George McAnthony
Great Spirit - George McAnthony


LYRICS OF THE 10th album GREAT SPIRIT (2004)

Compared to my last album “Wild Horse Running” where I did almost everything by myself (included all that technical computer stuff that drove me almost crazy) on this one you can hear only real instruments played by some very talented musicians. On producing, recording and mixing I could share my experience with Francesco “Frenz” Mattuzzi. We are both infected by the music&sound virus and kind of complete each other. I tend to get arrangements very crowded putting lots of instruments here and there that could disturb each other, while Francesco goes more clear and tidy. I appreciated his deep musical insight; watch out, he’ll be the “Jeff Lynne” of the 21st century.
Sonja is the good angel at my side, she has got that special ability to keep me balanced and to help me believe in what I’m doing. She has done a great job in choosing the 10 new songs (out of 40 I’ve done), giving inputs to lyrics and themes, creating that beautiful eagle picture on the CD-cover, and taking care of the Italian translations.



Life lessons
Over 20 years I have learned a lot from the people in Ethiopia and I owe much to this country. That man was the grandfather of one of my workers of the reforestation project and we were sitting under a tree I had planted myself. I found out for myself that knowing some wise intentions is not enough if they are forgotten in every day life.

My first guitar
I don’t care much for money and wealth but honestly I’d love to have plenty of guitars, very big ones with lots of strings and colors. I’m not a master on the instrument but I enjoy myself playing that “pum chaka pum” style.

Moccasin Walk
The big troubles we have in our world today come mainly from prejudices we have against each other. Peace can be found if we do as the Red Indians say: “Do not judge your neighbour until you walk two moons in his moccasins”.

Music in my heart
Our life is a song, you may not remember the words but the melody remains the same; it will stay on your side on every step you do. It’s the music that will accompany you on the walk through the green pastures of eternal life.

Cold winter nights
This happened in March 2004 at the train station of Verona, on my return from my yearly mission to Ethiopia. I did not take it for granted that those Pakistani helped me out. By the way I was dressed they could easily see me as an enemy.

Coming home
This song and “Moccasin Walk” were written in Addis Ababa in March 2004. Everybody knows about the feeling of coming home from a trip. Here I talk about “getting back” mentally/from a “mental trip” as well. Too often I get distracted from real life by useless matters, it’s good to recognize it and to do what the heart knows is the right way. 

Memphis, city of kings
I was just singing for myself at the shore of a small lake near the place where I live as I did the “B. B. King, Martin Luther King - thing” and I thought, well, I could call Memphis the “city of kings”. I did this trip to Memphis and New Orleans after recording the album “The Vision” in Nashville back in the year 2000. I am very grateful for the good music these three cities gave us so far.

I can fly
I really do dream now and then that I fly. But I don’t get very high; it’s more like doing a big jump into the water and by moving my arms I can get as far as maybe 50 meters. I did not yet dream of taking off and landing on solid ground.

Great Spirit
I can’t say for sure if people do live more than once on this earth, but if so then I know fairly well what my previous life was about. The story did not have a happy end but in this song I prefer to focus more on the Red Indian values, which still mean a lot to me. The relation to the Great Spirit was ever present, very natural and spontaneous. Mother Nature, all living beings and the Great Spirit were all one, fitting perfectly into the Grand Design.

Song for the Fans
In June 2004 I did a concert in Gubbio-Umbria, not far from Assisi, where the local country band “The Climbers” performed a great number of songs I wrote. I was always aware to have the most faithful fans of the world, but this experience made me write this song at the same night, the words and the melody just popped out. The next day I recorded this bonus-track right away and included it in the already finished album.

The classics
Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” is a very powerful ballad, the crowds at the concerts often applaud right after I do “hello darkness my old friend”. “Folsom Prison Blues” is a classic of Johnny Cash, the man in black. He was one of the main influences to my music; remember that “pum chaka pum” style. Johnny was a great writer and singer, he was fighting for the underprivileged and for the Red Indians.
“Danny Boy” is one of my favourites, it’s the first melody I played on my harmonica. I’ve learned this tune from an Irish sister in Africa back in ’85. Recently I’ve heard someone playing “Danny Boy” with a Uillean Pipe (traditional Irish Bagpipe) on the streets of Dublin and I felt my heart melting. I think the crying sound of this instrument came from the hard times the country had to face again and again.

Produced by George McAnthony and Francesco Mattuzzi
Recorded by Francesco Mattuzzi and George McAnthony at “Sound Designers Studios” - Bolzano, “Heartland Studios” – Appiano (BZ), “Apple Tree Studios” – Lana (BZ), “Flying Berty Mobile Studios” – (Feldkirch-Austria, Ortisei-BZ)
Mixed by Francesco Mattuzzi and George McAnthony at “Sound Designers Studios” – Bolzano
Mastered by Paolo Lovat at “Azzurra Music” (Pastrengo-VR)
Photography by Gregor Khuen, “PHOTO XENON”

George McAnthony: vocals, rhythm guitars, harmonica
Mario Punzi: drums and percussions
Andreas Marmsoler: bass guitar
Flavio Delladio: electric guitars, dobro, banjo, mandolin
Matteo Rossetto: acoustic guitars
Gigi Mongelli: acoustic & electric guitars
Thomas Vinatzer: pedal steel guitar
Cesar “Go West”: bluesharp
Francesco Brazzo: Uillean Pipe, thin whistle
Petra Gruber: background vocals
Francesco Mattuzzi: additional keyboards, background vocals
Helmuth Pircher: background vocals
Alex Pallaoro: background vocals & bass guitar on #13



LIFE LESSONS (George McAnthony)

Was hiding from the midday sun, sitting by a mango tree / in the highlands of Ethiopia, as an old man talked to me / I asked him what life is all about, what’s the use of our struggle and pain / some of the words he said still echo through my brain

“Don’t take yourself too serious, count your blessings not your sorrows”, that’s what he said / “The lessons I could learn at the bottom line kept me going through every troublesome time”

“We must improve someone else’s day, in order to improve our own / our life is what our thoughts make it, don’t look back or you may turn to stone / never ever try to be someone other than you really are / lots of money and things may leave you with an empty heart”

I’m just a man, a guitar guy, sing around from town to town / I don’t know much but I’d like to share the treasures I have found / “life may rather gain in quality if it’s not as you expect it to be / just forget about you, unselfishness will set you free” / that’s what the old man said as we were sitting by the mango tree


MY FIRST GUITAR (George McAnthony)

Saw you standing there, almost twenty years ago / I watched you from outside through the windowpane / when I held you in my arms I knew that’s what I was looking for /that’s how I fell in love with my first guitar

With you in my hands I‘ve got the courage to say whatever’s on my mind / there are stories that I can’t tell but my fingers can play, can play / every broken string has got its little story, it seems that they’re friends of mine / when I’m playing heart to heart I’m fine, so fine

I let a chord escape and echo through the universe / reach the outer space and all life out there / when I’m playing on the road, you’re the best part of the show / I like your sound when I listen to the radio

When I touch your strings, I can feel your beating heart / always get the best out of who I am / you make us laugh and make us cry, you warm up every frozen heart / I’m still in love with my first guitar


MOCCASIN WALK (George McAnthony)

I take your boots, you walk in mine, we’ll work for peace and leave our different views behind / we judge too soon, but we don’t talk / if we can’t get along at all then let us try to do the “Moccasin Walk”

What’s the color of your skin, who’s the God that you believe in / if you’re black, red or yellow, mhm, I like you even more

Every species of the human race, all religions and every peaceful faith / we will celebrate together showing full respect for our demands, come on lend a hand

I know somebody, a wealthy man, he’s got the money but hardly understands / that if you ‘re turned down, refused, rejected and poor, I like you even more, don’t close the door

Everybody aint much the same, no one’s right, no one deserves the blame / let’s agree and leave one truth for me one truth for you, and one for the others too


MUSIC IN MY HEART (George McAnthony)

When I’m lonely and blue, music can do nearly wonders / with her magical sound, she gets me off the ground / my faithful companion, I truly need to survive / thank you for the colors in my life

I’m feeling music inside me when she gives me shivers up my spine / as long as there is a song out there that helps me make it through this time / she makes life worth living, I loved her right from the start / I can feel music in my heart

Sometimes I’m writing a song, music will come along my way /every time I perform a magic is born around me / she was there in the morning, she was there in the night / I can always find her by my side

She gets the best out of me, I feel the music breathe, as I’m sitting here at the shore / a good soundtrack of life will help us survive, so let there be music in our hearts



On a cold winter night in the city, have just flown in, got right back from Africa / many hours on the plane, still I had to catch the train / was tired and hungry and freezing, just wanted to go home

It’s was too cold on the street, bloody winter, had to wait there for some time, to get my train / was looking for a place to stay, as I heard somebody say, “Hadyoo, lonesome cowboy, come-on in”

On that cold winter night I’ve discovered that the walls can be broken if we care / knowing we were not the same, but I hope we meet again / they had nothing but still so much to share

They would offer Shish Kebab and tea with ginger, thirteen people in one worn out camper van / then we all began to sing, someone played the tambourine / I kept whistling one of their tunes as I sat on my train


COMING HOME (George McAnthony)

With just a penny in my pocket, a suitcase in my hand / I’ve been leaving from time to time,  ‘cause I’m a rambling man / from coast to coast, from town to town, was traversing unfamiliar ground / every wasted chance is coming back no more, so I’m doing what I should have done before

I’m coming home, naturally, this is where I ought to be / I’m going back, what a beautiful day, there is one home, one place for me to stay / It’s a one-way ride this time, ‘cause you’re on my mind, it feels good to cross the borderline

Also my mind likes to travel, wonder how it led me astray / I didn’t realize it way back then, but sure I know today /lived in the past while time went by, I’m getting tired of being a runaway guy / I didn’t really get and I haven’t found, very soon you’ll see me coming round



I’m coming all the way from Nashville, drove across Tennessee / I saunter downtown Memphis, the place I call “the City of Kings”, yes I do / I take a walk on by the river, the Mississippi makes me dream / if you ever come around take a ride on the “Memphis Queen”

There’s a song in the air that lasts until the morning comes / down on Beale street you never know, if you’re gonna be part of the show / farewell, my friends, so long until we meet again / ‘cause I’m leaving Memphis, heading down to New Orleans

I put a rose at the gates of Graceland, remember how it all begun / and I keep on driving south on highway sixty-one / I see the cotton fields at my left, the Old Man River flows at my right / from Baton Rouge I guess the Crescent City’s still not in sight

There is B. B. King, Martin Luther King, the “Memphis Queen” and Elvis, he’s the rock ‘n’ roll king / I’ll watch the ships roll in, see the crocodile swim, take a walk on Bourbon Street, down in New Orleans / Let the fun begin, hear the guitar swing, your sound is your crown, Memphis, the “the City of Kings”


I CAN FLY (George McAnthony)

Can you feel the warm summer wind, bringing back my energies / to find serenity I play my songs by the river / There’s a dream coming up now and then, it‘ll lift me in the air / I run fast, take off and soar upon still placid waters

I can fly, get an easy feeling of delight, a golden eagle’s at my side, wonder how it feels to cross the border / here I go, from above I watch the river flow, leave the troubled world below, yes I will, I will

All the burden that hangs at my feet would rather pull me down / but I’m rising off the ground, just like a phoenix from the ashes / as I’m watching the world from above I get a different point of view / what I’ve got to do is as clear as still placid water / so come on, let’s fly together


GREAT SPIRIT (George McAnthony)

Where I used to live, under Southern Dakota skies / with a prayer on my lips and a tear in my eyes / was struggling hard to lead my tribe into the future / cloudy skies could not impede our dance of life

Way back in 1854 I was made the big chief of our tribe / taking over this heavy task shortly after my father died / we had to leave our sacred lands in Minnesota, forced to move into reservations way up north

Heyoh, Great Spirit, help us through this time, we don’t know how to carry on / Wakan Tanka talk to me, let me see your light, let it shine, oh let me find, your Grand Design

Tell me where has the buffalo gone, where’s the harvest of fields of green / as the famine has struck our lives I was only about seventeen / but I was brave and wise, I let my people not surrender
may the peacekeeping visions and Red Indian values never die


SONG FOR THE FANS (George McAnthony)

And now as songs are written and some new stories are told / there is one more thought that comes to my head / well, here ‘s another thing that has to be said

I sing a song for the fans, for the folks out on the road / I’m grateful for your company / we keep on walking together on the road that goes on forever / what keeps me going is you, the fans

The road didn’t make me any colder / I can still feel the vibe in my veins / some folks like to listen, some like to see, some even dance and sing along with me

The years have passed so quickly, don’t know how many more will there be /I don’t take it for granted to see you around, you move from all over when George comes to town / I am singing this song for my fans



ITALIANO - DEUTSCH - ENGLISH - George McAnthony - Tel (0039) 335 251491 - email: