The Fall of Sam Patch

from by Piñataland

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about

Sam Patch was a high-spirited factory worker in early 1800s New Jersey. His penchant for flinging himself off of high places earned him the nickname “Yankee Leaper.”

In 1827, his favorite drinking spot—the cliffside woods by Passaic Falls—fell victim to developer Timothy Crane, who began transforming the wild area into a domesticated for-pay tourist spot. During the opening day ribbon-cutting ceremony, Patch jumped off the 200 foot cliff into the water below as an early form of protest performance art; he went on to survive many more jumps.

His cryptic slogan “some things can be done as well as others” serves as the chorus of The Fall of Sam Patch.

lyrics

It’s a beautiful world outside the factory doors
Over by the falls there are rough spots that we love
But in the forest garden by the cedars of Lebanon
You comb this wilderness for the tools of the entrepreneur
For the man of leisure
For the poet and the painter
Smooth out the edges with the civilizing hand of art

But I’ve got a plan to make my art here
Watch me fall into the water
I want to jump from the cliffs of Jersey
Some things can be done as well as others

It’s a beautiful world full of roots and tangles
We could all get drunk on the overgrown scenery
You’ve made your point with your taste and progress
But the scene of science don’t mean nothing to me

But I’ve got a plan to make my art here
Watch me fall into the water
I want to jump from the cliffs of Jersey
Some things can be done as well as others

But I’ve got a plan to make my art here
Watch me fall just like an arrow
I want to jump into the chasms of Jersey
Some things can be done as well as others

credits

from Songs for the Forgotten Future Vol. 2, released August 8, 2008
Musicians
Doug Stone—vocals and guitar
Robin Aigner—backing vocals
David Wechsler—piano and backing vocals
Gerald Menke—dobro
Joey Weisenberg—mandolin
Claudia Chopek—violin and viola
Anna Goodman—violin
Chris Jenkins—viola
Jane Scarpantoni—cello
Serena Jost—cello
J.D. Foster—bass
Dan Nosheny—tuba
Bill Gerstel—drums

Music and lyrics by Doug Stone

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