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The Writing of "Milkweed and Thistle"

Updated: Jun 8


Milkweed and Thistle is one of my favorite songs on the Delta Tales album. I wrote it on February 19, 2020 when I came up the main piano part, which drove the rest of the song. I wrote the lyric the following day in a couple of hours and sent the first rough demo to Ace on March 1. He responded, "This could be epic".


Ace changed the vocal melody a bit for the chorus from what I originally had. In April, we tracked the drums (George Perilli), bass (Joe Macre), and guitar (Steve Schuffert) with Dave Granati doing the lion's share of the engineering. Hermie Granati added the string orchestration. Hermie also worked on the background vocal arrangement for the female singers (Shawn Mayer, Rozz Chapman, and Kelly Connors). I wanted an Elton John feel for this one and the rhythm section channeled that perfectly. Plus, Cousin Steve's guitar solo is absolutely stellar; it brought magnificent energy to the song.


Milkweed and Thistle is about a man who has lost his true love in some unspoken tragedy and feels completely bereft. I believe it is one of my best lyrics to date. Although the topic is sad, the song is at the same time positive when the lyric turns to a reflective mood. My favorite line in the song is "Some nights, as shadows dance amongst and bend the sugar cane, I hear your promise whispered to me in the evening warmth.”


I'm proud of the song. It is musically and harmonically complex, with solid hooks throughout


MILKWEED AND THISTLE

John Blangero (Reborn Pelican Songs/BMI)


Lost in the canebrake, the fading light offers silent prayers

And still the gull song lures me to the waters calm and deep

Like a bed unshared, it’s a lonely place where secrets are well kept

On the banks of the River, ghostly morning flowers slept

Milkweed and thistle drifting through my dreams tonight


Some nights as shadows dance amongst and bend the sugar cane

I hear your promise whispered to me in the evening warmth

In this coastal town where rushes sway to the sea breeze

On a darkened porch came kisses, deep and wild and sweet

Milkweed and thistle haunting my dreams tonight


Baby, since I’ve lost you, I just can’t let go

Since you crossed that River pain is all I’ve ever known is

Milkweed and thistle are all that I have left upon this earth

Milkweed and thistle are all that I have left upon this earth


In this coastal town where rushes sway to the sea breeze

On a darkened porch came kisses, deep and wild and sweet

Milkweed and thistle haunting my dreams tonight


Baby, since I’ve lost you, I just can’t let go

Since you crossed that River, pain is all I’ve ever known is

Milkweed and thistle are all that I have left upon this earth

Milkweed and thistle are all that I have left upon this earth


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