When I originally wrote this song it had a different tune. Ten years later I had forgotten that tune, but I still had a copy of the words, so I created a new tune for it which I have been happier with. And now, ten years after that (in 2012) I have recorded the song, laying down all of the instrumental and vocal tracks over a couple of days.

Click here to download an audio file of the song.

by Ruth Anderson

It’s three by three by thirty-six, a solid rough hewn piece of wood
The butted planes a quarter turn of separate sides and waiting good
I join the sides with tools at hand, I coax and coddle, chide and beg
The hidden promise is revealed, within this wood a table leg

I take the wood into my hands and using lathe I shape and groove
The shifting form, like wind blown sands, rough edges now to curves I move
No longer at the whim of strife, I shape the wood, the world, my life

Its men and women, whites and blacks with all their separate skies to see
The sharp distinctions of the edge convince this is reality
We turn the world within ourselves, we blur the lines and cross the bounds
A new shape forms and takes its place, a fuller sky whose sight astounds


It’s life before I learned to do, those static times so hard to shape
My splintered dreams, rough to the touch, my spirit longing to escape
I took those edges, trimmed them down, I sanded to the finest grade
I honed my skills, was honed in turn, by what I did my life I made


I take the wood, I shape the wood, I shift the world, I make my life
I take the wood, I shape the wood, I shift the world, I make my life

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