Melinda Down The Line ~ Ian Fitzgerald

ianThough perhaps technically a singer-songwriter, Ian Fitzgerald prefers the term ‘folk singer,’ as it more accurately describes the tradition in which Ian’s music is rooted. From early twentieth century field recordings through Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Gillian Welch, and hundreds of artists in between, Ian has been influenced by one of the sturdiest strains of American music.

Ian Fitzgerald is a songster. If he had been born a hundred years earlier, he probably would have learned the songs of the day and provided the entertainment in between sales pitches at a medicine show. If he had been born forty years earlier, he might have made his way to Greenwich Village or, a few years later, down to Austin to congregate with his fellow songwriters. As it is, though, Ian finds himself in hard times for songsters. So he writes the best songs he can and plays them for whoever will listen.

Ian has been performing since 2004, and his schedule just keeps getting busier. He’s performed at venues throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada, including the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s Emerging Artist Showcase; Club Passim’s Cutting Edge of the Campfire Festival; the Word X Word Festival; the In The Dead of Winter Festival; and the New England Americana Festival, among many others. In 2009, his song “Lillian” won the Boston Folk Festival Songwriting Contest and earned Ian a performance spot at the festival. And earlier this year, Ian opened for the great Tracy Grammer.

Since April of 2012, Ian has been joined in live performance by harmony vocalist Courtney Gallagher. In addition to developing harmony parts for several of Ian’s newest works, Courtney has added her voice to a number of Ian’s older songs.

Melinda Down The Line

Melinda Down The Line is a song written and performed by Ian Fitzgerald.

I’ve been weary since I woke, saw the light and smelled the smoke
I’m gonna meet Melinda down the line
There’s a woman ‘neath my window; I don’t wanna let her in, though
I’m gonna meet Melinda down the line
Gonna meet her down the line where good fortune meets design
Where the benefits you pray for meet the penitence you pay for
And a dollar ain’t worth nothing ’cause it can’t buy any time
Gonna make sure that Melinda’s doing fine

I have held her body quaking every time she’s been forsaken
I’m gonna meet Melinda down the line
Even if I held the gun, it would be straight to me she’d run
I’m gonna meet Melinda down the line
Gonna meet her down the line where good fortune meets design
Where the benefits you pray for meet the penitence you pay for
And a dollar ain’t worth nothing ’cause it can’t buy any time
Gonna make sure that Melinda’s doing fine

In her home behind the mine shaft, she could hear it when the boys laughed
Or when one would drop his ax and pass the cards
Not a single bird in sight; she imagined they took flight
‘Cause there’s work to be had here but it’s hard

Got to scrub the pots and pans if you want to watch her dance
I’m gonna meet Melinda down the line
You can beg forevermore, but she’ll never take the floor
I’m gonna meet Melinda down the line
Gonna meet her down the line where good fortune meets design
Where the benefits you pray for meet the penitence you pay for
And a dollar ain’t worth nothing ’cause it can’t buy any time
Gonna make sure that Melinda’s doing fine

There’s the gentle dark of night and the dark you just can’t fight
I’m gonna meet Melinda down the line
Hold her hand and sign the deed: satisfaction guaranteed
I’m gonna meet Melinda down the line

Sweat that started on her brow wound up buried by the plow
In the soil being swept to either side
But rocks aren’t fit to plant in; some folks work so they can’t sin
And some so they can say ‘at least we tried’

There are foxes in the yard ’til the morning standing guard
I’m gonna meet Melinda down the line
I would comfort, but I can’t: planned my last words in advance
I’m gonna meet Melinda down the line
Gonna meet her down the line where good fortune meets design
Where the benefits you pray for meet the penitence you pay for
And a dollar ain’t worth nothing ’cause it can’t buy any time
Gonna make sure that Melinda’s doing fine

  • Audio from the 2013 album, No Time To Be Tender:
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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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