As a freshman in college, I found the poetry of Federico García Lorca inspiring (be sure to follow the hyperlink to read some of García Lorca’s work). I remember trying to imitate the style of the famed Spanish poet, without any real success. However, one of the poems found its way onto the album I recorded at Mud Hut studios back in 1996 with fellow musician Tim Hofmann. In celebration of National Poetry Month, here’s “The Ballad of Hank:” my homage to García Lorca and what Bill Dodd coined “organic rock.” It’s the last album I recorded using my no-name Hyostar 12-string guitar before being gifted the Taylor I still use to this day.
The Ballad of Hank
Vincent H. Anastasi - 1994 Hank sits by the moon watching the world dance by, hears the lover thundering down the tracks crying, flying to the withered rose of the sun. She holds her heart in a basket, looking at her window the tracks are silent. The pale rider is knocking a beating lament that shall beat no more. In a panicked frenzy he calls to me, How many miles to Westminster? he cried. As long, I said, as the pale moon hangs on the oceans high tide. And I sit watching a flash of speed carry him away. Down the tracks of healing time has run quicker than man could ever run. Hank sits on the bench; it reminds him the cold touch that death left on his lips. It's raining; the train is gone: steam rises from the tracks. In a panicked frenzy he calls to me, How many miles to Westminster? he cried. As long, I said, as the pale moon hangs on the oceans high tide. In a panicked frenzy he calls to me, How many miles to Westminster? he cried. I know too well, all too well, I replied.