Tell us your Willie P Bennett stories. (click here) ยป "Sea Of Fools"

  • Paul Campbell

    Paul Campbell Tobermory, Ontario

    Around the time that Willie wrote "Music In Your Eyes" he was very productive. When we got together, one of the first and most exciting things to do was to play each other our latest songs written since the last time we had got together. On one of those occasions, Willie played me a song he wrote after walking down Yonge street in Toronto one summer when they had closed it off to car traffic to create a temporary pedestrian mall. Written in the same style. Maybe he thought it was too similar, but I loved it. I remember fragments... It started out - "The world is a book, go ahead take a look at the pages that you see inside..." and there was "We're a sea of fools and we're drifting down the street..." The chorus starts - "Now the level he's been driving me, he's a hard and dirty rain..." and ends up - " You've got to look for little pockets of sunshine on a cloudy day, So you can better appreciate the light you find when the clouds roll away" which is so typically Willie. I would love to find the rest of the words. Anyone?

    Around the time that Willie wrote "Music In Your Eyes" he was very productive. When we got together, one of the first and most exciting things to do was to play each other our latest songs written since the last time we had got together.
    On one of those occasions, Willie played me a song he wrote after walking down Yonge street in Toronto one summer when they had closed it off to car traffic to create a temporary pedestrian mall. Written in the same style. Maybe he thought it was too similar, but I loved it.
    I remember fragments...
    It started out - "The world is a book, go ahead take a look at the pages that you see inside..."
    and there was "We're a sea of fools and we're drifting down the street..."
    The chorus starts - "Now the level he's been driving me, he's a hard and dirty rain..."
    and ends up - " You've got to look for little pockets of sunshine on a cloudy day,
    So you can better appreciate the light you find when the clouds roll away"
    which is so typically Willie.
    I would love to find the rest of the words. Anyone?

  • Al Beaty

    Al Beaty

    Paul, The man you want to contact is Bill Henry of Woodford, ON. just east of Owen Sound. He's the last person I heard sing the song you mention. He may also have a recording of Willie singing it back around the time that Campbell's Coffee House closed. (Set the wayback machine). If you're that Paul Campbell, you can contact Roger Greig or Tom Burns, who can put you in touch with him. My recollection of the lyrics is-"The world is a book, go ahead take a look at the pages that we sign, they're all filled with pain and laughter and shame and the blood of people who've been kind". I could go on but the song has to be 40 years old by now, so it is a bit hazy. There's a funny story that Bill once told about how he sang the song one night in Goderich after the festival there, with our Willie boy present. After Bill finished, Willie said he liked the song and asked who wrote it. Bill looked at him trying to judge if he was joking. I think he'd honestly forgotten, but ask Bill about it. Barring that, Colin Linden is always a good person to ask. He definitely remembers songs that Willie forgot long ago. One of my favourite lost songs is the one that includes-" You think every silver lining has a cloud around it and every whiskey bottle's had my mouth around it, hey what's the matter with you" Don't know what its called but when I asked Colin to sing it one night when Blackie was playing at Hugh's Room, he remembered it without the lyric sheet I'd brought with me just in case. I hope this helps. Willie once saved my life and he used to joke that we were even because I saved him from the wicked witch of Kilaloo. I did, its true, but that's a story for another day. This February 15, I'll focus on the 35 years or so that we shared and not these last 7 years without him. I've often joked that the world sure didn't need 2 Willie P. Bennetts, but it's a much diminished world since we lost the one we were blessed to know.

    Paul, The man you want to contact is Bill Henry of Woodford, ON. just east of Owen Sound. He's the last person I heard sing the song you mention. He may also have a recording of Willie singing it back around the time that Campbell's Coffee House closed. (Set the wayback machine). If you're that Paul Campbell, you can contact Roger Greig or Tom Burns, who can put you in touch with him. My recollection of the lyrics is-"The world is a book, go ahead take a look at the pages that we sign, they're all filled with pain and laughter and shame and the blood of people who've been kind". I could go on but the song has to be 40 years old by now, so it is a bit hazy. There's a funny story that Bill once told about how he sang the song one night in Goderich after the festival there, with our Willie boy present. After Bill finished, Willie said he liked the song and asked who wrote it. Bill looked at him trying to judge if he was joking. I think he'd honestly forgotten, but ask Bill about it. Barring that, Colin Linden is always a good person to ask. He definitely remembers songs that Willie forgot long ago. One of my favourite lost songs is the one that includes-" You think every silver lining has a cloud around it and every whiskey bottle's had my mouth around it, hey what's the matter with you" Don't know what its called but when I asked Colin to sing it one night when Blackie was playing at Hugh's Room, he remembered it without the lyric sheet I'd brought with me just in case. I hope this helps.
    Willie once saved my life and he used to joke that we were even because I saved him from the wicked witch of Kilaloo. I did, its true, but that's a story for another day. This February 15, I'll focus on the 35 years or so that we shared and not these last 7 years without him. I've often joked that the world sure didn't need 2 Willie P. Bennetts, but it's a much diminished world since we lost the one we were blessed to know.

  • Bill Valliere

    Bill Valliere Holiday, Fl.

    I just got turned onto Willie's music tonight, and I'm wishing I'd known of him back in the day, or at least before he passed on. He was just a year or 2 younger than me. His music is beautiful and haunting. Really resonated on several levels with me. Plucked a few heartstrings and brought a few tears. Reading these gives me a feel for who he was.. Look forward to learning more about him & listening to more of his music. Thanx!

    I just got turned onto Willie's music tonight, and I'm wishing I'd known of him back in the day, or at least before he passed on. He was just a year or 2 younger than me. His music is beautiful and haunting. Really resonated on several levels with me. Plucked a few heartstrings and brought a few tears. Reading these gives me a feel for who he was.. Look forward to learning more about him & listening to more of his music. Thanx!

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