The Ballad of Hank: Inspired by Federico García Lorca #Songs #NPM22

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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” Track 6 from For What is Never Spoken by Vincent H. Anastasi 1996

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.

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