Pail and Can – my new song meaning and influences

This song was originally based on a theme of childhood wonderment I powerfully felt influence in in the words of Robert Frost’s poem “Going for Water.”

It also draws from the shortest poem ever written, William Carlos Williams’ epic “The Red Wheelbarrow.”

My lyrics ended up being:

“The well was dry beside the land
And we looked on with pail and can
As children
It’s where I found out who I am
A red wheelbarrow and pail and can

Fake it til I make it
Gonna make it good
Gonna make it to the island where you left me
Staying in my own side of the street

The well was dry …. Repeat all”

Here’s the song:

It’s about wonderment of childhood. Memory of Arizona, the desert smell and my brother and I collected rusted cans and metal stuff in a pail. 🙂

My book “Bipolar Professional” is [now] out.

Update March 2024: My book is available now! Recommended seller is Link is here:

Legs for breakfast baby!

While living and studying in Guadalajara, MX back in ‘96, I’d sometimes busque acoustic in the streets. I’d make enough and more for a taco or two. But sometimes when several good folks were listening intently, I’d stop abruptly and hold my hat out in my hand to signify a request for tips. Without a fault, they would quickly turn their face away pretending they weren’t listening. I’m not rich but I survive. I’ve prepared a book that will forever change the way you see bipolar disorder. In a day or so, the link will appear at all my online sites. Feel free to bookmark as that is my home page where all things Damien Riley are posted. I used to call it “Riley Central.” The book is 12 dollars. I get a couple bucks if you buy it on Amazon and just over 7 per book if you buy direct from Lulu dot com. I really would appreciate your patronage. This is my life’s work in a book. Watch this space. It’s called “Bipolar Professional.” Much obliged lovely Facebook friends. Oh one more thing, enjoy this new instrumental I just uploaded. Peace and love. -D

Please share the link below with others!


I hope I’m authentic. These past three years since my divorce have been challenging in ways I never could have imagined. I’ll be honest, I still have to practice letting go of my anger at her. Buddhist principles have been the reason I’ve survived. I’m glad that shithead is far away from me. She can stay away, I wouldn’t have good things to say to her or her mother. They are the opposite of authentic.

Thanks to the support of my parents I’ve become established in a new profession teaching college. Thanks to myself I also have a job with Uber. I have breaths of fresh air occasionally where I know I’m gonna be ok. My ex was a rage-aholic. Living in fear of her insanity hurt all of us. I thought I could change her. Instead she left me and blamed me for everything. If you talk to her, tell her to stay away. I have. I want nothing to do with her ever again.

“But the clock is another demon to devour our tone in Eden.”

I love the road Im on. It’s filled with patience and love for people. I will never understand my ex and I don’t care to. I tried in vain for 19 years.


“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13 New International Version

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecyand can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies,they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhoodbehind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.But the greatest of these is love.