March 11, 1962

“I have no relationship with my birth mother because she just can’t bring it in herself to meet me. I’ve only done the phone call that I describe on the March 11, 1962 song.”Mary Gauthier (294)

Karla Faye

“[In 1998, Karla Faye was the first woman to be executed in the United States since 1984, and the first in Texas since 1863. She was convicted of murder in Texas in 1984 and put to death fourteen years later – Ed.] I’ve never killed anybody but I know what it’s like to be an addict. I know what it’s like to be strung out and a mess and surrounded by people who are very dangerous. I wrote that through the feelings I had in my addiction. And I believed that her conversion was real.”Mary Gauthier (682)
“This is a song that explores homicide, redemption, vengeance, soul sickness and bureaucratic murder– played out to their fullest in the life and death of Karla Faye Tucker, the Texas woman executed by lethal injection in 1998.”Mary Gauthier (962)

I Drink

“‘I Drink’ is pretty embarrassing. Nobody wants to get onstage and say “I’m a big drunk.” They want to disguise it as ‘Margaritaville’, where everybody’s happy, it’s a big party and drinking is so much fun. No one wants to say “this is ruining my life and I’ve given up hope.” Nobody wants to go into the darkness.”Mary Gauthier (682)
“I wrote this song when I was almost five years clean and sober. There’s no way I could have seen this character’s plight if I had not lived it, I would not have the perspective to understand the dire situation this character is in until I stepped out of my own downward spiral. Just like it was for me, the character in this song is in full-blown denial, can’t see the real problem, and doesn’t know the cause of the tormenting loneliness and isolation that’s driving the compulsion to self-medicate. The character is classic alcoholic, a garden variety drunk, believing that drinking is the solution and not the cause of the suffering. The character has become resigned to living this way, resigned to drinking, mostly alone, till the bitter end. Essentially, the song is about who I would have been had I not gotten sober. As I wrote, I turned myself into a guy alone in a room in a cheap apartment in Central Square, in Cambridge, MA. (I knew a guy like that, a wonderful country singer and songwriter, who died of alcoholism in just this horrifying, predictable, boring and sad way). I let myself become him, and the song came out of my imagination and experience.”Mary Gauthier (963)

Drag Queens In Limousines

“As I worked on it, ‘Drag Queens in Limousines’ became an autobiographical story song about coming of age as a gay kid in the South. It’s more or less my story, but over the years it’s become an outsider’s anthem. The song speaks to the outsider in all of us, though when I wrote it I had no idea that people of all persuasions from all over the world would relate to feeling like an outsider.”Mary Gauthier (964)

Blood Is Blood

“The song ‘Blood Is Blood’ tells the story of the existential hole left inside of an adoptee after the loss of original family and heritage to the crucible of closed adoption. This loss is traumatic, but it is not yet generally understood. Often times, we adoptees don’t even know the loss/trauma is there because of a split in our psyche’s that shuts us out of entire rooms in our brains. Trauma is fundamental in adoption (especially closed adoptions where adoptees are given no knowledge of their heritage), but we’re just beginning to understand the ramifications of it. Certainly there is a direct link between childhood trauma and addiction as well as a variety of attachment disorders and other struggles, but we are in the infancy of understanding how this all plays out. ‘Blood Is Blood’ is both my story, and the story of closed adoption, an in-your-face song railing against the pain, secrets and lies of closed adoption. I’d say it’s probably the angriest and most angst-ridden song I’ve ever written.”Mary Gauthier (965)

The Last Of The Hobo Kings

“I wrote this song in a hotel room in Amsterdam, in late November of 2006. I was in the café atrium sipping Dutch coffee one morning when I saw a headlined obituary in the International Herald Tribune newspaper for Steam Train Maury Graham, the Grand Patriarch of the Hobo Nation. I’d never heard of him, but I read his obituary and it grabbed me, he grabbed me, and I knew I’d found the thread of the song I should write.”Mary Gauthier (966)

Sugar Cane

“There was a violent labor dispute and racial attack of whites against black workers in Thibodaux, Louisiana in November 1887. The fight was about the money paid to the workers of the cane fields. I’d never been told the story of the Thibodaux massacre, and when I lived there I had no idea that this occurred in my little town, but I felt it in my bones somehow. Something in me knew there was blood in those fields. I don’t know how I knew, but I knew. I guess the ghosts of the Thibodaux Massacre still linger in the humid air, though no one ever talks about it. There’s a conspiracy of silence around things like this in the South. It’s not pleasant to talk about unpleasantness, and so for the most part, people don’t.”Mary Gauthier (967)

Wheel Inside The Wheel

“In college I’d studied philosophy, and one of the great thinkers I studied in depth was Neitzche. The concept of “eternal recurrence” is central to his writings. In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, he writes of time circular and cyclical, and not linear. This idea, found in many eastern philosophies as well, made sense to me, and stays with me to this day. That we all just move in eternal circles, spirit moving in and out of realms we cannot understand in this incarnation. This thought is deeply imbedded in the song, and married to poetic images from the Book of Ezekiel. My New Orleans heritage (I was born there) also found its way into the lyrics, and I couldn’t help myself but put a Second Line parade in there, throw in the famous New Orleans Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, the legendary Satchmo, some Mardi Gras Indians and Oscar Wilde, just ‘cause I adore him and felt like he belonged in a song inspired by Dave Carter [the song was inspired by the death of here dear friend, songwriter Dave Carter – Ed]. Once I got going, the images in the song came into my mind quickly—it was like they lined up somewhere in the misty muse world, waiting their turn to be included in this romping procession. This song is a bit of a Jazz Funeral in and of itself, and it is my greatest hope that the ideas of the eternal nature of the soul are true. That souls truly do move in and out this world without ever being born or dying, that we are all immortal in some form, and that we have nothing to fear from death.”Mary Gauthier (968)