I’m a music nerd. If you know me well, you know I’d take discovering a new song that touches my inner being over having a five course dinner any day. Music feeds my soul in a way nothing else in this world ever has. I can be torn down, broken, and left feeling hopeless, alone – and music will revive me. When the world has left me bitter and unfeeling the right chord and proper lyrics speak to me. I can often be unmoved by things others find inspiring, touching…and yet break down over a song.
I’ve written lyrics since I was eleven. It was a discovery of something buried deep within myself that showed me freedom. While often shy and unwilling to reveal my true self to strangers through spoken words, I can write emotions and songs that speak far more about my true self than I’ll ever be able to reveal through simple conversation. I’ve never done much with these songs, mainly because I probably don’t have the prettiest singing voice. Perhaps since it’s been a part of me for so long I should put it to good use. There are those out there with beautiful voices who can’t write…just as moved by written word as I.
Early this morning I was listening to music as I did mundane chores and poured over budget spreadsheets. Then the little song playing below came on my Pandora and stopped me in my tracks. There’s something so enchanting about simple lyrics paired with a beautiful melody. It moves me – stirs up the peace that my soul so often longs for. I’ve said it before, but I will repeat that musicians – true musicians – deserve so much gratitude for all that they bring to our worlds. It doesn’t matter what your race, religion, or language – music is loved and so often brings happiness to our lives.
So, Mr. Isakov, thank you. Thank you for being driven to write and for putting a piece of yourself into your work. There are those of us out there you need artists like you to find our own happiness, our own peace. After a week that was trying, I needed an hour of solitude to soak in your music this morning. It was the lifeblood I needed to lift my spirits and refill my soul…
The Stable Song
Gregory Alan Isakov
remember when our songs where just like prayers.
like gospel hymns that you called in the air.
come down come down sweet reverence,
unto my simple house and ring…
ring like silver, ring like gold
ring out those ghosts on the ohio
ring like clear day wedding bells
were we the belly of the beast or the sword that fell…we’ll never tell.
come to me clear and cold on some sea
watch the world spinning waves..like some machine
now i’ve been crazy couldn’t you tell
i threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell
now i’m covered up in straw, belly up on the table
well and sang and drank, and passed in the stable.
that tall grass grows high and brown,
well i dragged you straight in the muddy ground
and you sent me back to where i roam
well i cursed and i cried, but now i know…now i know
and i ran back to that hollow again
the moon was just a sliver back then
and i ached for my heart like some tin man
when it came oh it beat and it boiled and it rang..its ringing
ring like crazy, ring like hell
turn me back into that wild haired gale
ring like silver, ring like gold
turn these diamonds straight back into coal.