Saving Daylight Time





Saving Daylight Time




New American Songs




David Patterson






Valerie Anastasio — vocals


Mark Earley — harmonicas


Donald Wilkinson — baritone






David Patterson


David Patterson, Ph.D. Harvard University, names as his teachers his mother, Blanche Nolte, Robert Wykes, Leon Kirchner, Nadia Boulanger, and Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatory. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award from USIA and the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he served for 15 years as Music Department chairman. His music always seeks to reflect his insatiable curiosity about diverse musical cultures: Twenty Little Piano Pieces from Around the World is published by G. Schirmer, Inc; orchestral compositions, Hermit's Blue, based on birdsong and native American legend, and A Portrait Overture—Strayhorn in Harlem, 1941 are recorded on the VMM label.




Saving Daylight Time: Songs from a Texas Border Town (1995)


Poet TenBroeck Davison, great granddaughter of Richard W. Sears, founder of the first mail-order firm, Sears Company, and daughter of Robert TenBroeck Davison, a long-time Brownsville resident, lived and studied on both sides of the Texas border. Her poems, which have been recognized by the Byliners of Corpus Christi, evoke images of her adolescent years spent absorbing the flavor of two cultures converging in that southernmost point of the continental US.


Saving Daylight Time is dedicated to the City of Brownsville, Texas, and was first performed there by Antonio Breseño, tenor, and Richard Urbis, piano. Acknowledgement is given Mid-America Arts Alliance and the University of Texas at Brownsville for their generous support.




Last Words (1986)


Poet James Merrill (1926-1995), the son of Charles Merrill who was a founder of the stock brokerage firm, Merrill, Lynch & Company, published 15 books of poetry, A Scattering of Salts being his last. The noted poetry critic, Helen Vendler, said, “…he did exquisite things with sonnets, he did beautiful things with the love lyric. He was very funny…” Merrill was the recipient of two National Book Awards and both the Bollingen and Pulitzer Prizes.


Last Words was commissioned for “An Evening of Words and Music” at Washington University with James Merrill, poet-in-residence, who later wrote, “I love [these] settings—so full of lightness and intelligence.” According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “…the songs, like Merrill's writing, showed great variety. David Patterson's jingle-jangle version of `At a Texas Wishing Well' would bring a smile to one of the Sons of the Pioneers. His setting of `Last Words,' on the other hand, is lovely, lyrical and poignant.”




Dead-Battery Blues (1996)


Poet Lloyd Schwartz is Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Classical Music Editor of The Boston Phoenix, and a regular commentator on NPR's “Fresh Air.” He is the author of two books of poems, These People and Goodnight, Gracie. He has won three ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for his articles on music and in 1994 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.


Dead-Battery Blues was composed for the poet, Lloyd Schwartz, and premiered at the Longy School of Music American Music Series.




Valerie Anastasio, vocals


Valerie Anastasio, a graduate of Williams College, studied with Robert Honeysucker, D'Anna Fortunato, and Helen Boatwright. A member of the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists, she appears regularly at the Club Café of Boston and with Tim Harbold has presented two original cabaret shows, Madcap Cabaret and Two Tickets to Valerieville at the Blacksmith House in Cambridge. She is a featured performer in the young and adventurous Boston ensemble, the Just in Time Composers and Players and the principal soloist for the Seraphim Singers, a Boston ensemble specializing in liturgical music.




Donald Wilkinson, baritone


Donald Wilkinson has performed as soloist with Seiji Ozawa and The Boston Symphony Orchestra in Salome and has appeared with Boston Baroque, Boston Cecilia, the Washington Bach Consort, and the Boston Camerata. He sang the title role in Johnny Johnson by Kurt Weill recorded on Erato Disques. Since 1984, he has been a regular soloist in Emmanuel Music of Boston's famed Bach Cantata series and has participated in three recordings of Schütz motets for the Koch International label. The New York Times has praised him for his “outstanding solo work.”




Mark Earley, harmonicas


Mark Earley is a self-taught harmonica player. At an early age he began listening to “Earring” George Mayweather and Sonny Terry, both of whom made a huge impression on him. When he was 15, Mark played note-for-note a recorded solo by another blues man, Junior Wells. “Pretty good,” Wells remarked. Mark has performed with the Street Corner Cowboys and other Boston blues bands and has been a regular contributor to the magazine, Sing Out. In both his improvised interludes on this album the influence of Sonny Terry is evident to Mark: “He breathes through me.”






Songs from a Texas Border Town — TenBroeck Davison




Always I will love you,


past and present


boiled down to pure moonshine


on still, midnight waters,


Bright, sun-steamed skies,


the pungent green


of river's edge,


and sighs


Heard clear across time.


Such summer days,


Such nights of dreaming always


I will love you.








the beach at Boca Chica,


the road accedes at once to shifting,


sun-bleached sands,


to sea-green waves tumbling in,


drawing back,


under skies filled with wonder:


orange, to blue, to rose, to violet,


to dawn become day-


light seeping through stop


sign's bullet-punched octagon








Ours was a Christmas branch,


Smooth driftwood prize


From summer's Island days,


Quite suitably adorned.


And doing well enough without the help


Of pine's sweet smell,


We ushered in the day


Dreaming of a Christ child born


Beneath such a sun blazing snow-white


Over cactus flowers, red on green,


Amidst such chatter of birds


As those beyond the window screen.






Spring follows gently


The starry night,


Becomes that shining day,


Too clear for sighs.




Then, cast against the blue


Of water color skies,


The tan to green


Of scrubby brush on sand,




Floating and fluttering


All about us,


Sun glowing warm


On powder-yellow wings,




Thousands of butterflies


Arise, sharing with us


One lifetime, one shining day.


And spring follows, gently.






It was a Sunday afternoon,


and we were sipping Margaritas on the terrace


overlooking the resaca that wound round


through the grass, lazing snake.


It was summer-hot enough to tinge with sepia


the bright, blue sky,


silence the birds, lure to the murky waters


the pleasure-boaters grating their engines


against the smooth rind of our peaceful afternoon,


skiers attached catching our collective stares


with their collective waves before they


vanished round the bend.


There, in that space of time, we sat,


drinks cradled cold and sweating against our palms.


We sipped, licking the salt from our lips,


and uttered a sentence or two before, with


the buzz, the waters churning,


lap-lapping against the banks, our eyes


were drawn to a single boat turning wide,


skirting our bank a bit too close it seemed.


We watched the skier swung out far, grazing


the water grasses on the other side,


our ears attuned to shifting gears,


our conversation held in sync,


our parting glance, then, on the water,


the white-on-brown spume of their wake.


By then, with a second Margarita batch for all—


the first's now tepid dregs tossed somewhere


in the cactus garden off behind us—


and yes, with fajitas almost done,


our banter touched upon this bold event or that,


weaving like Houston drivers or butterflies.




That is, until with


the buzz, the waters churning,


sound once again over-riding dipthongs and vowels,


we were silenced to a collective sigh, eyes


on the boat turning wide once more,


on the skier askew,


one moment in plain view,


the next, just . . .


Well, that's how we told it to the sheriff's men


as we sat there, stunned,


watching them drag the murky waters,


drinks body-warm in our hands,


fajitas dried to leather on a platter,


voices drowned to silence in the afternoon.






It's a no-man's scrap of land, there,


on the bridge above the sunken river.


The flowers have withered; the grass


has dried to balding patches faded green


against parched soil.


Who ever stops, except in traffic jams?


And then it's only to sit idly and stare


at the lone sign that would have us care:


Cuida tu jardín.






You've come so close.


Such nearness burns too quickly,


sears the cheek turned from you


lest you see


how easily


I've slipped and found myself a


prisoner of this yearning


cast for me.


Oh, would that flesh


were strong as spirit, willing


enough to overcome


desire, all




of your accidental touch


upon my skin. But flesh


is weak, and


dreaming's never


quite enough, it seems, to quench


the thirst insatiate,


to lift the


burden of such


longing from my heart. I fear


one word from you would lead me


to the brink;


I'd forfeit all


I have and neither life nor


love would ever be the


same again.




BEULAH (Hurricane of '67)


Round midnight she whirled in


up to the front door unannounced,


suddenly owning the place,


pushing her weight about with loud gales, laughter,


clapping those thunderous hands flat against the walls,


against the windows crashing, fighting mad,


till with a final roar she swept out


into the silent blink of an eye


which, too, would pass to see her come again


pounding at the back door. Crazy lady.






Always on the heaviest, hottest night, it seemed,


right in the midst of a big city dream,


the wind would shift from the east,


gathering dust and humidity,


dragging along all the raw odors concocted, there,


at the old vinegar distillery,


and blow itself through my window, to my bed,


soak into the spongy pillow beneath my head.


Waking, I'd lie there until morning


staring out into the lightening sky.


And in my mind's eye I'd draw scores of crinkly seeds,


plant row upon row of orange trees, watch them grow,


time warped into the woof of hours lost in reckoning


becoming the glimmer of dawn and sunrise, there,


beyond the sweet irony of orange-blossom mind.






So rare—






now bright,


sun streamers




through those


just-parted clouds






—no, slowing—flow-






through air


to earth,










Why it's a subdivision now—


with the wildness tamed


and the roads paved


into streets with storybook names,


and the lake blocked from view


by chimneys and roofs,


with all the lights and the laughter


and the voices of those ambitious few


score and more who've whittled it down


to home and garden cheer.


But I can remember, still, the crunch


of tires over caliche, dust


rising smoke-like into the air,


the ride home, my face into the blood-red blaze


of sun hung low over the khaki green of mesquite;


I can hear, in all the hot, hazy silence,


the wail


of cicada, razor-sharp against my ear,


the cat's call rousing more


than one mockingbird to reply;


I can feel beneath my bared feet


the thickness of wild grass,


against my hand


the lap-lapping of Media Luna's blue-brown waves,


over my tongue


the shocking tang of wild orange sluice.


And here, once again,


in the midst of such desolate beauty,


what I have known becomes and




until all the lights


and the laughter and the voices








At home we lived against decree,


ignoring Daylight Savings hours


that sought to intervene


and rearrange our Texas nights and days,


to make them fit the whole.


My father thought it foolish,


such fiddling with the clock,


said it was “docking time,”


a scheme of some old coot in Washington.


And so we dreamed while others woke


and basked in sunlight


while they stumbled in the dark.






Flavio's Ford is a traveling shrine—


church on wheels.


Covered with scarlet fringed velour, its dashboard


altar is complete with Jesus, Mary Mother, and Joseph,


and more than a few good saints.


Nothing can touch him, my Flavio says,


racing along by the river.


No, not when he's at the wheel,


driving his very own


“custom” Ford Christmobile.






Some days,


some days one look


into this autumn sky


—what with its clouds


of grey to white piled high


to somewhere blue


andx true as dreams


so Gulf Stream right—


Oh, yes,


some days one look


is all it takes. The


fragrance comes to mind:


that aromatic blend


of humid Texas breeze and


corn tortillas piping hot,


just off the old comal.


It's then


—transcending time and place—


that I am lifted up


above those years between


the here and now and memory,


set free, as though on wings,


to soar along the open road


until I'm home again.






Barely in Texas, it's just a


rough border town set


on a river flowing


wider at some bends than at others. Yet


nowhere I've laid my head has ever


seemed so right. My already


vanquished heart would have


it be that were such feeling


love, I should be


lost to it for




Poems used with permission of the author.




LAST WORDS — James Merrill


Country Music


Catbirds have inherited the valley


With its nine graves and its burned-down distillery




Deep in Wedgewood black-on-yellow


Crazed by now, of bearded oak and willow.




Walls were rotogravure, roof was tin


Ridged like the frets of a mandolin.




Sheriff overlooked that brown glass demijohn.


Some nights it'll fill with genuine




No-proof moonshine from before you were born.


This here was Sally Jay's toy horn.




A sound of galloping—Yes? No.


Just peaches wind shook from the bough




In the next valley. Care to taste one, friend?


A doorway yawns. A willow weeps. The end.




The Victor Dog


For Elizabeth Bishop


Bix to Buxtehude to Boulez,


The little white dog on the Victor label


Listens long and hard as he is able.


It's all in a day's work, whatever plays.




From judgment, it would seem, he has refrained.


He even listens earnestly to Bloch,


Then builds a church upon our acid rock.


He's man's —no he's the Leiermann's best friend,




Or would be if hearing and listening were the same.


Does he hear? I fancy he rather smells


Those lemon-gold arpeggios in Ravel's


“Les jets d'eau du palais de ceux qui s'aiment.”




He ponders the Schumann Concerto's tall willow hit


By lightning, and stays put. When he surmises


Through one of Bach's eternal boxwood mazes


The oboe pungent as a bitch in heat,




Or when the calypso decants its raw bay rum


Or the moon in Wozzeck reddens ripe for murder,


He doesn't sneeze or howl; just listens harder.


Adamant needles bear down on him from




Whirling of outer space, too black, too near—


But he was taught as a puppy not to flinch,


Much less to imitate his bête noire Blanche


Who barked, fat foolish creature, at King Lear.




Still others fought in the road's filth over Jezebel,


Slavered on hearths of horned and pelted barons.


His forebears lacked, to say the least, forbearance.


Can nature change in him? Nothing's impossible.




The last chord fades. The night is cold and fine.


His master's voice rasps through the grooves' bare groves.


Obediently in silence like the grave's


He sleeps there on the still-warm gramophone




Only to dream he is at the première of a Handel


Opera long thought lost— Il Cane Minore.


Its allegorical subject is his story!


A little dog revolving round a spindle




Gives rise to harmonies beyond belief,


A cast of stars. . . . Is there in Victor's heart


No honey for the vanquished? Art is art.


The life it asks of us is a dog's life.




The World and the Child


Letting his wisdom be the whole of love,


The father tiptoes out, backwards. A gleam


Falls on the child awake and wearied of,


Then, as the door clicks shut, is snuffed. The glove-


Gray afterglow appalls him. It would seem


That letting wisdom be the whole of love


Were pastime even for the bitter grove


Outside, whose owl's white hoot of disesteem


Falls on the child awake and wearied of.


He lies awake in pain, he does not move,


He will not scream. Any who heard him scream


Would let their wisdom be the whole of love.


People have filled the room he lies above.


Their talk, mild variation, chilling theme,


Falls on the child. Awake and wearied of


Mere pain, mere wisdom also, he would have


All the world waking from its winter dream,


Letting its wisdom be. The whole of love


Falls on the child awake and wearied of.


At A Texas Wishing Well


Stranger, look down (the jingle said) & you


Will see the face of one who loves you true.


Will do. My face looks back at me


Sheer above a ground of hard cold cash—


Pennies aglint from either eye,


Silver in hair, teeth, value everywhere!


Drop my coin and make my wish:


Let me love myself until I die.


Last Words


My life, your light green eyes


Have lit on me with joy.


There's nothing I don't know


Or shall not know again,


Over and over again.


It's noon, it's dawn, it's night,


I am the dog that dies


In the deep street of Troy


Tomorrow, long ago—


Part of me dims with pain,


Becomes the stinging flies,


The bent head of the boy.


Part looks into your light


And lives to tell you so.




From SELECTEDPOEMS 1946-1985 by James Merrill


Copyright ©1992 by James Merrill


Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf Inc.


“Country Music” and “At a Texas Wishing Well” used by permission of The Estate of James Merrill.




Dead-Battery BluesLloyd Schwartz


The phone keeps ringing—


Somebody answer the phone!


Don't you hear it ringing?


Won't someone please pick up the phone?


It just won't stop ringing.


You know, I think nobody's home.


I can't stop talking—


You know, my tongue gets dry.




My mouth's a desert, dry-bone dry.


My lips get stuck together.


It's a sin to tell a lie.


My arm won't straighten—


Can't reach that grapevine hanging there.


My fist won't open.


How? When? Why? Who? What? Where?


You know, I'm getting thirsty,


Those grapes just dangling in the air.


The engine won't turn over—


The car sits in the driveway, dead.


Plates expired.


Hubcaps missing. Tires got no tread.


Even the clock's stopped ticking.


But it's still ticking in my head.


You know, my Mama's packing—


Kansas City here she comes.


She's going to Kansas City


(Daddy's already gone).


Her valise is heavy.


Did I say something wrong?


Old Rover's gone now—


Who'll I get to teach new tricks again.


Puss took off his boots and left me,


Left me with my only brain.


All my sweet friends are leaving.


Yesterday your letter came.


You try to wake me—


Your hand moves over my skin.


I watch you touch me,


Your fingers bony and thin.


You know, I hear you knocking,


But you can't come in.


The sun is rising—


I'm lying here on my left side.


What's tapping on the window?


Is there a pill I haven't tried?


It's starting to get light out.


It's still a little dark inside.




Poem used with permission of the author.




Recorded at Pickman Hall, Longy School of Music, Cambridge, Massachusetts


William Wolk, Recording Engineer, Music First and M Works, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts


Mastered by Jonathan Wyner, M Works, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts


Photo by TenBroeck Davison; Photo editing by Ashley Howes; Photo Credits: Valerie Anastasio by Kippy Goldfarb; Lloyd Schwartz by Rod Kessler; James Merrill by William Ball


Acknowledgment is given the University of Massachusetts Boston for its support.


Cover Design:Bates Miyamoto Design Service • Website for David Patterson:










David Patterson


Saving Daylight Time


New American Songs




Saving Daylight Time: Songs from a Texas Border Town


words by TenBroeck Davison


1 Dog Days (1:38)


2 On the Ranch (1:44)


3 Reaching the Beach at Boca Chica (1:50)


4 Al Campo (1:24)


5 Sunday at Fort Brown (4:56)


6 Interlude — Train (1:16)


7 Cuida Tu Jardín (1:41)


8 Tentación (2:43)


9 Beulah (Hurricane of '67) (3:16)


10 Holy Vinegar Nights (3:01)


11 Farm Road 802 (1:18)


12 Interlude — Revival (0:45)


13 Down by Media Luna (4:11)


14 Saving Daylight Time (0:50)


15 The Christmobile (2:50)


16 Stormy Weather (2:37)


17 Brownsville (2:24)


Valerie Anastasio — vocals


Mark Earley — harmonicas




Last Words


words by James Merrill


18 Country Music (2:23)


19 The Victor Dog (4:51)


20 The World and the Child (2:48)


21 At a Texas Wishing Well (1:35)


22 Last Words (1:55)


Donald Wilkinson — baritone


23 Dead-Battery Blues (7:15)


words by Lloyd Schwartz


Valerie Anastasio — vocals


David Patterson — piano




Total Time = 59:20