I attended Jezebel’s Poetry Night at Art and Soul Studio in Nashville, an evening dedicated to Merrill Farnsworth on Friday night. The room was filled with so much love for a woman that left us for her next big adventure into another universe this past September. She was a lover of life, a poet, a lyricist, a teacher, a mother, a true leader in Nashville’s writing community, not to mention a crazy brave soul.

 

I met Merrill almost two years ago through her song writing retreats and instantly fell in love with her spirit, zest for life and last but not least, her writing techniques. In a very short time, I was blessed to have become a student and to call her a friend. She taught me so much about letting go of my inner “editor” and was encouraged to just “write”.

 

After attending two of the song writing retreats she cohosted, I look back over the pieces I’ve written under her teachings and I see so many songs on the verge of coming to life. “Heading Home” and “Watermelon Song” will both be on my next album coming in 2018. I joined her “Memoir Writing Circle” last spring and our assignment each week was to bring a memento that represented in some way “The woman I’ve become”.

 

One prop I brought to write about was the Hallmark card pictured above that my best friend from childhood sent me for Valentine’s Day of five little ballerina’s, four of them standing holding onto the bar while one little girl hung upside down. The card reads,  “There are two kinds of people in the world- YOU and everyone else.”

 

For 10 minutes I wrote freely about what this card signified for me. My life as a young girl was a far cry from dance studios and ballerina shoes, but I certainly have always danced to the beat of my own drum and been the one to do things upside down and backwards from everyone else.

 

Pink shirts, pink skirts, upside down and backwards

Hanging from the tree or the rafters in the barn

or the jungle gym at school

Maybe I really am a monkey.

Dirt roads, alfalfa fields, corn rows, a shetland pony

A buckskin gilding, and blue heeler chasing cattle

County fairs, horseback for the Labor Day Parade

Pink and purple crepe paper streamers woven into my bicycle spokes

Cotton candy and popcorn from the concession stand

Sweet and savory BBQ. Rodeos and fireworks at midnight.

4H contests and exhibits, I became a seamstress, a photographer

A baker, a rabbit breeder, leather craftsmen

Building belts & coin purses

and writing poetry

Hand-me-downs, pig tails and braids

Pulling cockle burs and Texas sandburs in the pasture

Playing in the creek, baby calves born in the spring

Branding the day after prom

My dad had a sick sense of humor.

Summer: driving tractors, planting and irrigating corn

Cutting hay, sunshine every day

Hard work, farm chores, never getting to sleep in

Never a chance to be bored

Always work to do

Milking cows by hand morning and night

fresh milk, baby calves to feed, garden to hoe

Home grown: beef, pigs, chickens

Veggies, red and purple wild plumbs growing wild

Grandma always made jelly

What a fresh organic life!

Now I know why my stomach hated me when I went off to college.

In the sandhills of Nebraska

We made our own fun, no gadgets but

A black and white TV, two channels and bunny ears

No cable, no video games, no cell phones or computers

Just good old fashioned fun.

Three hours from a Walmart and

not a McDonald’s for 60 miles.

Sears, JCPenney and Montgomery Ward

Our amazon.com back then

Packages in the mail,

the quiet is not scary

It’s Peaceful and free

Those were the days that molded me into “The Woman I’ve Become”.

just a test

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Gone Fishin’

By Candy Fernaux and Wyatt Easterling
© 2015

 

We all have a story about the one that got away
There’s more fish in the sea is all I hear ‘em say
Time to put myself back out there today
As I dip my toes in the dating pool
It’s a brave new world with online tools
Everybody’s doin’ it so it must be cool

 

GONE FISHIN’
Throw my line and start wishing
I’ll catch what I’ve been missing
I got a nibble a wink, will we swim or sink,
I’m Gone fishin’

 

No worms or flies gonna hook my mate
I’ll post a few pictures cause that’s my bait
Cast my line then sit back and wait

 

Beware of bottom feeders huntin’ sugar mamas
Cradle robbers and prima donna’s
Playboys hauling all sorts of drama

 

GONE FISHIN’
Throw my line and start wishing
I’ll catch what I’ve been missing
I got a nibble a wink, will we swim or sink
I’m Gone fishin’

 

I’m just a country girl that likes to rock
I’ve got a few more tricks in my tackle box
I’ll be reeling in the catch of the day
He’ll measure up or be on his way
Size does matter what else can I say

 

GONE FISHIN’
Throw my line and start wishing
I’ll catch what I’ve been missing
I got a nibble a wink, will we swim or sink, I’m Gone fishin’

 

Fishin’… fishin’… fishin’… Gone fishin’… yeah…
Gone fishin’… fishin’.. Gone fishin’… Gone fishin’…

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Hard Candy Christmas

By Dolly Parton and Carol Hall
© 1982

 

Maybe I’ll dye my hair
Maybe I’ll move somewhere
Maybe I’ll get a car
Maybe I’ll drive so far
That I’ll lose track
Me, I’ll bounce right back

 

Maybe I’ll sleep real late
Maybe I’ll lose some weight
Maybe I’ll clear my junk
Maybe I’ll just get drunk
On apple wine
Me, I’ll be just

 

Fine and dandy
Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas
I’m barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won’t let
Sorrow bring me way down
I’ll be fine and dandy
Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas
I’m barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won’t let
Sorrow get me way down

 

Hey, maybe I’ll learn to sew
Maybe I’ll just lie low
Maybe I’ll hit the bars
Maybe I’ll count the stars until dawn
Me, I will go on

 

Maybe I’ll settle down
Maybe I’ll just leave town
Maybe I’ll have some fun
Maybe I’ll meet someone
And make him mine
Me, I’ll be just

 

Fine and dandy
Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas
I’m barely getting through tomorrow
Still I won’t let
Sorrow bring me way down
I’ll be fine and dandy
Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas
I’m barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won’t let
Sorrow bring me way down

 

I’ll be fine
I’ll be fine

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Drinkin You Out of my Mind

By Candy Fernaux and Wyatt Easterling
© 2015

 

I’m gonna get dressed up to paint this town
Stay out all night and burn it down
No more sitting around singing the blues….
It’s time to face the cold hard truth
And get started getting over you
There’s a brand new fairytale about to begin….
 

Tonight I’m drinkin’ you out of my mind
Working on leaving your memory behind
I’ll raise a glass and you can kiss my ass
For treating me so unkind
Tonight I’m drinkin’ you out of my mind
 

Prince charming sits on every stool
Buying me drinks and playing it cool
I wonder which one will be the first out of the chute….
When you get bucked off and hit the ground
You’ve got to saddle up for another round
What better way to leave you behind….
 

Tonight I’m drinkin’ you out of my mind
Working on leaving your memory behind
I’ll raise a glass and you can kiss my ass
For treating me so unkind
Tonight I’m drinkin’ you out of my mind
 

Tomorrow I’ll wake and swear I’m done with men
Kick him out of the bed and vow to never drink again
And this is where the vicious cycle begins
 

Tonight I’m drinkin’ you out of my mind
Working on leaving your memory behind
I’ll raise a glass and you can kiss my ass
For treating me so unkind
Tonight I’m drinkin’ you out of my mind
 
Tonight I’m drinkin’ you out of my mind
Tonight I’m drinkin’ you out of my mind

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Sweet innocence

By Candy Fernaux and Wyatt Easterling
© 2015

 

In the beginning, there’s a girl
Innocent and young and she rules her world
She’s sugar, and she’s spice
She’s precious and everything nice

 

She has sweet innocence
She don’t have a care
Sweet innocence
She don’t know it’s there

 

Then one day there comes a boy
Who breaks her heart and steals her joy
She hurts and she cries
She swears she’s going to die

 

He takes her sweet innocence
He no longer cares
Sweet innocence
She’s alone and scared

Gone are the days where she feels free
So full of doubt and agony
She’s like a ship lost out at sea
Living day to day aimlessly

 

She wants her sweet innocence
It always seems to flee
She cries for sweet innocence
She wants to be free

 

But the world, it doesn’t end
The Son comes out she finds a friend
Shining bright all around
He’ll never ever let her down

 

He brings her Sweet Innocence
She no longer cares
Sweet Innocence
She don’t know it’s there
Sweet Innocence
Sweet Innocence
Sweet Innocence

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Beauty Don’t Come Cheap

By Candy Fernaux and Wyatt Easterling
© 2015

 

He complains about women being gold diggers
They want dinner, drinks, and flowers go figure
He brags about the dates he’s had this week
And bitches about the money he’s blown on each
Obviously he hasn’t a clue
About all the things we women do

 

I told him before he rambled on anymore
What a woman spends before she walks out her door
From the top of her head to the soles of her feet
I explained the cost to look so sweet
I said honey, Beauty Don’ t Come Cheap

 

I’m slavin’ on my figure nearly every day
‘Cause I’m not naturally built this way
And this pretty face takes a lot of product
With facials and peels and did I mention make up
Victoria’s Secret gives me more than I’ve got
And I know you men love that a lot

 

I told him before he rambled on anymore
What a woman spends before she walks out her door
From the top of her head to the soles of her feet
I explained the cost to look so sweet
I said honey, Beauty Don’ t Come Cheap

 

Joe makes Jeans that fit my tush just right
Jimmy Choo gives me just enough heighth A mani, a pedi, bikini wax
Then I’m off to the spa for an herbal wrap
And all this is only what you can see
You can’t put a price on what’s beneath

 

I told him before he rambled on anymore
What a woman spends before she walks out her door
From the top of her head to the soles of her feet
I explained the cost to look so sweet
I said honey, Beauty Don’ t Come Cheap
Honey, Beauty Don’t Come Cheap Cheap Cheap don’t be so cheap
‘Cause nobody likes a cheap man…..

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West With The Night

By Candy Fernaux and Wyatt Easterling
© 2015

 

He flew an old airplane and could land on a dime
A long haul trucker most of the time
He wore pearl snap shirts, a white Stetson hat
He was a maverick and a saint

 

He’d come flying in Sunday’s and circle the house
All of us kids would come scrambling out
We’d run to the field and watch him sailing in
Oh the stories ‘n the trinkets from the places he’d been

 

Then it was up to the clouds and away he would go
Or kicking up dust in his truck down the road
Coming or going he was always a sight
Riding into the sunset…West with the Night….

 

A flat top Gibson never far from his side
A black saddle with silver whenever he’d ride
You could say that Gramps was one of a kind
The silent type ‘til he spoke his mind

 

Then it was up to the clouds and away he would go
Or kicking up dust in his truck down the road
Coming or going he was always a sight
Riding into the sunset…West with the Night….

 

He stood ten feet tall in everyone’s eyes
A cowboy gentleman – his way of life

 

Then it was up to the clouds and away he would go
Or kicking up dust in his truck down the road
Coming or going he was always a sight
Riding into the sunset… West with the Night….
…………………West with the Night…………………….

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farm girl

By Candy Fernaux and Paul Jefferson
© 2018

 

She put a six inch lift kit
On her daddy’s old Ford truck
She’s got a boat hooked on the hitch
She can back it up (she can back it up)

 

She can drive a stick shift
Four on the floor
A V8 or a slant six
An’ she can change the oil

 

She’s a farm girl
From Texas up to North Dakota
A farm girl
God broke the mold when He made her
A Farm girl
Can the chick get a hallelujah
Farm girl
She’s a farm girl

 

She followed the bright lights
Out to the big city
They said she’d make the big time
All she’s got to be is pretty (and she’s so pretty)

 

Wasn’t long ‘fore she was missin’
Home on the rural route
Take the girl out of the country
But you can’t take the country out of a

 

Farm girl
From Texas up to North Dakota
A farm girl
God broke the mold when He made her a
Farm girl
Can the chick get a hallelujah
Farm girl
She’s a farm girl

 

Homemade hot as cherry pie
She’s a spoonful sweeter
If you been looking in a stack
You just found a needle

 

She’s a farm girl
From Texas up to North Dakota
A farm girl
God broke the mold when He made her
A Farm girl
She’s a farm girl
God broke the mold when He made her
A Farm girl
Can the chick get a hallelujah
Farm girl
She’s a farm girl
She’s a farm girl

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