Author Archives: Mark

Stray Muse at the Chit Chat (in Pacifica)

Stray Muse will be playing on Sunday afternoon, August 29 around 1pm, at the Chit Chat Cafe in Pacifica CA. You can’t beat the location, right by the beach. We’ll be out front, playing to the street cafe. Hope you can join us!

Location: 5 West Manor Drive, Pacifica, CA

Back in the studio

Stray Muse is recording again! We’re working on a few of our favorite songs, and we’ll post them as soon as the mixing’s done. One big addition is Shelley Sorenson’s magic flute – wait till ya hear it…
Stay tuned!

Takin’ it (back) to the streets!

It’s been a while…but we’re back!

Stray Muse has been keeping our licks sharp (is that really a thing, sharp licks?) while we wait out the pandamic. Now, summer’s here, and the time is right for dancing in the streets! Or at least swinging and swaying…

As we prepare to start playing clubs (indoors!), we’re doing a warmup street show on June 6, 2021, at 19th and Danvers Streets in SF. Please come join us at 2-3pm.

This will be the debut of our new fiddler, Marc Theobald. To quote one of our favorite Fairport songs:

Our fiddler, he just loves to play
And that’s why he plays so good
And now he plays a violin
Made out of solid wood
Possessor of the magic touch
And no magician he
Will play for you some magic notes
Instead, as you will see

I never figured out the “solid wood” part, but Marc definitely has a magic touch. And he plays a mean harmonica, too. Come on out and welcome him!

But wait, there’s more! Shelley Sorenson will join us on percussion. She plays a clave, among other various gadgets, which is made out of solid wood. (She too has a magic touch.)

Maria’s Cards

The story of “Maria’s Cards from Heaven”

We sat sharing coffee, my friend Barbara and I, as a white card fluttered from the sky into my back yard. It didn’t seem like litter…it was solitary and looked pristine. Barbara retrieved it.

Written on this index card, scrawled in pencil, began a story: “My name is Maria Julia Hernandez.” Maria wrote that she was from El Salvador, where she led the fight for human rights amid the wars that claimed so many lives. And the story ended In mid sentence.

We searched the internet, and found that Maria was a real person, a beloved Salvadoran activist. She was beside Archbishop Romero when the soldiers murdered him. She founded an important rights group, and she died a decade ago. Amazingly, when Barbara asked her niece in El Salvador, she replied that she had raised money for Maria’s organization.

It’s possible that the index card from the sky was written by a student for a history project. I choose to think otherwise. While I’m not very religious, I think that in retrieving the falling card, we may have entered the mythology of a fallen hero. So I wrote her song for her.

Click here to listen to the song: Maria’s Cards from Heaven

The lyrics:

Maria’s Cards from Heaven
(c) Mark Lauden Crosley

My name is Maria Hernandez
I’m from the savior’s land
I’ve lived a life of struggle
For my people I took a stand
The soldiers took so many
My Bishop fell unbowed
But now we’re reunited here
In the land above the clouds

Oh, my people,
We shall be free

Now I gaze down upon my home
And all the world around
I see the strife continuing
And I want to shout aloud
Instead I write my memories
On heaven’s paper cards
And drop my thoughts of hope and love
To fall in people’s yards

Oh, my people,
You shall be free

I entered through the pearly gates
Before my time had come
I drop my index cards to earth
And hope you’ll be the one
To read about my life and know
How I miss the wind and trees
My work was not yet done, alas
By my cards, remember me.