“Ursa Minor” is the most recently written of all the songs on The Long Way Out. It was originally commissioned by the fantastic folks who run The Encyclopedia Show: Somerville, which is a variety show which endeavors to present information on a given topic through performances by artists of all kinds. A diligent fact-checker makes sure that the information presented is indeed true. I was asked to be a part of the first Encyclopedia Show in Somerville (there are Encyclopedia Shows in different cities throughout the country), and the topic of that show was bears. I was assigned the subtopic of Ursa Minor, which I was grateful to use as a point of inspiration.

Ursa Minor

“Go North,” you heard someone say.
“Leave in the dark.” (Though you’d been told
travel by day.)

They always thought you were too small,
too timid to make any bold,
gutsy move at all.

Ursa Minor, she will find her way,
Ursa Minor, she will find her way.

Bernadette knew what she saw was real.
She dug in the dirt to find
waters that heal.

They didn’t believe her,
they thought she was crazy.
Brave bear, little bear,
brave bear, little bear.

Ursa Minor, she will find her way,
Ursa Minor, she will find her way.

In your heart there is a needle,
it will not lead you astray.
Polaris is within you;
let it help you find your way.

One foot in front of the other,
skipping over roots that scar.
Running now you find your rhythm,
leaping off into the stars...