The Herb Of Grace

Theology and Poetry, Politics and Prose

A Few Songs For Consumption February 27, 2008

Filed under: Songs — Joel @ 3:33 pm

Here’s a song i wrote recently, “What Is Our Voice For.”  It slid out uncomplaining and I wasn’t overly impressed by it.  But now, after a few days, it’s taste has developed on my tongue and i like it now.   It’s called What Is Our Voice For?  The second song, Swedish Drinking Fighting Friends, comes from a passage in a Garrison Keillor book, “Wobegon Boy,” in which the main character elucidates something that i love and long for, some touch of it included in the theology of the common life, the good life, the life which is not boring but holistic.  Here’s the quote,    ” Driving home that evening along the Hudson, the sun setting in flames, I thought about my dumb life pushing a desk.  What a wimpy, wasted life it was, compared to my ancestors’.  They worked in the fields all day, and at night they built a blazing fire and drank and challenged each other to fight for the fun of it.  A straightforward deal compared to office politics.  You didn’t go to meetings and sit wooden-faced in the downpour of bullshit; you drained your whiskey bottle and stripped off your shirt and whooped, “Whoooooooo-haw!  What fool among you dares to engage in a test of manhood with me, the unbeatable Sigurd?  Whoooooo – yeow!  Look upon me, gentlemen, and see what the standard shall be!  A farmer and a Christian gentlemen, and one who can beat the living crap out of any one of you.  Who would prove me wrong?”  And then a younger man steps into the circle and whips off his shirt and eyes you up and down and says, “Sigurd, a wounded skunk on a country road has a greater understanding of trucks than you have of manhood,” and with a ferocious roar, the two of you fall into a clinch and roll in the dirt and sandburs and pound each other, and finally, when it is enough, the others separate you and stand you up and the bottle is passed and you grasp each other’s hands and grunt, “Huh.”  Which means that you are true brothers and your fight meant nothing at all except that you love to fight.”

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2 Responses to “A Few Songs For Consumption”

  1. R.O. Flyer Says:

    These are great songs. Thanks for posting them. Could you post the lyrics?
    It makes me want to smash an empty bottle of Lagavulin against your head.

  2. Matt Says:

    I really liked Walter’s reference to Swedish drinking fighting songs in last Sunday’s talk.


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