Here’s a love song of a different sort, and it required nothing from my imagination. It’s the story of my bride Miss Juli and her father, Byron “Van” Van Meter.
Van is a lifelong barroom picker, and he has played lead guitar in one country band or another from his early teens until a just couple of years ago, when a stroke took the strength from his skilled hands. Van is a charmer, a storyteller and a regular handful. Musically, he is the genuine article, having developed a singular style of melodic jazz-inflected swingin’ country as the sole guitarist in most of the outfits he led in his long, storied musical career.
Van came to visit years ago, when he was still playing, and we hauled him down to Winfield for the festival weekend. I have a hundred stories from that visit — most of them incriminating — but I loved nothing more than hearing Juli singing her heart out while her papa played the guitar. This song is for them, in that moment.
Silver and Gold
© 2004 Bryan Masters C F C There's a picture on her mantle of a young cowboy singer G holding a Gibson guitar C F C even now, that's how she sees him though his hair's all gone silver G F C his eyes still twinkle like stars F C Old Silver is her daddy, and she loves him like thunder F C her heart full of songs and her eyes full of wonder C F c When he picks his guitar for his loving daughter G For all of the miles that keep them apart C Silver is the man she holds first in her heart There's a picture in his wallet of the golden haired beauty who used to sit right on his knee even now, that's how he sees her though she's all grown up into the lady he knew she would be Little Gold is his daughter and he loves her like snowfall since the day she was born she's his baby and that's all that matters to this old barroom guitar slinger for all of his braggin' and the stories he's told he always brags loudest 'bout his Little Gold F C Silver and Gold, Lord how they shine F G all the love that two hearts can hold C F c he's her handsome guitar man, and she's still his beauty G F C Two hearts, one silver, one gold I wish you could hear 'em singing together I wish you could see 'em, two birds of a feather two hearts bustin' with pride Silver and Gold side by side And when they're together, that golden haired beauty gets the silver haired charmer to plays she's been singing along since she was knee-high to nothin' and she still sings along to this day Silver and Gold, Lord how they shine all the love that two hearts can hold he's her handsome guitar man, and she's still his beauty Two hearts, one silver, one gold Bryan Masters Music/ASCAP