Dakota Dreams

Patrick Brennan—producer, keyboards
Gerald Brennan—composer, lyricist, singer
Garrett Schmittling—guitarist
Paul Gorman—backup vocalist

I’ve never been out Dakota way. But I understand that John Fogerty of Creedence never left San Francisco while he was writing his bayou tunes that rang so true you could smell the gumbo.
I wrote this song around the time in my life when I was obliged to give up the life of a country gentleman and move back to the hive (in my case, Ann Arbor, MI) and the hustle and bustle of the city. It didn’t take and it still doesn’t. My longing to be out of the city and back to the genuine quiet and starlight of the countryside is always with me.
One thing that I couldn’t decide on was which of the two Dakotas to sing about. I figured since I had been to neither state I’d mix them together into one ideal place that would be pretty much the opposite of the ultimate urban experience—New York City.
The only thing left was to find out what kind of trees they had to have a picnic under, and discovered on the way that they had silver mines, too! I gave NYC its due for all the things I figured I’d miss (nope, never been there either). And though I’ve never seen a calendar called Girls of Dakota, I have a feeling that finding a pretty sweet one in those two states wouldn’t be a problem.

Got lots of money and a real nice place,
but this Big Apple is a real rat race.
Crowded subways, all the noise and the blight –
can’t even see the starts at night.

I took a trip out Dakota way.
And now I think about it ev’ry day.
Plenty of space and the lady was fine,
We even rode our horses to the silver mine.
In quiet hills, the eagle’s flight,
the lake shines clear, the stars shine bright.

We had a picnic near the timber line,
in the shadow of a tall Ponderosa pine.
But now I’m back here in N.Y.C.,
starin’ at a plastic Christmas tree.
I know there’s more to life than this.
There’s not much here that I shall miss.

I know I’ll never forget these days,
the Yankee games and the Broadway plays,
winter’s first snowfall on Manhattan,
the world’s best Chinese food is half-a-block away.

People tell me that it’s not what it seems.
They’re try’na smother my Dakota dreams.
Mostly tell me I’ll be lonesome and sad,
just ‘cause I gave up everything I had.
There must be more to life than this.
There’s not much here that I shall miss.

My girlfriend warns me that she won’t come along.
I told her, babe, you’re seein’ this all wrong.
I’m gonna add to my family tree,
that fine Dakota girl who dreams of me.

We can build a nice home overlooking the lake,
find a baker who can bake us up a wedding cake.
Settle down and raise up a family,
lots of boys and girls to grow up strong and free.


Posted in Song Pages