Morning Glories

The fifth annual Crankie Festival takes place this week from Friday to Sunday in Winnipeg, Canada, where I live. The music and art festival website describes the crankie as “a moving panorama, an old storytelling art form that was popular in the 18th century.” My sweety and I have attended most of these festivals, and this year, one of the performers, Hamilton, Ontario-based country-folk singer-songwriter Corin Raymond, will be billeting at our home during the festival. He’ll be presenting his spoken-word work/dramaturge piece Bookmarks as part of the festival on Saturday night; it’s a work we’ve seen before, but it’ll a joy to hear again as he tells the stories of his love for books and how his father nurtured that love from early on in life. He’ll also play and sing with other performers during the festival. If you’re in Winnipeg, I highly recommend attending!

I’m always looking for places to find new-to-me music and to broaden the source of songs for this blog and to experience types of music different from what I usually listen to. A post on one of the blogs I follow recently featured “music for blogging,” and the videos came from several genres, including country. Scrolling through them reminded me how much I enjoy that genre, mainly the country classics and outlaw country.

Raymond’s music spans folk, alternative country, country-folk and outlaw country, among other genres/subgenres, and I’ve posted two of his songs before: “The Law and the Lonesome” (co-written with North Carolina, USA’s Jonathan Byrd) and “Hard on Things.” One of our sons’ previous musical projects was an outlaw country band, Kieran West & His Buffalo Band; they played a lot of originals and covered songs by John Prine, Corin Raymond, Hank Williams III and a few others The band did a magnificent job of Raymond’s widely-covered “Three Thousand Miles” that would bring tears to my eyes whenever I heard him sing it. (While you’re here, check out this video of Raymond playing that song, accompanied by Byrd). Kieran and his band opened for Raymond in 2015, and that’s where I first met Corin. My sweety and I have seen him play many times since then and have been friends with him ever since. We also hosted a house concert he gave at our place in 2018, the first of two we’ve done at our place.

One of our favourite Corin Raymond songs is “Morning Glories.” Raymond calls it “a love letter to The Kensington Market, the Toronto neighbourhood where I began it in 2010.” It’s a delightful recollection through the characters who lived on the street, their stories coming alive to tell a magical story that centres on the flowers his late, former house-mate planted there.


he’s a pension cheque gambler
he’s a park bench instructor
he’s a bread crumb handler
and a pigeon conductor
he’s an old ashtray miner
a half a lung hacker
a life’s-been-unkinder
and a penny roll stacker


he’s a liquor store strummer
he’s a half a block howler
he’s the sound of my summer
he’s a “Dead Flowers” growler
he’s a sidewalk street singer
a Baldwin Spadina
old resonator slinger
and a drunken John Priner


she’s a stray cat collector
she’s a landlord’s dilemma
she’s a mangy menagerie
marigold mama
she’s a plastic flower bike basket
Eaton’s Glider rider
a long Lola loiter
and a Pall Mall provider

I can smell the lilac from my room
the hollyhock sidewalks of June
where roses are blooming red as wine
but there are morning glories that only bloom
late in the chilly afternoon
and they might be the sweetest on the vine
they might be the sweetest on the vine

let’s float in the air
over Kensington Market
we could take your car there
but there’s no place to park it
up here with the pigeons
whom gravity pardons
we can see all the green bins
and sidewalks and gardens

we can look and there’s Chuck
singing ‘…Muhlenberg County’
and he’s already tucked away
two Old Milwaukees
and just two streets over
from Spadina and Baldwin
there’s Luther sittin’ under
the bronze of Al Waxman

and there goes Dolores
on her way down to Lola
to lounge in a chorus
of lit-up low rollers
she gives Chuck a smoke
and he gives her a song
Luther’s still broke but
he shuffles along

and she hands him one too
’cause she can afford it
and the twilight falls blue
on their cherry tip auras
and it’s plain to see now
that the darkness is growing
that you’re not down and out
when you’re down and out going

I can smell the lilac from my room
the hollyhock sidewalks of June
where roses are blooming red as wine
but there are morning glories that only bloom
late in the chilly afternoon
and they might be the sweetest on the vine
they might be the sweetest on the vine
they might be the sweetest on the vine”

“Morning Glories,” by Corin Raymond.
Official lyrics retrieved from the notes section of the YouTube post.

We are really looking forward to visiting with Corin and seeing/hearing his artistry this weekend. He’ll be out and about most of the time he’s in the city, but no doubt there will be some good bits of hangout time and, heck, maybe some musical suggestions for this blog! On that note, I have a special CD he made of 25 songs as an add-on when he was crowdfunding his Dirty Mansions album… I think he said he made it from an original list of over 100 tracks. I have to admit not having listened to it in a long time, but there are some songs I’d likely never have heard of otherwise, and I’ve enjoyed listening to it while writing and formatting this post.

“Morning Glories” comes from the album Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams (2016). It and other of Raymond’s records can be bought as CDs, LPs or digital downloads from his website and are also available on streaming services.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here.

So, why not take a guided stroll in Kensington Market with Corin and enjoy the video of a 2016 live performance of the song on his YouTube channel:

As a bonus, here’s the studio version.

What genres of music do you enjoy? Have you ever seen a “crankie”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

With warmest wishes,


9 thoughts on “Morning Glories

  1. I’m so glad my post reminded you of the country music genre because now I know about this amazing song. As you know, I love country and this song is exactly the kind of country songs I love. Will be adding this to my playlist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it! I recommend checking out some others by him. Maybe from ‘Record Lonesome Night’ or ‘There Will Always Be a Small Time,’ two early ones though all his records are terrific. Corin is such an amazing storyteller. Only about four hours until I pick him up from the airport!

      Liked by 1 person

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