In the bathroom, about 2 minutes before the beginning of my concert in Akron, Pennsylvania, I suddenly realized: "Hey - I'm in Akron, Pennsylvania!"
Of course I'll understand if this flash of insight doesn't have quite the same effect on you as it did on me. It may strike you as just a tad obvious. But allow me to continue...
The town of Akron PA, you see, is the headquarters of the Mennonite Central Committee, and I had written a song back in the fall, called "New Wine," specifically for the use of Mennonite Central Committee in it's "New Wine/New Wineskins" process.
So it suddenly occurred to me: "If ever there was a time to sing that "New Wine" song, this would be it! Now, how does it go again...?"
I sat there and wracked my brain trying to remember the lyrics and the chords (I could remember the melody no problem, but the chord progression was a bit unusual, and I didn't have the chance to go to the guitar and renew my acquaintance with the tune).
Partway through the concert I decided to take the plunge and give it a try... and I couldn't for the life of me remember the chords. On the second try I made it through the chorus, but that was as far as I got. We made a joke of it and went on... good times... but I lost that unique chance to sing that song with these folks where it would have been particularly "at home." Arli Klassen told me later that if she had had her Blackberry with her, she could have called it up and showed it to me (she received it as part of one of my "deliveries of songs" through my "community supported music" system).
I've also been trying to find a song that I wrote and sang at the Iglesia Menonita Nueva Vida in Toronto on Easter Sunday, 2009. I can remember the chorus, but I don't remember the verses, and can't find it written down anywhere (I remember finishing them up in the parking lot and on the front bench that Sunday morning... I guess the scrap of paper didn't make it back into my guitar case). I seem to recall they sometimes record their services, so I'm hoping I can get a hold of a recording somewhere, and maybe re-learn the song (I seem to remember it was a good one).
And this weekend, visiting with some friends, Luke showed me another scrap of paper that he had found in a Wendell Berry book I had lent him... the paper had a scribbled lyric that was an early version of one of the verses for "Infiltrating the World," which is on my most recent CD.
If anyone else has found other forgotten songs of mine hanging around in whatever form, please let me know. I just might be looking for it, and if not, I may have some use for it.