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Bed in the River

by Joan Shelley

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A collaborative song. Max Porter wrote the words and Joan Shelley wrote the music around them. We offer it freely as a gift to celebrate the festival of Beltane, the height of spring, and May Day.


lyrics by Max Porter

In a bed in the river I met with a swan, and held it while it died
The swan was just one thing I carried along,
The bodies of old things, poisons and cloth,
This tar, this plastic, my constant resistance,
I am the river, my lover, my distance.

In a while, flee with me please, to the woods.
Hibernation envy, you suffer, my sweet,
You stare at the sky and I'll stare at my feet.
This hedge, this sheet, your seamless resistance,
I am the river, to give you assistance.


released May 1, 2020
Joan Shelley - guitar, vocals, percussion
Nathan Salsburg - guitar

Cover photo by Max Porter

Recorded at home on a Sony TC355 tape machine with overdubs in computerland.




Joan Shelley Louisville, Kentucky

Joan Shelley is a songwriter and singer from Louisville, KY. Often joined by guitarist Nathan Salsburg, she has shared shows with the likes of Jake Xerxes Fussell, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Richard Thompson, Wilco, Marisa Anderson, Daniel Martin Moore, the Other Years, & Michael Hurley. ... more

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