song from the album "Bath, Michigan" by Landis MacKellar

12-track CD, tacit10 production, 1999
Landis MacKellar: guitars, vocals, harmonica
Michael O'Ryan: bass, synth, drum programs
Recorded: Michael O'Ryan's studio, Berlin, ©1997


mel lyman

in nineteen sixty six in boston, you can read about it still,
mel lyman and his followers came to fort hill
he was kind of a a guru, said he knew god's plan
he was gonna reveal it to the common man

mel lyman was crazy, if hadn't guessed
a con-man, a charlatan, and all the rest
lives got messed up, one kid died
another went to jail, his brain completely fried

but mel lyman played harmonica like no one under the sun
mel lyman didn't just play harmonica, he was one
and mel lyman said
i will burn down the world
then i will scatter the ashes
i'll turn ideals to shit
i'll shove hope up your ass

mel lyman died in the seventies, or just went away
still talks to them by ouija board, the faithful say
they were still going strong, ten years ago
maybe they still are, i wouldn't want to know

but sometimes late at night, when i'm all alone
i think i still hear mel lyman's harmonica moan
truth is stranger than fiction and i'm not ashamed to say
i think i hear the ghost of mel lyman play


Comment: I live alone, as a result of which I am haunted by many ghosts. None of these is more persistent than that of Mel Lyman. I started off writing a book about the saga of the Mel Lyman family, then got diverted by more pressing subjects and contented myself with a song.

Landis MacKellar


Mel Lyman