Looking for a Rose

cd cover: the feral crow by scott ainslie©1999, Scott Ainslie

I went out to my garden looking for a rose.
You know there are so many thorns out where the roses grow.
While looking, I was bloodied. My feet and hands grew sore.
I was searching for a special rose that I had known before.

It’s been mighty dry this year, the ground has turned to dust.
The plants all curl up in the heat and open just at dusk;
Hoping for a little dew as the cool evenings come back.
It’s amazing what they have to stand
while the Sun burns through its track.

And if you want flesh, take my flesh.
If you want blood, take my blood.
If you want heart, take my heart.
And if you want love—
Take my love.

I know the one I’m looking for, to me she is the best.
Her face is like a beacon shining in the wilderness.
It’s true I’ve seen her many times, but of her, I do not tire.
If I could only see her now, that would be my desire.

Chorus

It’s sad when love is common, and it’s great when love is rare.
If everyone can have the same, what is the value there?
And so God armed the roses in thickets sharp with thorns,
And made sure that the fruits of love are in great labor borne.

Chorus

Personnel:

Scott Ainslie
Acoustic Guitars, Vocal
Scott Petito
Acoustic Bass
Jerry Marotta
Percussion
Peter Vitalone
Piano, Hammond B3
Leslie Ritter
Harmony Vocal

The language for this chorus was inspired by a Tibetan Buddhist chant, sung to demons, in which the devoted offers him or herself as a sacrifice to satisfy the demons hunger for causing suffering, taking on that suffering as an act of love.

This song—a lot of these songs, actually–are what I term ‘expensive’ songs. The allegory here was hard to write, the lessons learned were hard to live through, and at times, the song’s been hard to sing.

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