This is a slow, sad song. Reading the lyrics, it's easy to see that's the only kind of song it could be. Greg Brown's voice is deep and strong, and his fingers are light on the strings and body of his guitar.

coldest night of the winter  working up my farewell
in the middle of everything  under no particular spell
i am dreaming of the mountains where the children learn the stars
clouds roll in from nebraska  dark chords on a big guitar
my restlessness is long gone  i would stand here like an old jack pine
but I'm looking for rexroth's daughter  the friend of a friend of mine
friend of a friend of mine...

i can't believe your hands and mouth did all that to me
are so daily naked for all the world to see
that thunderstorm in michigan i never will forget
we shook right with the thunder & with the pounding rain got wet
where did you turn when you turned from me with your arms across your chest
i am looking for rexroth's daughter  i saw her in the great northwest
the great northwest...

would she have said it was the wrong time if I had found her then
i don't want too much  a field across the road and a few good friends
she used to come & see me but she was always there & gone
even the very longest love does not last too long
she'd stand there in my doorway  smoothing out her dress
& say "this life is a thump-ripe melon -- so sweet and such a mess"
such a mess...

i wanted to get to know you but you said you were shy
i would have followed you anywhere but hello rolled into goodbye
i just stood there watching as you walked along the fence
beware of them that look at you as an experience
you're back out on the highway with your poems of city heat
& I'm looking for rexroth's daughter here on my own side street
my old side street...

the murderer who lived next door seemed like such a normal guy --
if you try to follow what they shove at us  you run out of tears to cry
i heard a man speak quietly  i listened for a while
he spoke from his heart to my woe  & then he bowed & smiled
what is real but compassion as we move from birth to death
i am looking for rexroth's daughter  & I'm running out of breath

spring will come back i know it will & it will do its best
so useful  so endangered  like a lion or a breast
i think about my children when i look at any child's face
& pray that we will find a way to get with all this amazing grace
it's so cold out there tonight  so stormy i can hardly see
& i'm looking for rexroth's daughter  & i guess i always will be
i always will be...

- Greg Brown -
Covenant

Mary Rexroth, daughter of poet Kenneth Rexroth, had a brief career as an actress in hardcore porn during the early 1970s. A San Francisco Chronicle article on her fourth film, Intersection, called it a depiction of "a neurotic, if not schizophrenic, girl's sexual fantasies, which begin on a cable car ride." Mary Rexroth, on the other hand, described her film as a "non-linear rite of initiation". Kenneth Rexroth, the sub rosa subject of much of the public curiosity about his daughter's unusual line of work, referred to her as a "very good poet" and a "very good actress", and also sarcastically remarked, "What am I supposed to be, shocked?"

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