTY, GONE FROM THAT LOCALE
TRIED TO REMEMBER FROM WHEN I WAS THERE LAST
HOW IT WAS BEFORE THE WITCHES BONES WERE CASSED.

I CAN’T SEE THE LEVEE FOR THE RAIN.
AND MUDDY LAKE PONCHARTRAIN

DEATH SMELLS ARE RISING, SWIRLING IN HOT AIR.
ALONE IN WOOD C0FFINS, THEY PRAYED FOR LIFE THERE.
AT HOME IN SAFETY; OR, SO THEY THOUGHT TO HIDE.
OUT OF SITE AND OUT OF MIND FOR ALONE THEY DIED.

I CAN’T SEE THE LEVEE FOR THE RAIN.
AND MUDDY LAKE PONCHARTRAIN

WATER KEPT RISING. THE LEVEE’S CUT WAS WIDE.
DEAF EARS LISTENED, AS HER CHILDREN CRIED.
TRIED AND WEARY, SHE SAID HER LAST GOODBYE.
DROWNED IN SORROW, HER TEARS WERE ALL BUT DRY.

I CAN’T SEE THE LEVEE FOR THE RAIN.
AND MUDDY LAKE PONCHARTRAIN
I FEEL FORSAKEN LIKE PRAYERS ON DEAF EARS.
THE WORST HAS HAPPENED COMPELLING ALL OUR FEARS.
WE HAVE NO HOME NOW, THE FUN HERE IS FORGOTTEN.
LIKE BROKEN LEVEES, MY BED’S TURNED ROTTEN.

I CAN’T SEE THE LEVEE FOR THE RAIN.
AND MUDDY LAKE PONCHARTRAIN

IT’S WORSE IN MISSISIPPI. DAMNED, I DON’T SEE HOW?
WHAT REMAINS THERE, IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE NOW.
FOUR SIDES OF NINETY MILES IN THE MIDDLE IS WHERE I STAND
OF HELL’S DISTRUCTION. ONE DAY, MAY WE UNDERSTAND?

I CAN’T SEE THE LEVEE FOR THE RAIN.
AND MUDDY LAKE PONCHARTRAIN

DID WE GO WRONG OR SOMETHING WRONG WE DID?
DID THEY SLAM THE DOOR AND SEAL THE POOR, BLACK LID?
DID THE DEVIL CAST HIS LOTS AND LOOSE OUR SAINTLY SOUL?
OR, DID WE FORGET THIS PLACE: MY BAYOU CRAWDAD HOLE?

I CAN’T SEE THE LEVEE FOR THE RAIN.
AND MUDDY LAKE PONCHARTRAIN

THE MORNING, THE SKY WILL TURN BLACK TO BLUE.
THE SUN WILL RISE AGAIN. WATERS WILL FLOW A NEW.
LAUGHTER AND MUSIC, HER SONGS WILL FILL THE AIR.
SWEET CHILDREN PLAYING, THEIR MA-MAW’S TO TAKE CARE.

I CAN’T SEE THE LEVEE FOR THE RAIN.
AND MUDDY LAKE PONCHARTRAIN

IF I COULD WALK THE LEVEE AND WATCH HER MEN OF TOIL,
WATCH THOSE WHO GREW THIS LAND FROM ITS GUMBO SOIL.
MEN OF MUSCLE AND SOUTHERN BACKS OF STEEL
ARE GONE FOREVER, LIKE THE FLATBOAT PADDLE WHEEL.

I CAN’T SEE THE LEVEE FOR THE RAIN.
AND MUDDY LAKE PONCHARTRAIN

Discography

No releases; but where there is life, there is hope

Set List

The only song copyrighted to date is "I Can't See the Levee (for the Rain and Lake Ponchartrain)