For me, one of the great joys of a new Avett Brothers record is getting to know the music more intimately by learning to play it. Magpie and the Dandelion is especially fulfilling because, with old favorites like “Never Been Alive” and “Skin and Bones” ready to be rediscovered, the familiar but never previously appreciated “Open Ended Life” and a string of outstanding new songs like “Apart from Me,” “Morning Song” and “Bring Your Love To Me.” (Also among old favorites is “Souls Like the Wheels,” but I’ve never learned to play it.)
So far I’ve worked out the lyrics and chords, along with some tablature, for the following songs on Magpie. These are all PDFs intended to be downloaded and printed:
“Skin and Bones” and “Never Been Alive” have been in the archive for two years or more and were closely revisited when Magpie came out, with significant refinements, especially in the intro and chorus chords of “Never Been Alive.” The guitar lick in “Skin and Bones” has been tabbed.
“Morning Song,” “Open Ended Life,” “Apart from Me,” and “Good to You” were all worked out on my own, the last on piano (still working on Seth’s beautiful outro—and not getting very far).
For “Bring Your Love to Me,” I’m indebted to YouTuber CJ Rich, who worked out the song (open C tuning) and even went so far as to post a tutorial on how to play it. Many outstanding Avett covers on his channel.
Today is Mardi Gras—Fat Tuesday—the day of feasting before Lent begins in the the Western Church. For a Byzantine Catholic, whose Lenten fast began Sunday evening with Forgiveness Vespers, Mardi Gras presents a particular temptation. But not what you might think.
It is not that one is tempted by the indulgence of Mardi Gras going on in the rest of the culture, even among those who do not know that Fat Tuesday is followed Ash Wednesday.
In fact, it is the opposite temptation: the temptation to be like the Pharisee who, in the Byzantine Rite we recalled three weeks ago on the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee, one of the Weeks of Preparation in advance of the Great Fast: “God, I thank thee that I am not like other men . . . [Continue reading this entry »]
This is my cover of a new, untitled, unreleased song by the Avett Brothers, commonly referred to as the “New Years Eve Song,” because it was first played to an audience on New Years Eve 2010 in Asheville, North Carolina. It’s also known as “Scared to Die,” from a lyric in the chorus.
I first heard this song at the Kalamazoo show on January 27, 2011. At the end of the first chorus, when Seth sang, “If I live the life I’m given, I won’t be scared to die,” we all realized this unfamiliar song was not a cover, but a new Avett song.
It has since become one of my favorite of their songs. Find a discussion of this song on forum at the Avett Brothers website here, and my PDF of the lyrics and chords here.