Cabbage White

John Staples - 50/90 Songwriting Challenge 2013

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Liner Notes

A friend in the UK was discussing "Cabbage White" on a forum earlier this year. When I heard the phrase I thought it sounded like a great name for a guy who lives way up in the Appalachian mountains (I have been on an Appalachian kick this summer!) So I set out to write a song about that guy. But as these things sometimes go, I ended up somewhere else!

John Staples

Cabbage White

Cabbage White lives in the holler
pigs and goats and sons and daughters
a little nectar's all he's after
loves the music and the laughter

Cabbage White fly today
Cabbage White don't shy away
find red clover, roll her over
Cabbage White you cannot play
why you're here I cannot say

he don't mind those dandelions
he just thinks they look real fine
don't like birds of any kind
toads and earwigs blow his mind

Cabbage White fly today
Cabbage White don't shy away
find red clover, roll her over
Cabbage White you cannot pray
why we're here I cannot say

all his life is just a flutter by
never complains and he don't cry
lives his life with a gleam in his eye
he'll be here until he dies

Cabbage White wants Black-Eyed Susan
loves her dearly ain't no foolin'
but he also loves Red Clover
c'mon Cabbage that one's over

Cabbage White fly today
Cabbage White don't shy away
find red clover, roll her over
Cabbage White you cannot play
why you're here I cannot say

Cabbage White fly today
Cabbage White don't shy away
find red clover, roll her over
Cabbage White you cannot pray
why we're here I cannot say

© 2013 John Staples

I welcome your comments, feedback, critiques, etc.!!

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Comments on Cabbage White

Listened twice, what a joy to listen to your song John! I love the vibes here. Beautiful lyric, singing and playing. Fantastic new song, I can imagine it in a movie about two people falling in love and deciding to start a farm life. Happy love story with a lot of scenes of natural life, fields, animals, sunshine, cuddles and smiles smiley

That lead guitar just makes my day. Strong delivery of the vocals. Very nice, thanks for sharing!
-Ferry Colyer

This is a wonderfully delightful tune! Great fun and sweet garden love song. I love all the word plays and images and your vocal delivery and guitar make it so much fun to listen to!

Such a delightful and fun song! Way back yonder in the hills! Oh, I may have to use that line in a song! I have to get to 50 today! Love this! Cindy

Great fun mountain song. You do this style so well. Great vocals.

I love this; great rustic feel and top-notch, folksy singing. And the "Why we're here . . . " verse gives it a simple but true message that elevates this to something a bit more meaningful. Very impressive stuff; you should be really proud.

I agree with @Ferry Colyer - that is some of the most tasteful lead guitar work I've heard in many a long time. And what a great subject - I have a buddleia outside my window that gets visited by peacocks, red admirals and hummingbird hawk moths, but the humble cabbage white that's there most of the time never sparks any interest. I will look at them with different eyes from now on.

I'm happy that I inspired you to write this. The chorus is fantastic. Gorgeous playing and vocals throughout (that harmonising).

"all his life is just a flutter by" - I like that a lot! The pausing during the verses, that tagged line on the chorus (why we're here I cannot say), the character names, that bridge - all of these things are amazing.

The lead playing in this is exemplary, as is all of the other instrumentation. I was already hooked with the song and then the ending took the song to a whole new level. Brilliant.

Lovely lyrics that flow very well and the music does them justice! A very, very delightful guitar and great vocal delivery, everything fits very, very nicely here!
-Arthur Rossi

this kind of reminds me of the grateful dead. cool!

Damn, that's one slick, groovin' tour de force. This would be great with a simple arrangement, guitars and vocals, but you've got this thing put together like clockwork. And to repeat myself, that's a hot groove.
-life without budgies

i love that dobro (is that what it is?) playing those little lead dont sound like a guitar....its definateley the highlight. wow i dont know what this is about....are these all butterflies cos i dont know them in the uk..anyway as always you make it sound irressisstible with your scrumptious melodies & voice that could charm even butterflies! smiley

Very, very clever lyrics and enjoyable song! I love hearing the creative names and soft rhymes...holler/daughters, dandelions/real fine, Susan/foolin'...I get a kick out of this type of rhyming! I like how the story goes beyond the narrative and includes a bit of commentary as well and gives it some perspective..."Why we're here I cannot say" and "all his life is just a flutter by"...What a cool line! Makes it so much fun...really wonderful! And those harmonies are a lovely addition as well! Great song!

Wow! This is exceptionally clever and well-written! Very impressed your growth from FAWM into 50/90, John. Really like how you are layering your tracks and adding more into the mix. Many great things to say about this one, but everyone has hit them all above and I agree with each and every one of them. This has a wonderful message here and doled out in a playful ditty. A+++ Definitely a favorite!

I love old timey music like this. I'd not be surprised if you were on a bill with Norman Blake somewhere performing some of these songs. You have a knack, you're a natural. Or you've put in a huge amount of time.
-T.C. Elliott

Awesome all around, my friend! Love the lyrics and the lead/harmony vocals. That steel guitar (dobro?) ringing joyously throughout *totally* makes the song IMHO! I love it. smiley
-Deaf Steever

Yes, John! Brilliantly done! I love the drum groove and the rolling bass line. I love those country sounding guitar licks too.
This is a great production. What are you using for the drums on this?
The time I'm able to get onto 50/90 is still a little spotty, but I love it when I come on here and hear something of this quality... although I know I'm always gonna hear quality when I listen to your songs.

Another delightful song! Your arrangements are lovely and perfect accompaniments to your vivid lyrics.

This is toe tappin' stuff. Listened to it twice, found myself singing along at the chorus on the second time around. Really enjoyed this, the innuendo, the crypticness of "what does he mean? is he singing about a moth, or a man?". Is the lack of capitalisation on red clover/Red Clover deliberate? Best line for me, is "c'mon Cabbage, that ones over " - it still makes me laugh. As if to slap the guy/moth on the back of the head and say snap out of it man, you got Black Eyed Susan fool!. Prob my fav song of yours for 5090 - am devastated you haven't got more. But again, when it comes to Mr Staples, I love your quality work. Big fan man

Yes! I like the brisk tempo. This has a nice blend of country and folk pop. More on the country side, but there is lighteness in the music and in the lyrics that makes me smile. The unevenness of the melody, I mean how there is like a half bar every now and then, brings a nice folk quality, and it is handled very deftly by the players, so smooth playin. Slide guitar ( some sort of resonator I guess by the sound ) is cool. And the bridge in the minor key is really nice. Good mix too. I like how there is also some serious stuff in the lyrics. The man in the song is like the flowers he likes so much. Sweet song.