The Emergent Sea

Moray Crawford: Drums; Paul Fleischer: Flute; Roman Rhodes: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Keyboards; Tim Wiltshire: Electric Guitar.
Words & Music © Roman Rhodes, 2009, Multifolkal, SOCAN


Typically, this, the title song came last. I'd been working on it---well a completely different version of it-- for years. But I could never get either the right music or lyrics, though I had various verses that I liked. They were all about the god of wine, the energy of life, love and liberation, Dionysos. Probably too graphic for radio anyhow. I'd given up on the song when one day I was walking where I live among the fields and mountain forests of a small town in Japan and waiting for my child, I was enjoying the warm breeze blowing through the beautiful cedars, cedars so lush they instantly reminded my of the trees in Miyazaki's famous animation, Totoro, and that's how it happened, the rest just flowed. Within 30 minutes of getting home I had it finished largely both lyrically and musically. The navigator, Will Adams, was the first English man to Japan (1600) and he is partly responsible for advising Ieyasu to kick the Jesuits out of Japan. I thus consider him an ancestor in more than just name. He was definitely the first European, if not first or only foreigner to become a Samurai (an African became a Samurai 20 years prior). In charge of building Ieyasu's fleet, he adapted to and respected his new found home, though he wished to return to England. Clavell's novel Shogun is based on him, though it really lacks compared to the original novel The Needle Watcher, by Richard Blaker, published in 1932. Also an excellent read is Samurai William by Giles Milton. Though all this really has little to do with the overall feel and theme of this Jungian dreamscape of a song about following your soul above all else.


The Emergent Sea: Lyrics

I was standing by the Totoro trees 
when along came a breeze that said 
"Come on Will, let's go over the hill 
and down to the inland sea. 

I'd been dreaming of getting away 
to the island where the pixies play. 
When the wind asked in sorrow 
why wait for tomorrow 
When you can be happy today?

As there was salt on the wind 
and my finances were dim, 
I walked on over that old salt road. 
Left my kin, followed a whim, 
hoping it knew where to go.

And if you could fly on your whimsical mind
And leave all your troubles behind, 
Would you still change the world or escape to find 
Everywhere's the same if you don't take the time 
To know yourself deep inside, 
to meet the goddess hidden inside. 

Now the first Englishman in Japan,
Came with a compass in hand. 
And he pointed the way to a better day 
Said: kick the Jesuits out of your land.

Must be an ancestor of mine, 
For we share the same name and mind 
And we respect the other and great hidden mother 
Who makes all living things shine.

But I only made it to the river, 
where a girl with a bow and quiver 
Shot down inside of me, made me shudder then shiver. 
Built a house and lost myself, 
and now my soul's upon a shelf 
Wondering if I'll ever get beyond this land of never 
Grow this acorn to a tree, 
build a boat inside of me and cross the emergent sea.

Now I'm a musical man, 
But I've yet to form my band, 
For I can't find my way, 
nor know where to play 
Without that compass in hand.

So I'm waiting by the Totoro trees, 
Searching for my deity. 
Preying for detection 
so she'll give me directions 
Down to the inland sea, cross this emergent sea!


See Roman and the Pagans also at:

YouTube -- Facebook -- CD Baby --