Thursday, October 04, 2007

I Am A Town

A good friend commenting on my blog about "smells" brought to mind this song by Mary Chapin Carpenter. Understanding my passion for "place branding," she brought it to my attention many years ago.

It reminds us all that branding a place isn't just a logo and a tagline. It is about the values and personality for which a place is or wants to be known. This song captures a good deal of the part of North Carolina that is genuine and authentic.

Artist: Mary Chapin Carpenter
Song: I Am A Town
Album: Come On, Come On

I'm a town in Carolina, I'm a detour on a ride
For a phone call and a soda, I'm a blur from the driver's side
I'm the last gas for an hour if you're going twenty-five
I am Texaco and tobacco, I am dust you leave behind

I am peaches in September, and corn from a roadside stall
I'm the language of the natives, I'm a cadence and a drawl
I'm the pines behind the graveyard, and the cool beneath their shade, where the boys have left their beer cans
I am weeds between the graves.

My porches sag and lean with old black men and children
Their sleep is filled with dreams, I never can fulfill them
I am a town.

I am a church beside the highway where the ditches never drain
I'm a Baptist like my daddy, and Jesus knows my name
I am memory and stillness, I am lonely in old age; I am not your destination
I am clinging to my ways
I am a town.

I'm a town in Carolina, I am billboards in the fields
I'm an old truck up on cinder blocks, missing all my wheels
I am Pabst Blue Ribbon, American, and "Southern Serves the South"
I am tucked behind the Jaycees sign, on the rural route
I am a town
I am a town
I am a town

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