The Ballad of St Anne’s Reel (J. Denver)

He was standing in some tiny town
On fair Prince Edward Island
Waiting for a ship to come and find him
A one horse place, a friendly face,
Some coffee and a tiny trace
Of fiddling in the distance far behind them

A dime across the counter then
A shy hello, a brand new friend
A walk along the street in the wint’ry weather
A yellow light, an open door,
A welcome friend, there’s room for more
Soon they’re standing there inside together

He said I heard that tune before somewhere
But I can’t remember when
Was it on some other friendly shore
Did I hear it on the wind
Was it written on the sky above
I think I heard it from someone I love
But I never heard it sound so sweet since then

Now his feet begin to tap
A little boy says I’ll take your hat
He’s caught up in the magic of his smile
Then leaps the heart inside him
When on and off across the floor
He sends his clumsy body graceful as a child

He says there’s magic in the fiddler’s arms
There’s magic in this town
There’s magic in the dancers’ feet
And the way they put them down
Smiling people everywhere
Boots and ribbons and locks of hair
Laughter and old blue suits and Easter gowns

Now the sailor’s gone, the room is bare
The old piano’s sitting there
Someone’s hat’s left hanging on the rack
Some empty chairs, a wooden floor
That feels the touch of shoes no more
Waiting for the dancers to come back

And the fiddle’s in the closet
Of some daughter of the town
The strings are broke and the bow is gone
And the case is buttoned down
But often on December nights
When the air is cold and the wind is right
For the melody comes passing through this town