The great state of Maine

Time: 05:41

The Great State of Maine was a finalist in the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest. It’s a straight four-on-the-floor rock song, but its lyrics might be the most personal on this record. My brother is a labor and political organizer in Maine and this song is a piece of our story. The doo-wops reminded producer J. Robbins of Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side.” There really are no billboards in Maine. A state legislator I know works to keep it that way.

Lyrics:

January 2005,
Andante

Mixing drinks in unmixed company
For men who are all mixed up and yet no more than me
And I can try to understand
But I’ve always been your straight man, it’s all I know to be.

In the great state of Maine
You still got silence all inside
I get scared for you, brother
Won’t you find some northern lights?

Behind the bar, working bareback
A thing of beauty, a thing.
The ones and fives are tucked in so deep
And you’ve tucked yourself way down as well
Too deep too reach.

In the great state of Maine
You’re the standard, stand-up, we all wait for your sign
You’ve learned how to fight back but sometimes you’d rather hide.
You still got silence all inside
I get scared for you, brother
Won’t you find some northern lights?

I walked you hand in hand down to school on your first day
Call it a promise – oh so hard to keep
And there’s much I might have done differently.
It’s hard to see you hardened and hard to reach.

I’d still like to hold your hand
But it’s not my life to lead
In the great state of Maine
There are no billboards to read.

I’d still like to hold your hand
But it’s not my life to lead
In the great state of Maine
There are no billboards to read.

In the great state of Maine
In the great state of Maine.