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 The Woods United Methodist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas. For seventeen years, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas, Texas. Eric is an avid blogger and published author. Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. 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. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy.

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