play A Visit With Pat Scott

from Philly Friends:  A Toast to Pat Scott

(Pat Wictor ©2009, Tell-A-Tale Music / BMI)

I climbed up Jacob's Ladder, at the dawning of the sun
Went to see St. Peter, where the gates of heaven hung
And swung open to all--and I was stunned:  no one was turned away.
I said "Excuse me, St. Peter, I'm looking for a friend who passed this way.

He's a well-built guy, smokes a pipe, long red beard, with a hat."
St. Peter pondered a minute and said, "I've seen a guy like that.
Last name Scott---let's see, the first name, I believe, was Pat."
"That's him!" I cried. "Can I see him?  I never got a chance to say goodbye."

He said, "Son, we don't normally grant your kind visitation rights."
I said, "Saint Pete, all due respect, I ain't looking for a fight, But I climbed
All the way up here---and you know it's important, because I'm afraid of heights.
He's new around these parts, and I just wanna know he's doing all right."

Right then coming through the gate, wearing his big ol' sidewise grin,
It was Pat Scott, looking mischievous, and alive as he'd ever been
And he gave me a bear hug--and he said "I'll show you around, come on in."  
St. Peter grumbled, but he wrote me a temporary pass, and there I was, a visitor, in heaven.

Pat led me through a grassy field, and over a gentle rise
I could see three large sound stages loom on the other side
And there were tents galore--big ones, small ones, every possible color and size
And I was incredulous.  I said, "Heaven is...a folk festival?"  And he just grinned, "you got that right."

"Looks an awful lot like the festivals back home," I said.
"Yes, but there's a few crucial differences here," he replied.
"First off, It never rains... You don't need any sunblock, and the guitars all stay in tune.  
And they serve wine...all kinds, and they'll take your tastebuds by surprise, I'm telling you."

So I saw Rev. Gary Davis play in the afternoon
And Jimi Hendrix went acoustic, playing a Robert Johnson blues
And a newcomer's show with Odetta--and Woody Guthrie sat in for a few tunes
Man, you ought to see the campfires!  I never knew heaven would be this good!

And Pat took me by the CD tent--filled with out of print titles, good as new
And then I saw him--the guy at the checkout, he was Pat Scott, too.
And there was another guy running sound..... and yes, he also  turned out to be Pat Scott.  
And in the distance in the parking lot, a long red beard, flag in one hand, pipe in the other,
     Pat was there, directing traffic with a welcoming smile.

I climbed up to the mainstage, and I peeked out on the hill
At our Pat, sitting on his blanket, front and center as usual...
With his cooler, and his pipe, and hat, and that big, red, red beard....
and he was nodding to the music,....and grinning ear to ear

....and here he was at the side of the stage, standing beside me still
And I said, "How do you do that?"----be in all these places at the same time?
Pat was a man of few words.....  He shrugged, and answered with a sidewise grin,
"Well, it's a parlor trick.  But hey, this is the ONE place you really DO get to do what you love."

I thought about all I'd seen, and Pat looked me in the eye,
And he said, "Let's get you back home.  Tell 'em all I'm doing fine,
And I miss everyone--especially my Ginger--but I'll see you all, in the fullness of time
And we'll all sit on that hillside, in the Great Folk Festival in the sky."

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updated: 7 years ago