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Crystal Flame
Lyrics: John Popper
Music: Chan Kinchla

Sitting in clover looking for the fifth leaf
Something soon will come my way
Never failing to amaze me
I feel its wisdom anyway

Rays of sweet illumination
Inspiration too untold
I hope some day I can befriend it
I think that comes with growing old

Crystal flame
I'll do anything you say
You're my heart and my mind and my soul
At least you fill them when I play

Light so bright it hypnotizes
But it never hurts to gaze
Never to burn or char with fire
Simply the heat from warmer days
And when the moment tends to savor
When the song is close at hand
That frozen ember fills my vision
Letting the brightness take command... take command

Crystal flame
I'll do anything you say
You're my heart and my mind and my soul
At least you fill them when I play

Please, please won't you take me away
It's easy, easy just let me play
Please, please won't you take me away
It's easy, easy just let me play

Sometimes its brilliance all around me
Sometimes its light I barely see
And though I utilize its grandeur
It does not belong to me
'Cause all I can do is vague description
As I do my best to share
The smooth perfection I can only dream of
The flow of all the life that's there
Life that's there

Crystal flame
I'll do anything you say
You're my heart and my mind and my soul
At least you fill them when I play

Keep me safe and never lonely
Let the rain fall where it may
And let me find the peace within me
I can find it when I play

They say that solid wet or vapor
The only forms that are portrayed
To them I ask one burning question
Of what stuff are ideas made
Are they made?

Crystal flame
I'll do anything you say
You're my heart and my mind and my soul
At least you fill them when I play

Sitting in clover looking for the fifth leaf
Something soon will come my way

1990 Blues Traveler Music

First release: Blues Traveler
Released: 06/05/1990
Earliest time played: 08/23/1989
Last time played: 05/13/2013
Playing frequency:
  233 plays (see all shows)
  12.54% of shows in the database
  12.70% of shows since debut
  Detailed statistics
Song information:
  This song is about inspiration, as John has stated many times, and is usually dedicated to Bill Graham.
  John's explanation of a story leading to the first line of this song - and its central imagery - can be found in the official site's Firing Line FAQ.
  John supposedly was struck with the idea for this song lying in the middle of Central Park in the summer of 1989. He wrote the lyrics on a paper bag, then brought them to a gig that night [at the Cheyenne Social Club] and sang them off of the bag.

Other recordings of "Crystal Flame":
  But Anyway/Crystal Flame, 1990
  Greene Street Dumps, 1990
  Travelers & Thieves/On Tour Forever, 1991
  Roadshow, 1991
  Rock Me Tonight, 1993
  King of New York, 1993
  Jones for the Blues, 1994
  Independence Day - Set One, 1996
  Live: Thinnest Of Air, 2003


Sitting in clover looking for the fifth leaf
John was inspired to write this song while sitting in the middle of a field in Central Park - literally "sitting in clover". The "fifth leaf" line is often interpreted as a reference to marijuana and its familiar five-lobed shape, but more probablys refer to the superstition that finding a four-leaf clover is good luck. John tells one story in the Official FAQ about clovers:
To explain this song I have to tell you a true story about a time we were playing a gig in Princeton, NJ at the University. It was between sets and all four of us were sitting in a circle in a patch of clover. Bob Sheehan, ever a magically powerful man, quite impressively and impulsively reached down into the clover and instantly produced a four leaf clover. I remember Chan very clearly going "Oh my god, a four leaf clover". Even then I couldn't stand it when Bob was smug. Quite impressively and impulsively, I reached down into the clover and instantly produced a five leaf clover. You might not believe it, but all who were present, saw it. I remember Chan going, "Oh my god, a five leaf clover". The look on Bob's face is one of my most cherished memories. This man had found a four leaf clover and he still couldn't keep up with me. This defines the competitive nature of our relationship very well. But even he had to be impressed, and though I pretended I knew what I was doing, I had to be amazed. I saved the clover for several years. Eventually it rotted away. But the thing that that incident had shown me was that if you try, possibility is really endless. I mean what are the odds of a five leaf clover? But I really needed one, and there it was. [...] But I certainly don't care how it got there, and to this day I always look for the fifth leaf when I'm in a patch of clover. Certainly that day all four of us started digging through the clover fiendishly, trying to accomplish the trick again. Our composure quite decidedly gone at that point, I don't think there is a more accurate, honest picture of the four of us, having accidentally done something cool, we basically destroyed the yard, clamoring through the ground like earthworms. When I wrote Crystal Flame this day was on my mind, but I generally had as the vision a physical interpretation of what inspiration would be. I pictured burning energy but in solid form, like physical fire trapped in the form of a crystal. The rest of the song is my attempt at explaining this idea. Inspiration was what truly allowed us (Bob and I) to pull off back to back miracles. I inspired Bob to impress me, and he inspired me to go further.
solid wet or vapor
A reference to the traditional three forms of matter - solid, liquid and gas.