This song was one of a cluster of songs recorded at the end of the 80’s. I believe the intention was to try to put together a complete album’s worth of material rather than record just a series of random tracks. In much the same way that a novelist works, I’d begun experimenting with story/songs in which I would inhabit a character and sing from their point of view. The technique was useful in that it expanded my material options, but also, that it changed—in sometimes subtle ways—the way in which I interpreted a song vocally.
The track features David Houston playing the plucky things, and Brent Bourgeois supplying the Stevie-wonderful solo.



The word “paradise” has a long history.
It entered English through the French, who translated it from Latin, who inherited it from Greek, who borrowed it from Old Iranian.

Its original, literal, Old Iranian meaning: “Walled enclosure,” was sweetened by the Greeks who seemed to prefer the more inviting sounding translation: “A park for animals.” Of course, it figured prominently in Hebrew and Arabic as well, and appeared in such bestsellers as The Old and New Testament, and the Qur’an.

Wherever it came from, and whatever it has come to mean to us now, we seem to regard it as a nice place of incredible beauty. A place where the weather is perpetually warm, clothing is optional, fruit trees grow in abundance, and everybody gets along.

Not a bad place to hang out, assuming you follow the rules!



th “The artist is distinguished from all other responsible actors in society — the politicians, legislators, educators, and scientists — by the fact that he is his own test tube, his own laboratory, working according to very rigorous rules, however unstated these may be, and cannot allow any consideration to supersede his responsibility to reveal all that he can possibly discover concerning the mystery of the human being. Society must accept some things as real; but he must always know that visible reality hides a deeper one, and that all our action and achievement rest on things unseen. A society must assume that it is stable, but the artist must know, and he must let us know, that there is nothing stable under heaven. One cannot possibly build a school, teach a child, or drive a car without taking some things for granted. The artist cannot and must not take anything for granted, but must drive to the heart of every answer and expose the question the answer hides.”

—James Baldwin