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Blackberry Jam - Andy May - cover art

Blackberry Jam – Song

©Lauren LeCroy MayAndy May (Swift River Music/BMI)

Behind the Song

Lauren (words): I wrote this lyric the second summer we lived in Tennessee, after we had been once through all the seasons. We had moved from Colorado at the end of the previous May with our then 2-year-old, and wild blackberries, which didn’t grow in the part of Colorado where we had lived, were a revelation to us. (So were chiggers, but that’s another story entirely!) Every bit of this song is true: Blackberry picking with our kid and our old black dog became a part of our summers, and blackberry jam became a part of our winters.

Andy (music): When Lauren first showed me this lyric, she asked if I could work in a break using a bit of the old fiddle tune, Blackberry Blossom when I scored it. I worked with it a bit and realized that the structure of her lyric fit Blackberry Blossom perfectly – it just needed a “b part.” Lauren re-worked one of her verses into a b part/chorus and I based the entire melody on Blackberry Blossom – including working in the break that Lauren had asked for. 

Several years later, my buddy, Tabby Crabb, made a music video of this song for us. (Below)

I never get tired of singing this song – it takes me back to those days.

Listen


Credits

  • Produced by Andy May, Swift River Music 
  • Andy May: lead vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Jim Heffernan: second guitar
  • Kenny Malone: percussion
  • Dennis Crouch: bass
  • Rick Lee: piano
  • Tim Crouch: fiddle
  • Larry Marrs: harmony vocals
  • Craig Fletcher: harmony vocals
  • Engineered by Nathan Smith
  • Recorded and mixed at Mainframe Recording Studio, Nashville, TN, July-November, 1999
  • Mastered by Eric Wolf, Wolf Mastering, Nashville, TN
  • Cover photo by Lauren LeCroy May

Lyrics

Blackberry Jam
©1998 Lauren LeCroy May, Andy May

Blackberry brambles line the old dirt track

Buckets in our hands, sun on our backs

One in the bucket, two in the child

Pickin’ these berries gonna take a while

Chorus:

          And the fruits of the earth roll off in our hands

          Summer’s easy pickin’s in this red clay land

          The seasons all move to a master plan

          From blackberry blossom to Blackberry Jam

Old black dog lies watchin’ from the shade

She knows where we’ll go when we start to fade

To the lake down the road and we’ll all jump in

Wash the heat of summer off our skin

Chorus

While the kid takes a nap and Daddy plays guitar

Mamma packs the summer day into jelly jars

One cold winter mornin’, grey as a ghost

We’ll have a taste of summer on our breakfast toast

Chorus (repeat)

Discography