Restless Toes

GIF movie of restless toes in rainbow socks

Restless Toes

Words by: Tim & Frances Tompkins, Refinement by: Jan Luby.
Music by: Tim, 1975 to 2004.

(Him – italic, her or duet – normal font)

Come walk with me,
let’s prowl the spooky night.
Gusty winds will haunt the trees
and give the branches fingers reaching out
as if we’re prey for them to seize.

The day was rain,
now puddles pave the lane.
The baby’s finally down and we have time,
come sit here, sip some wine
and see how cozy we can be.

I found this cute warm cap for our little one today.
Look how the yarn’s blue-green hue changes as it moves.
It’s like the sea when sun plays upon the waves.
It seems to whisper, “Come, I’ll carry you away
where the swallows go on gentle breezes
blowing palm fronds to and fro.”

Ten restless toes
are inching toward the door.
A stuffy nose is in cahoots.
Let’s lose the indoor dust and find some oxygen.
I’m putting on my boots.

Go have your fun.
Don’t call me if you run
right into a daemon’s clutches.
I’ll be safe and warm in bed
caressing just the memory of your touch.

A wise man hears the invitation of his wife.
Some girls don’t warm so well after putting them on ice.
Looks like an active life is going up in price.

Oh great! You woke him up, you rat!
Now put him in his warm suit.
Let the wind blow, we’ll test his hat
and see what thrills the night will throw!


Pablo Picasso said, “There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.” There really was such a night as depicted in the song, with a spooky wind following a rainy day, and with a young couple struggling over the old dilemma: adventure versus comfort. In fact there really was a baby, and Frances gets the credit for demanding that I put him into the song. The music started as a finger picking exercise on guitar that eventually shaped one of our favorite string arrangements. Jan Luby always brings both heart and head to a song’s performance, and for this one she was unconvinced about why the young mother changes her mind in favor of the adventure. My memory of the “real” story was vague on this issue; it just seemed that when the baby woke up, the dynamic of the moment changed. When Jan heard the final mix she expressed some satisfaction that there is a triangle ding to represent a turning point for the woman, be it logical or magic. (I had just felt that the music needed it.) Moral of the story? To suspend disbelief, satisfying art may need to be less capricious than reality. Haha. [Tim]

Performance Credits:

Tim and Jan Luby: voice.
Tim: cello, guitar and bass.
Frances: violin.
James Zitro: drums and percussion.
Dedicated to Suzanne Janes who remembers that night in England (1975) and to infant Gabriel who was too young to capture the night in memory.

Production Credits:

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Tim at the GallopAway Music studio,
except for percussion, recorded at Monterey Bay Recording Studio in Castroville, CA,
and for the baby’s voice, recorded by his mother, Elena Nelson, at their home in San Jose, California.

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