A JackO-Lantern’s Heart

To the best of my knowledge, Peter Mayer holds the distinction of having written the world’s only Halloween folk song. You may not have heard it, but it’s really pretty popular in the acoustic music world. And when I Googled it, I even discovered a sculpture inspired by it

I hope you will not only enjoy these lyrics but also support Peter by buying his stuff here.

Happy Halloween, everyone…

“John’s Garden” by Peter Mayer.

Farmer John wandered back
And when he reached the pumpkin patch, began to speak.
He said, “The weather’s getting colder,
Summer’s over and it’s almost Halloween.
That’s the day, the reason you were raised
When everything about your life will change.

You will have eyes to see, and for that night, you’ll be
A bright lamp burning in the darkness.
But remember that candle shines for only the briefest time
In a jack-o-lantern’s heart.”


The pumpkins held a meeting then;
Some were very apprehensive and afraid.
“Could this really happen to us?
What could be the meaning?” is what they were saying.
“This is home, it’s all we’ve ever known.”
Then one bold, outspoken pumpkin spoke.

He said,
“I don’t need eyes to see, it sounds like a lie to me,
I like it just fine here in John’s garden.
And remember that candle shines for only the briefest time
In a jack-o-lantern’s heart.”

There is much to ask and to ponder in the pumpkin patch
When imposing old October shows up at last.

Then a pumpkin from the farther end
Who had been silent up till then
Over the commotion, said
“What would you rather have my friends,
A chance to shine, or die here on the vine?
The better way seems very plain to me.

You will have eyes to see, and for that night, you’ll be
A bright lamp burning in the darkness.
And maybe that candle shines for only the briefest time
In a jack-o-lantern’s heart,
Oh, but one goblin’s smile should make it all well worth while,
You know you might even see the starlight.
And knowing that time is brief, makes it that much more sweet
When you have a jack-o-lantern’s heart.”

Words and Music © Peter Mayer

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He’s a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named “best judge” by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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