The Fool Amongst The Keeners

from by James Olin Oden

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    Contains liner notes with descriptions of each of the songs, and some beautiful art work from Jenn Hales

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A few years back I was invited to participate in a songwriters circle. Almost everyone was playing very sad songs, such that every time it was my turn I just couldn’t stand to do another mournful tune. It occurred to me on later reflection, I was perhaps the fool amongst the keeners.


Circle up, now sing your songs, bare your naked soul,
With temperamental majesty, declare the years toll,
As the withered audience listens to the mournful keen,
There's no beer strong enough to mellow this dread scene.

Well I'm the fool amongst the keeners, the joker amongst the pride,
There's tears a plenty to be shared, for the mourners road is wide,
I'm laughing when there's frowning, I'm your man at the wake,
For I'll surely be a dancing, down the narrow road I take.

The dirge and blues are coming,the singer's in full bloom,
Let's all sit and listen, to this sordid private doom.
But you know the lark's still singing in the morning time,
And after the storm's washing you're sure to hear his chime.


I've sung my share of dirges, and murder ballads more,
But I'll ne'er leave you hanging in that rotten sullen moore,
Sure there's death a plenty out there and around each corner doom,
But life was made for laughing and dancing round this womb.



from Deeper Dance, released May 1, 2016
Donovan McCain - Mandolin
James Olin Oden - Guitalele, Vocals, Tony Dixon C Whistle, Bones, Shruti Box
Joey Arcuri - Standup Bass
Ruffin McCoy - Classical Guitar, Tenor Banjo



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James Olin Oden Raleigh, North Carolina

It's always been about what moves the heart. The songs I sing are compelling stories whose telling must be told over and over again. The stories range from dark acts that should not be forgotten to the silly revelries that we should never forsake. My hope is that as my heart is moved by the music so too may yours be moved.

Sláinte Mhór...James

Licks and Lyrics Interview on WCOM 103.5: http://t
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