Just one step

July 28, 2009 at 9:30 am 5 comments

There’s a tune I heard back in the early 80’s at the Banana Stand on Bleecker Street. Originally, I heard it under the little bridge in Central Park — in front of the Zoo. There was a trio that used to sing there: Longtoe, Singer & Flowers. Flowers had the most incredible smile, that I remember.

Anyway, they played down on Bleecker Street, so I went to listen just about every time they played. And there was this wonderful song they sang that I have never forgotten: “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. One foot in front of the other. Just one step. Just one step will set you free.” Those are the lyrical fragments that stayed with me, and of course the tune.

Flowers used to tell the story. If I remember correctly, she had been travelling, had no more money, and didn’t know how she was going to get home. Then the wisdom occurred to her: You start with just one step. I don’t know if she wrote the song to inspire herself and then took a step, or if she made her journey and then wrote the song with her newfound insight. I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

It’s wonderful how a “little” song can change someone’s life. They never made it big (as far as I know), but on a small scale I’m sure they inspired quite a few people. There was usually a good crowd. That’s one of the special memories from back then.

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Entry filed under: inspiration, journey of life. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. hsina  |  July 28, 2009 at 10:59 am

    beautifully written.

    In a lot of cases we as being do sometimes feel that we are locked in a cage. It is up to us to break free and fly away.

    Reply
  • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  July 28, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Once we learn to recognize that locked-up feeling as something within us, we can indeed break free and fly. Suddenly it seems incredibly easy!

    Reply
  • 3. Rich  |  November 7, 2012 at 3:19 am

    “There’s a price you have to pay in life…” And so began the introduction to a song that began “Lighting is the price you pay for thunder…” It was 1980 on 5th Ave off of 57th St and Longtoe, Singer and Flowers were busking on a Friday afternoon. John Berger announced they would be in the tunnel near the Central Park Zoo the following day. I dragged a friend of mine along and by the second song John had broken three strings and they had to pack it in. They had , however, handed out fliers for that evenings performance at the Banana Stand. I took two other friends of mine to the corner on Bleeker and Thompson and went up the stairs hoping that the five dollar cover charge would discourage the bouncer/doorman from asking for ID seeing as how I was only 16 at the time. We got a table, ordered three cheeseburgers and three banana daiquiris and sat there through two sets of each act. The final song by the headlining band and our reason for being there was a cover version of Stephen Bishop’s “On and On”. One by one they brought they’re friends up to the barely six inch stage to sing continual encores of the last verse. Thirty two years later and it seems like yesterday.

    Reply
    • 4. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  November 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Thank you! That’s so cool that you write. I saw them in Central Park that day — though I don’t remember the strings breaking… and then went to the Banana Stand! Unfortunately, I lost the cassette somewhere over the years. I loved their music! It does indeed not seem possible that it’s been 32 years!

      Reply
  • 5. George  |  June 15, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    I worked with Neil Kaufman who was their drummer at the time. I saw them at the Banana Stand as well. That song was always my favorite from the group. Somewhere, I have a tape of Longtoe playing live.

    Reply

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