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Kim Lee: Music

Gentle James and the Moose

(Kim Lee)
Words & Music by Kim Lee (c) 2007 (Inspired by James the drummer)
I was at a laundromat in Colorado and struck up a conversation with a gentleman who was also washing his clothes. While we waited for our clothes to finish, James, a drummer in his spare time, relayed this story of an unusual occurrence he encountered with moose in the area where he was renting a cabin in Alaska. I took a few liberties with the story and came up with this song.

At road’s end on the shores of Alaska   
sits a cabin by Kachemak Bay.      
Gentle James is a drummer who once lived there.   
and he would drum at his drums every day.
One day James took a glance out the window
of his cabin, and what he did see
was a big bull moose standing there listening ~
standing stiller than stillness could be!
Seems the bull moose liked hearing James drumming
for he came by the cabin each day
And as long as James kept up his drumming,
that’s as long as the bull moose would stay.
Well, the bull moose was showing up daily
so James thought he should give him a name.
“'Benny the Moose' is what I'll call him."
And like clockwork each day, Benny came!

Who'd have ever have thought that James’ one fan
would be one of the four legged kind?
Just as long as he wasn’t destructive,
Gentle James certainly didn’t mind!
Several weeks passed by with the same routine ~
Benny showed up outside of James’ home.
Then one day James came home to find Benny
was no longer just waiting alone.
This time Benny had brought with him two cows ~
It seems Benny was really impressed
with the way Gentle James had been drumming
and had spread the news to his new guests!
Soon, one of those two cows brought her calf along
and that calf seemed to dance to the beat
Every time James would rap the sticks on the drum,
that young calf really kicked up his feet!
James would stop just to see what the calf would do
and the calf would stand suddenly still.
But as soon as James picked up the beat again,
that calf would dance ~ giving James such a thrill!
Now James knew he might never play big bands
or to a crowd who’d remember his name,
But he was quite content having moved moose to dance,
and his drumming was why these moose came!

It’s been 3 years since Gentle James moved away,
and the cabin sits silent again.
But if you listen in the stillness of late afternoon,
you’ll hear a rhythmic ‘clomp clomp clomp’ now and then.
For there is a young moose who remembers
the cabin at road’s end by Kachemak Bay,
where once lived a young drummer named Gentle James
whom his mother brought him to hear play.
And he tells the new moose calves the story
with the rhythmic dance he proudly performs
of how his father ~ the one and only ‘Benny the Moose’,
found the talent of Gentle James and his drums!