The Herb Of Grace

Theology and Poetry, Politics and Prose

Friday, February 27th in the season of Lent February 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joel @ 1:11 am

Dougie Maclean, a well known Scottish songwriter, finds a balancing wire between naïve hope and despair in his song, “This Love Will Carry.”  We have often sung this song in our community, in times of joy as well as those of sorrow.
I remember playing it for my wife’s grandfather’s funeral; the music and the lyrics seemed to create a precious space where real and unadorned expression of grief was possible.  I also played it for my friends’ wedding; I still remember the voices of all those present washing them with the chorus, “This love will carry, this love will carry you!”  It was that next year that they lost their unborn son, Jack.  They played the song often in their house after that. I often wonder if it was Maclean’s mixture of realism and hope that helped on both those occasions.

“It’s a thin line that leads us and keeps us all from shame
And dark clouds quickly gather along the way we came
There’s fear out on the mountain and death out on the plain
There’s heartbreak and heart-ache in the shadow of the flame

But this love will carry, this love will carry me
I know this love will carry me

The strongest web will tangle, the sweetest bloom will fall
And somewhere in the distance we try and catch it all
Success lasts for a moment and failure’s always near
And you look down at your blistered hands as turns another year

But this love will carry, this love will carry me
I know this love will carry me

These days are golden, they must not waste away
For our time is like that flower and soon it will decay
And though by storms we’re weakened, uncertainty is sure
And like the coming of the dawn it’s ours for evermore
But this love will carry, this love will carry me
I know this love will carry me”

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