The great state of Maine

from by Peter Maybarduk

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about

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

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 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 some times 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, 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.

In the great state of Maine.

credits

from A ring around the Atlantic, released December 1, 2011

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about

Peter Maybarduk Washington, D.C.

Peter Maybarduk is a Washington, D.C.-based songwriter and a human rights lawyer with Public Citizen.

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