Frances on violin, in red dress
Frances on violin


Words by: Tim and Frances Tompkins  |  Music by: Tim Tompkins


Remember me, I’m Sadie?
Can’t say I do, but you can call me Sly.
Mm hmm, I bet you won’t forget me now.
Forget you, honey, how could I?

So Sly, how did I catch your eye?
You didn’t even have to try.
Woo woo, I knew this dress would do.
I’ll unlace you.
I’ll erase you slowly.
You’ve never flown so high.

So what’s the story, Sadie,
did you think I was a friend?
Not yet, but I would like to be.
What you would recommend?

Come take a moon-light whirl with me;
we’ll dance into the dewy morn.
There’s so much more in store for you
if we dance like I have set my mind to.
Are you ready to be born?

Stirring embers into flames of your desire,
I’ll feed the fever, fan the fire,
shooting sparks up even higher,
while the siren choir sings,
sending shivers up your spine,
till you expire on the wing.

Dawn through watercolor windows,
brushes brighter shades of day,
nighttime’s passionate crescendos
echo far oh far away.

I confess I’d seen you, Sadie,
it was just a little lie.
I confess I’d never seen you.
Looks like both of us were Sly.


One sunny afternoon in 1973 (deliciously rare in the Portland, Oregon, area) I serenaded a dandelion in the midst of a big green lawn, with spontaneous music and place-holder words. My silly and disjointed flower lyrics persisted the following year as I played and developed the music for hours in the long, green, echoing hallways of Decca Records in London while waiting for Tony Clarke to direct the production of a perfect kick drum sound or Justin Hayward to lay down his guitar tracks for the Blue Jays album that the Providence string trio had been flown over to record on. Fourteen years later Frances was driving our old camper west from Yellowstone National Park into eastern Idaho while I slouched in the shotgun seat, feet up on the dashboard, plucking the Yamaha guitar that Justin had given me in London, completely rewriting the lyrics, this time beginning with a quote from the Mary Howitt poem, “‘Come into my parlor,’ said the spider to the fly.” The new lyrics did present a unified story, but it was grim, and eventually my brother Tom, the violist, expressed a certain disgust that found a sympathetic vibration in my own discomfort; those words had to go. Could I morph a hungry spider into a seductive girl who is out for some fun? I gave it a whirl and found it surprisingly easy to write a new lyric as a duet for a sparring couple. But my dialog needed more energy: a spunkier girl part. Frances improved many phrases and turned my confession line into a much funnier 2-way lie-confession at the end. Then our wonderful friend Jan Luby flew to California and brought the female part to life through a few more lyric adjustments and through the magic of her voice. What an easy artist to work with! Well prepared, funny, and insightful from her own extensive songwriting experience and her decades of performing from coast to coast. Frances improvised her violin solo on the inspiration of the session.  [Tim]

Performance Credits:

Jan Luby: Voice.
Tim Tompkins: Guitar, guitarron, clarinet.
Frances Tompkins: Violin.

Production Credits:

Produced and mastered at the GallopAway Music studio in San Juan Bautista, CA.

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