Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm Seeing Kansas

Tomorrow at the Patriots Theater in Trenton, with the Trenton Symphonic Orchestra.

I doubt they'll play the following song "Distant Vision," from their 2000 album Somewhere to Elsewhere. It's about Christopher Columbus and was penned by Kerry Livgren. Livgren, their chief writer during their heyday, became a born again Christian and stopped touring with Kansas but still writes, plays and associates with them from time to time. Livgren recently suffered a massive stroke (ironic in that becoming an evangelical Christian helped him to clean up his act long before the others). Livgren played on their DVD There's Know Place Like Home, (which JUST came out on Oct 13). That may well be his last live performance given the severity of the stroke.

Here is the audio followed by the lyrics. I thought I'd post it to American Creation given the controversy over Christopher Columbus the past few days:

On a night as I lay sleeping, in a dream I
saw the shore of a distant land where/
Promise lay in wait/ And I heard the
sound of voices of a million hungry
souls/ Now it comes to me to lead them to the gate

But I am just a man, not worthy of this
plan / With a strength that's not my own,
I must rise

And I...will bear the light, ( and the
vision leads me onward) / That have their sight / I'd sail a
thousand seas to make it so

To the Kings I gave the mission, in the
hope that they would share / In the joy
of setting countless captives free / But
the lust for Gold and power, is luring us
away / From a calling that began in purity

And I'm still just a man, not worthy of
this plan / With a strength that's not my
own, I must rise

Now a tempest rages in my heart, as this
fever furies on / Soon these islands
promise rest and hope, my answers wait
beyond their shore / Dream on...

Hungry eyes are standing on the sand,
they beckon us to bring the tide /
Sovereign hand must hold me now, I plead
with you / Be my solace and my
my side

And I...will walk with you / On the
shores of the land of promise / That see you too / I'd sail a thou-
sand seas to make it so


Brad Hart said...

Do you really think it's that big of a controversy, Jon? I've always thought of it as somewhat cut-and-dry. Columbus's discovery was a world-changing event. In addition, he was a violent man. I don't see any reason to dispute these facts and frankly don't know why we are.

But I am interested in your take quite a bit on this!

Thanks for posting this! Very interesting

Tom Van Dyke said...

What's the matter with Kansas?

Daniel said...

It is a haunting lyric. And well-crafted music.