The Afterlife

Song Notes

Approaching my mid-seventies, with cardio-vascular disease that has already required open heart, triple bypass surgery, and being well past the age when my father and brother had strokes and heart attacks, I live in the awareness that I’m pushing the envelope of life expectancy for men in my family.  So I treat every day I’m alive as another miraculous gift.

The house my partner Deanna and I have built and are still working on at the Port Townsend EcoVillage sits right adjacent to the trail that leads from the community bike shed.  For the first months we lived here, I would be working at the compost pile in the early mornings when another couple, fellow residents of the PTEV, would go riding past on their way to the icy waters of the Salish Sea for their morning dip, and invariably return with ecstatic grins and exuberant tales of the beauty they’d seen and how wonderful the swim made them feel.  I thought they were nuts.

Then finally, one November morning after a day of feeling particularly dull and dreary both physically and mentally, I decided to hop on my bike and give it a try.   In an hour, I also came pedaling back with a similar grin and a lovely, robust feeling in my body.  For multiple mornings a week, I continued to head off around sunrise, coaxing visitors and friends to come along.  On one such frozen morning, with the frosty sand and iridescent seaweed shining in the first morning rays, with each pebble and piece of driftwood casting long lovely shadows, the high bluffs glowing golden, each tree and reed of grass a sculpted wonder, I suddenly said to my companion, “You know, the afterlife would have to be seriously groovy to even hold a candle to this life!”

When I came grinning home, this song was already coming to life.  I’ve taught it at various gatherings, and it really can’t be properly experienced sitting down.  Particularly the bass part seems to inspire some get down and funky dancing, and the “ain’t this the life” parts are fun to do some show tune struttin’ and hand waglin’, as in “truckin’ your blues away.”


Part One:The afterlife would have to be seriously groovy to even hold a candle to this life.


Part Two:Ain’t this the life?  Ain’t this the life?


Part Three:Ain’t this the life?  Ain’t this the life?


Part Four:The afterlife would have to be seriously groovy, seriously groovy.



Part One.  Alto

Part One. Baritone

Part Two.  Tenor, 2nd harmony

Part Two.  Tenor, 3rd harmony

Part Three.  Soprano, 1st harmony

Part Three.  Soprano, 2nd harmony

Part Four.  Bass