This Old Guitar

Copyright 2004, Guy Smith, All Rights Reserved

This old guitar echoes the worn and tattered fret board of my soul
We share the dents and scratches of a life that did not gently unfold
From shores of San Francisco back to our youthful southern pride
I couldn’t part ways with this old guitar if I tried

Silent six strings sat next to me at a truck stop outside of Memphis
Thumb out in the pouring rain, heading to a job in Los Banos
We’ve charmed a few women, we once charmed a friend’s wife
This old guitar knows the best and darkest moments of my life

This old guitar can pull the poison from me
We’ve sung the blues about lost loves
I reach for it when the bottle calls
I can never let this old guitar get far

This old guitar has healed the wounds left by unfaithful lovers
We serenaded stars in the night sky and discovered
The rhythms of my heart and the harmonies of the flesh
Our sullen wonderings and our eternal restlessness

We played loud and sloppy at all night parties out west
We played soft, low and sweet when we laid a dear friend to rest
We hear the road calling and recount the endless miles
This old guitar and me have been one for a while

This old guitar knows me to the bone
In these years I’ve never felt alone
When its time to put me in the ground
Make sure this old guitar follows me down

This old guitar echoes the worn and tattered fret board of my soul


The story: First, my deep apologies for the recording. Still learning how to do track compression with the new gear, and the original audio track were lost in a disc crash, so no chance to redo the vocals. Deal with it.

I had been hauling around a vintage Ibanez Lone Star, which new was a cheap instrument. And despite being very playable, it had that crisp (occasionally tinny) sound Ibanez guitars are known for.

So, I had been saving money for years to buy a world class axe. Every month I would sojourn to Guitar Center and play every acoustic in the back room, until my fingertips were raw. Yet, despite having cash burning holes through my pockets, I never left with a new guitar. No Taylor, no Martin, no Takamine was more fun to play than my old guitar.

And, frankly that guitar had been around a long, long time. It had survived seven homes, three step kids, one wife, and more late and lonely nights that any poor instrument should have to suffer. So I had a bit of an emotional attachment to overcome. And anything you feel that strongly about is fodder for a song. So I told a slightly exaggerated tale of our year together.

If you’re wondering, yes, the old guitar sits in an honored position in the studio, tuned for slide guitar (open-G most of the time) and still pulls duty once in a while.


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