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The Gate

From the Album  The Gate

The road was long the day was cold
A story that’s so often told
A lonely road with no end in sight
No shelter from the night
When there before a gate I stood
That lead to nothing but tangled woods
I was wondering what it once had been
When something seemed to call me in

Then I walked through the garden
Of waste and despair
I was stung by the nettles
and chilled by the cold air
I was just about to turn around
When there in the waste ground
Was a house as sad as it was old
But still a shelter from the cold

This stately home that had once stood proud
Now stood within its stately shroud
A dark sky laying where the roof had been
Such sadness I’d never seen
And as I walked from room to room
Searching for a way from gloom
I walked into a room so bright
That I was blinded by the light

And there in the corner
Over by the far end
A guitar gently weeping
Welcome back old friend
We sang and we made rhymes
And talked about old times
Sweet music filled the air
Such joy was everywhere

As we danced through the garden
Of waste and despair
The sun started shining
And pushed aside the cold air
I closed the gate behind me
And continued on my journey
The road reached far into the night
But in the distance there shone a light


The year was 1989. I owned a squash club and a restaurant with my first wife, which were already struggling when we decided to split up. Everything was going down the pan when out of the blue, I took out my guitar from its case and started playing for the first time in five years. No songs or melodies, just improvising in a bluesy, meandering kind of way. I know it sounds like a tired old cliché, but it really did feel like the guitar was talking to me. Over the next few weeks, I started drifting back into music and was surprised to find that my failing marriage and businesses didn’t seem to matter anymore. What surprised me the most was that my songwriting finally started coming together.

If we find ourselves on a “cold dark road,” maybe it is the things we left behind that can light our way.