Calaveras

 

Ready to Fly

05:03
Calaveras
12/31/1969
Greg Beattie

Story

Ready to Fly was inspired by a Bread and Roses benefit concert our band Calaveras performed at a nonambulatory senior facility in Mill Valley California. Afterwards, we spoke to several members of the audience. They told us the music brought back memories—of dancing at the Avalon ballroom, of loved ones they had lost, or just of feeling young and alive. Knowing that they were nearing the ends of their lives and would probably never leave the facility, their stories, smiles and tears were deeply profound to me. A couple of weeks later I was thinking of them, and the song nearly poured out of my guitar and onto the page—essentially finished in half an hour. It was as much a gift to me from them as a work of my own.

Lyrics

Ready to Fly I am standing on the edge of the water And I am watching the wild birds fill the sky And I am longing to be lifted up among them I am not dying I’m getting ready to fly. I am an old man and these old hands tell my story Fifty years on the Boston piers took their toll Faded faces smile from those places I cannot return to ‘Til my days are done and they take me home And I am standing on the edge of the water And I am watching the wild birds fill the sky And I am longing to be lifted up among them I am not dying I’m getting ready to fly. I was a young wife with my whole life still before me It was the last year of the last great war My darling Edward never returned from Normandy But soon I will see my Edward once more. And I am standing on the edge of the water And I am watching the wild birds fill the sky And I am longing to be lifted up among them I am not dying I’m getting ready to fly. My memory is fading like an ember But I remember a promise I once made I said dear Father I’ll be faithful forever And as he draws near me he can hear me pray I am standing on the edge of the water And I am watching the wild birds fill the sky And I am longing to be lifted up among them I am not dying I’m getting ready to fly.