Brian Laidlaw

Poet | Songwriter | Educator

Know My Rider


I followed a blackbird when I was lost in the wood.

She said let’s make a memory, it’d do you some good

She was an actress

With decades of practice

Her shadow theatrics

Won’t fool me no more

But when I needed a smidgen

Of old time religion

I came to her kitchen

And we fell to her floor


But please believe we did it out of love

I know my rider coming from above


It made me a black sheep from the first time I came—

The willows and whippoorwills have forgotten my name

Her nest was shambles

Of shadows and brambles

Everyone gambles

On love at first sight

Our engines were revving

Like angles in heaven

But was it snake eyes or sevens

We rolled that first night?


But please believe, when I hear those hound-dogs bark

I’ll know my rider when I feel her in the dark


Be the setting sun, be a holy roller

            Wake me when they come, or wake me when it’s over


Now I can’t find my blackbird, she vanished in the dusk

We didn’t make history, but history made us

And the horsemen are coming

I know that they’re cunning

They’ll hit the ground running

And never look back

But if you think my mistress

Will beg for forgiveness

Then black sheep ain’t misfits

And blackbirds ain’t black


I still believe we did it out of love

And I know my rider, coming from above