Rick Drost

Rick Drost

 Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Timeless Lyrical Ballads; Country with a twist. Rick started writing in the late 60s, inspired by Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. Now he takes his heartfelt songs to small festivals, coffeehouses and galleries in New England, the Southeast, the Midwest and Colorado. Recent influences include Vance Gilbert and David Wilcox.


Drost, a Singer/Songwriter from Cambridge, MA, has been writing songs
since the late '60s  with depth and heart: songs  that repay repeated
listening and convey a long love of classical music, natural wonders,

has sung in small and large choruses and small acoustic folk groups,
but since the early 2000s has been singing solo at open mikes, small
clubs and coffeehouses, galleries and listening rooms in New England,
the Midwest and the Southeast. 

retiring in 2015 from a career as a software engineer, Rick is happily
expanding the time he can spend listening, reading, writing, and
traveling around singing in small venues and festivals. 

"[a] magical singer/songwriter" - Kaylyn Marie 

"a songwriter's/songwriter" - Chicago Mike Beck

of us who write songs count ourselves lucky when we can craft one like
one of Rick’s.  Each song paints a picture of another little world for
the listener to play in for a few minutes." 

     -- Vance Gilbert 

On Rick's song, "Turning the World":

loved learning this song. I want the song to teach me what it knows. I
want to see the world through the eyes of this song. Like a skilled
tracker looks carefully and walks slowly, and finds out more by
combining the little clues, I want to let myself dream about where this
song is coming from and where it is going.  I want to know what it had
for breakfast….."  -- David Wilcox

Rick grew up playing classical
piano in a musical family outside Buffalo, NY. He discovered a love of
poetry (Shakespeare, Gerard Manley Hopkins) in high school, and played
banjo in a Kingston Trio style group. In college he sang with Glee
Clubs, and a small folk group.  Early influences were Leonard Cohen, who
sang under the stars at the Mariposa Folk festival in '67. and Joni
Mitchell  in '68, who inspired him with her lyrics and alternate
tunings. Since college, Rick has sung and toured internationally in
small and large choruses, (Spectrum singers, Yale Alumni Chorus), And in
the US as a solo songwriter and in small acoustic folk groups. Since
the early 2000s he has been writing again and singing mostly solo at
open mikes, small clubs and coffeehouses, galleries and listening rooms
in the vibrant folk communities in New England, the Midwest and the
Southeast, singing at workshops like SAMW, Song School in Colorado, and
Folk Alliance.  His songs treat life from a varied angles - Jilted
lovers, Swans in the Public Garden, Leftover Lobsters, and meditations
on meditation. Recent influences, avatars really, include Vance Gilbert
and David Wilcox, who has added Rick's song "Turning the World" to his


The Price of Fear

Written By: Rick Drost

The Price of Fear - Rick Drost - @ 2012 - Cambridge MA

The diver’s poised, prepared to go
Reflections warping in the water far below
Drawn taller yet, she breathes in slow
And Stiller Still, because she knows
She jumps too hard, she’ll fly too far
A hesitation, she’ll fall too near
And failing easy balance she will pay the price of fear

Your repartee has fallen flat.
How could you ever say a thing like that?
Disbelief flits ‘cross her brow
You fumble and you stumble, fear more trouble, stop for now
And Next day too, you let it pass
Still you’ve no answer; she won’t dare ask.
So day by day, and year to year
You both start paying The price of fear

What are you afraid of?
Muffled laughter, losing love?
Fear of flying, fear of falling,
Fear you hear you mother calling
Fear that noone’s calling you at all?

The far-off King’s an evil man
He prays to Gods that we don’t understand
Our own King fears he’ll be attacked
He’s not a Man if he’s only striking back
Send in the Boys to shock and awe
They’re fighting back still! Send ten thousand more
And generations hence will pay
The price of fear we feel today

What is it you fear most?
Old Duties or your Childhood’s Ghost
Say it softly; shout it loud
Sing it to a Singing Bowl
And Stir and listen till it turns to Gold

To every soul That’s ever bled
The Five of Swords will
Turn up in the spread
There’s no denying a hard decision
It’s fight or Fly: diffidence is dereliction
But Turned around, the swords are stilts
Lay treasures down; dance on the hilts
Better choices may appear
Catch and still the voice of fear

Other choices will appear
Catch and still the Voice of Fear

Turning the World

Written By: Rick Drost

Turning the World
Rick Drost

Ripples widen in the pool that cradled Every Ancient soul
Catch sunsparks, eucalyptus leaves and sky;
His bark canoe slides forward as he leans back on his pole
Beneath his breath his Father’s song will rise.
Two Thousand Years away a Gondolier leans on his oar
From turrets, steps, canals and stones
His Father’s Father’s song resounds.

All who pole and all who row
and sing their soul’s song as they go
You can feel them turn the world around

From Towers all around the town
Long shadows as the sun goes down
The vesper bells all hear each other ring;
The organ’s diapason honeying the choir’s eleison
To their Father, as the Congregation sings.
The spirit moves to Minarets
Muezzins chant a call to prayer
The faithful bow in concert on the ground

All who sing and all who ring and all who join in listening
And All who play and all who pray
Will know they move as one, one day
Hear them as they turn the world around

You’re both in bed now, feigning sleep
You’re newlywed, you’re new to fight
You’d floated through all yesterday in bliss
Sharp words both ways cut both ways deep
You hope you’ll make it through the night
Your Father never sang a song for this

Listen for her breathing; Match your drawings-in to hers
If she sleeps then so will you
If not, her hand may yet find yours

Late enemies in Unison
Anemones unfurl
Wave together,,,
Nearer ever…
Hear each other,
You can turn the world.


Written By: Rick Drost

…And on your way to Revendon
A barefoot girl in calico asks you to go
Share the forest with her, one and lonely.
On such a day, forgetting that you’re travelin’ on
Forsake the highway; take her smile,
And follow to her forest home.

She sits you down in sun-filled rooms, her meal to share,
Of bread and cheese and fresh spring water,
From a glistening mug of porcelain.
You talk about your magic town,
And how you’d planned on going there
And all this time you vaguely feel
You might be getting more than
You could give her, ever;
But for now, you’re two together.

You take her hand, and start to walk, say not a thing,
Slide through shafts of sunshine
While she shows she’s glad to find you.
You stop and stand together by a spring.
Reflected in the rippling pool are you and she;
The waves remind you:
You’d set out on a mornin’ not too long ago,
Searchin’ for a place you’d dreamed you had to go…

Without warning, drop her hand;
You’re hopin’ that she’d understand.
You hadn’t meant to leave so soon:
You’d almost spent an afternoon.

You watch her wave, while glancing back toward settin’ sun.
You can’t explain, give word or song or tarry longer, only:
You’re on your way to Revendon.
You’ll have more time for livin’ then,
But now you’re one and lonely.

Got a Little Corner

Written By: Rick Drost

Got a Little Corner - Rick Drost

Hey there buddy, you know you don’t have to snub me,
You can say hello when passin’ on the street.
You got her keys I never had ‘em:
I hope that that will gladden you,
So just be civil anytime we meet.
The lady’s let me know the score.
You won what you were playin’ for.
So take your prize, enjoy it
But make sure you treat her kind.
‘Cause even thought she made me go
I’ll be okay because I know
I’ve got a little corner of her mind.

And I’m in there
Smiling when she’s kissin’ you good mornin’
You’ll taste my cookin’ in your food
You’ll drink my kind of wine.
And even if you killed me dead I’m in your bed, I’m in her head:
I’ve got a little corner of her mind.

The lady told me yesterday she didn’t love me anyway;
I guess I’ll spend my time now runnin’ free.
Still I’ll read her letters when she writes me,
And I’ll come when she invites me,
When we’re talkin’ just go in and watch TV.
I took that picture on the wall
You’ll see my footprints in the hall.
The coffee mug you drink from
At her table once was mine.
You might as well get used to me,
‘Cause where she is there I will be:
I’ve got a little corner of her mind.



Written By: Rick Drost

Buffalo - Rick Drost

When I was a lad up in Buffalo
My daddy brought me home a guitar.
I played all night till the rooster’d crow
But my ma thought I was goin’ too far.
She said “Son I like your playin’ and I like your song,
And I wouldn’t have you think you’re doin’ anything wrong,
But when you grow a little higher,
You’ll maybe find out why your
Ma don’t want you playin’ all night long.

Well I had to find a place where folk’d listen all night
So I headed for a bar in town,
But they tried to close the place about half past two
When I started playin one more round.
We were a singin’ and a clappin’
At a quarter to three
When the man came in and arrested me.
He said “We can’t have people thinkin’
Folks are still in here drinkin’
So you can’t play guitar all night long”

So they took guitar and my name and my age
And they put me in the county jail.
I got the brothers going on a little song
Cause I had no-one to go my bail.
Well they couldn’t stop the singin’ so they had to set me free,
They threw my guitar out after me,
But they didn’t give me back my name or my age
So I’ll have to make one for myself.

I met a little girl and her name was Sue
And what she told me I shoulda known:
She said “you shouldn’t oughta play your guitar all night,
Especially since you’re playin’ alone”.
She showed me what other folks do with their nights.
She said “If you want to keep on playin’, it’s all right”
I said “I’ll maybe play away till one or two
But I’ll spend my morning hours with you.”

So my Susie and me we bought a little farm
We got everything we need so far.
And Saturdays I take my guitar into town
Just to keep a little money in the cookie jar.
And evenings the kids all join in the song;
I bought ‘em guitars so they could play along,
But my Susie and me we stop at half past ten,
So we can take a rest and play it again.


Written By: Rick Drost

Wyethstown - Rick Drost

My family came and settled down, year of thirty-four,
Homesteaded near Wyethstown, your father owned the store.
We played together, laughed and cried, since we were very young,
Over hill and meadowside, of golden-green we’d run.
And there was noone to say I’d regret the day
That the railroad come.

They built the railroad by us when you were twenty-two.
You quit your job at Wyeth’s farm to help them put it through.
In summer sun I’d watch you sink the steel into the ground,
Then we’d walk together in the woods on the ridge above the town.
The summer that the railroad come, and I loved you.

Now Wyethstown is weathered-in, all blanketed with snow.
Alone I read your letter in the embers dyin’ glow.
I’ll wait a winter while you court your girls of quality
By sidewalk-light in New Orleans, and never think of me.
And I never thought, when the railroad come, you’d ever go.

Things aren’t much changed in Wyethstown since you left that day.
With six long summers come and gone we’ve little more to say.
But Sunday after church we cross the golden fields of hay
And climb the ridge above the town, to wait along the right of way
For the white smoke comin’ risin’ in the sky
Blue, as your son’s eyes followin’ the train, as it goes by.

Old Player Piano

Written By: Rick Drost

Old Player Piano - Rick Drost

Old Player Piano come
Take me away
From whatever I thought
So important today.
For eighteen long years
I have left you neglected
Except for the treasures
On top I’ve collected:
Pink shells from the Gulf,
A framed tide pool serene,
Two bulldogs,
My junior high Little League team.
I’ll sit by this shrine
Let the vibrations guide me
To play you again, is my dream.
Oh Pictures come take me back
Out to the Lake
Where the evening sun
Gilds the Beach Stairs with grace.
Of family out picking
Cabbage and corn:
Some are still with us,
And some have passed on.
But the light that they loved
Still streams through the trees there,
O’er the vines, up the ridge,
Toward the clouds and the clear.
Pictures keep beaming
Above my piano
Remind me my loved ones are near.
Old broken metronome
Brought from my father’s home
Presto is now the lone
Tempo you know.
Take me back to the time
That you kept time so slow,
Kept me practicin’ when I
Just wanted to grow
Up and follow my brothers
To the world they had known,
Play guitar, steal a kiss,
Find a love of my own.
Mahogany metronome,
Keeping time slow
Told me then what I now yearn to know.
Piano I pray thee now
Do as you will
With this errant old Singer
Who sits by you still.
Let your chords tie into
Love locked inside of me
Songs that can comfort,
Inspire and thrill
You’re part of a dream
That just won’t fade away
And I felt ‘til just now
I had nothing to say.
So my fingers alight
As your keys black and white
Turn me open, and play me tonight

Hymn No. 2006

Written By: Rick Drost

Hymn #2006
Rick Drost

In the Beginning was the Word...

Before the Word, tunes filled the air
From bird, wind, brook, trees everywhere
Before the tune a beat thrummed brave
Of wing, of heart, of ocean wave

Before the beat a tree took root
In gentle earth; its boughs bore fruit
an apple, heart-shaped red and full
Before that heart e’en came the soul

Infinite in time and space
Soul waited in a nearby place
Twixt night and day and sun and moon
To find its heart, its beat, its tune

In joyful song now let us sing
The wide world round our voices ring
Each bird and beast from West to East
In Harmony together
We’ll Send our songs up to the sky
Our Souls unite as Voices rise
From near and far out past the stars
The music is forever

Past Final Word, To earth below
Heart falls from bough; new trees will grow
Our Sweet Soul’s song will still resound
Through space ‘Til it again comes round

In joyful song now let us sing
The wide world round our voices ring
Each bird and beast from West to East
In Harmony together
We’ll send our song up to the skies
Our souls unite as voices rise
Each star and moon will swing in tune
The music is forever

Sing we in the Here and Now
Let go of any yearning
And join the Mind all orbs designed
The Song that keep them turning

Still Point

Written By: Rick Drost

Still Point
Rick Drost – Mar- May 2013

Time now, Time Beckoning, Time out of Memory
Glimpses of dreams not yet dared
Reborn Romance, second chances past reckoning
The Future: Now Now, is repaired.
Here at the high mark where all waters rise
Before they start falling away
Widen the moment in front of your eyes
Dance through all time in a day,

Lamb from the oven; Cinnamon, ginger
Songs from your Grandmother’s heart
EasterTime Family Gathers for Dinner
Take your place ‘til they’re ready to start.
Early This Morning, out under the apple tree
Fall’s drops a-dapple with sun
Cidery air up to Blossoms, Cerulean-
Grandfather’s blessing’s begun.

At a Still Point
And you yearn to stay
But the World Turns
And it Slips Away

Gone now the apple tree
Long gone the family
Raised in the home that they built in its place.
You ride to the tune of a loopy calliope
Reaching for brass rings they no longer make.
But you’re finding apple trees everywhere now
The forest in new-fallen snow,
Gull above beach cliff, Towers in Tuscany
Cradle them, then let them go.

In the Windlessness On the Canyon Floor
Breathe the sky down in
And again before
Each Dip of the Paddle,
Each flick of the Pen,
God writing your name with His hand.


Twelve Dared Dreams - on CD Baby

Set List

Short Original Set (30 min total)
Got a Little Corner
How to Turn the World

Longer Set - 45 Min
Old Player Piano
Buffalo ( Guitar all Night)
Got A Little Corner
May you Never (john martyn cover)
Lucky Lobster Rag
Hymn 2006
Lone Man
Seasons Search