Poetry with Notes–Snowblind Friend

He said he wanted heaven but prayin’ was too slow                                                   So he bought a one way ticket on an airline made of snow

Written by Hoyt Axton
Album: My Griffin is Gone 1969
Album: Snowblind Friend 1977

 

Addicts, that live long enough, cultivate an affair of abhorrence and romance with their dependence, a dishonest balance of hate and love. Love, a word that portends need, not affection, in the language of addiction; an unnatural longing disguised as amour and passion, all dressed up as a friend that will stay with them. The friend, though, is fake; only despair, disgrace and despondency will this friend bring.  Hate, for knowing that their friend will remain only till he takes everything. Hate, for the lost chances of respect and reward. Hate for knowing it is all a lie.

Hoyt Axton, agonized, struggled, lived a life of hypocrisy, over booze and cocaine most of his life. Partnering with local law enforcement to discourage kids from using drugs, until the local law enforcement busted him for using drugs. Relying on his friends to provide and protect until his next meager royalty check arrived. Awakening from his alcohol and drug binges, seeing the devil sitting by his side; waiting, smiling. Knowing God only when he wrote a song that was “right”, but the devil’s pen was always dry. Aware that God and song were his real love, but the devil and drugs were a simpler high. Heaven came slowly with a cost during his Earthly time, the devil was faster; the cost payable at a later date.

Axton wrote, in song, repeatedly of his “unholy” habit, always lamenting, but not relenting on his usage: Della and the Dealer, The Pusher, Boozers are Losers, The No-No Song; all were a cry for help and release.  The best though, the most poetic, was Snowblind Friend. A dirge of knowing the end, knowing the final trip along the road coated with alcohol and cocaine, a song of death with no honor, death as a way out, but with a pleading, please…please, not today.

Snowblind Friend

You say it was this morning when you last saw your good friend
Lyin’ on the pavement with a misery on his brain
Stoned on some new potion he found upon the wall
Of some unholy bathroom in some ungodly hall

He only had a dollar to live on ’til next Monday
But he spent it all on comfort for his mind
Did you say you think he’s blind?

Someone should call his parents, a sister or a brother
And they’ll come to take him back home on a bus
But he’ll always be a problem to his poor and puzzled mother
Yeah he’ll always be another one of us

He said he wanted heaven but prayin’ was too slow
So he bought a one way ticket on an airline made of snow
Did you say you saw your good friend flyin’ low?
Flyin’ low, dyin’ slow

You say it was this morning when you last saw your good friend
Lyin’ on the pavement with a misery on his brain
Stoned on some new potion he found upon the wall
Of some unholy bathroom in some ungodly hall

He only had a dollar to live on ’til next Monday
He said he wanted heaven but prayin’ was too slow
So he bought a one way ticket on an airline made of snow
Did you say you saw your good friend flyin’ low?
Dyin’ slow, flyin’ low
Did you say you saw your good friend flyin’ low?
Dyin’ slow, flyin’ low, flyin’ and dyin’ slow

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