Cheryl Leah and Ed Willett


               CD Cover  

Several songs on this CD give a tip of the hat to the great "Americana" music traditions.


Lyrics from this title cut "We tend to believe without a thimble of proof, we're always patchin' up ourselves and this old tin roof, and rasin' up our dreams from a kernel of truth, here on Poor Farm Road".




I've experienced this great traditional Irish tune from many vantage points. In small combos like this version, playing the Aaron Copland version he called "Rodeo" with orchestras out in L.A., I even conducted a performance of Copland's offering with the Duluth Symphony a couple of years ago.  When a tune is strong like this one you can stretch it, shrink it, turn it upside down, and you've still got a potent piece of music.  On this recording I'm joined by three master players - Randy Sabien on violin, Jeff Eckels on bass, and Dane Richeson on Drums. - Ed

Cheryl Leah and Ed Willett


How many windows have we looked out of, thinking that the grass is always greener somewhere else, the people a little more beautiful, events more glittering?  How many fears that your sweetie is seeing the glimpse of a life that the two of you don’t share?  Wonders and thrills you can’t provide? 

We live on a farm in northern Wisconsin, a real do-it-yourselfer place that doesn’t fit any code of construction anywhere, a veteran of countless storms, snows and sleets.  Drafty and sweet, well past the point of new.  Home sweet home to us, home to a life more full than I knew could ever be.

We are musicians, and have a duo called Chance, and we’ve been together making music for 24 years.  We have sort of melted into each other by now, kind of like when you start looking like your pets! 

For the first time in those 24 years, Ed went away to perform in an extended tour with another act.  It was certainly a high level and exciting show, one that in my fears he would consider superior to our own.  Certain that I would lose him to it and to its distractions, I looked out the window often here and in retrospect, sure could have used a cat to keep me company!.

This time period inspired a song called “You are Paris“.  This is on our album called “Poor Farm Road“, a portrait of our life here in Wisconsin. 

This piece was written in the spirit of the music inspired by World War One, where the streets of Paris were teeming with flower carts and jugglers and Mimes and joy, singing and dancing and being fashionable in the streets and cafes.  This part of our world’s history contained many scenes of tearful goodbyes at railway stations, dusty places in the South where men had never seen anywhere but their little town and a handful of friends and neighbors, and then they answered the call to go over the big sea to fight for it.  War time has always yielded wonderful art and music.  It’s somewhat peculiar and interesting that such horror does make that happen…

There was a song that Ed’s parents had sung to each other way back when about looking at the moon and wondering about where the other one was, what they were doing, what they were seeing…  In our writing process, we also used the key idea from another old song (“How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm, after they‘ve seen Paris?”)

Love is indivisible from pain, fullness indivisible from emptiness, searching from finding.  This song speaks of separation and love across the continents.  We hope that you will enjoy this lyric born of my long lonely night.  - Cheryl, written for the book "Love Stories from the Bay" - Ros Nelson publisher



He packs up his troubles in his old kit bag,
Puts his dreams on the windowsill for a better day…
There’re weeds in the garden, hates to leave it that way, and her
He hates to leave her!

She stands by the window long after he’s gone…
Speaks to the silence, “it won’t be that long”…
And doubting what’s killing her could ever make her strong,
  She cries, she cries…
How’s she gonna keep him down on the farm,
Once he’s seen Paris?
How’s she gonna keep him safe from the harm that can fall so easily?

Ah, but if she only knew!
If she only knew that he sings

You see the moon, and the moon sees me
I’m a road weary soldier, and you are Paris
You see the moon, and the moon sees me
I’m a road weary soldier, and you are Paris

She unpacks her troubles from her old knit bag,
Sees the sun that is setting on another day
Leans on the silence that falls ever long
She’s strong - she’s got to stay strong…

There’s holes in the door, where the wind blows through
But there’s wood for the winter, and a year or two…
But although it’s killing him, he cannot show he cries
He tries…he tries….

How’s he gonna keep her down on the farm,
Once she’s seen Paris?
How’s he gonna keep her safe from the charms that can call so easily?

Oh, but if he only knew!
If he only knew that she sings

You see the moon, and the moon sees me
I’m a home weary soldier no one can see
You see the moon and the moon sees me
I‘m a road weary soldier,
And you are Paris

Ed Willett And Cheryl Leah


Cheryl and I have been writing and performing together for a while now, actually many, many whiles and in that time we've triumphed, failed, struggled, persevered.  Through all of it, one thing has always remained true and that is when one of us just can't go on, the other will be there to carry them through. - Ed

Poor Farm Road

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