I hear them all

I hear the crying of the hungry
In the deserts where they’re wandering
Hear them crying out for Heaven’s own
Benevolence upon them
Hear destructive power prevailing
I hear fools falsely hailing
To the crooked words of tyrants when they call
I hear them all
I hear them all
I hear them all

I hear the sound of tearing pages
And the roar of burning paper
All the crimes in acquisition
Turn to air and ash and vapor
In the rattle of the shackles
Far beyond emancipators
Where the lowliest, they gather in their stalls
I hear them all
I hear them all
I hear them all

I hear the drilling of the armies
And the firing of their vollies
As the shots ring out relentless
With absurdity and folly
Though the smoke is thick with anguish
And the body counts are endless
Songs of peace will rise, above the cannonballs
I hear them all
I hear them all
I hear them all

So, while you sit and whistle Dixie
With your money and your power
I can hear the flowers a-growing
In the rubble of the towers
I hear leaders quit their lyin’
I hear babies quit their cryin’
I hear soldiers quit their dyin’, one and all
I hear them all
I hear them all
I hear them all

I hear a tender word from Zion
I hear Noah’s waterfall
Hear the gentle lamb of Judah
Sleeping at the feet of Buddha
And the prophets from Elijah
To the old Paiute Wovoka
Take their places at the table when they’re called
I hear them all
I hear them all
I hear them all

Old Crow Medicine Show and David Rawlings

Needless to say, this one goes into the set list, pronto. It’s all C, G, and D shapes with an E minor here and there (D, A and E at capo 2, key of D). Done as only Old Crow can.

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4 thoughts on “I hear them all

  1. Great stuff. I saw Dave Rawlings Machine at the Paramount in Seattle last fall. It was one of those shows that leaves an afterglow for weeks. The way Rawlings can inject energy into a song without increasing the tempo continually astounds me, I cannot think of another player who can do that the way he does. Some of the instrumental breaks during the performance were mandolin-guitar duets with John Paul Jones and Rawlings. The level of sophistication required to do that is simply beyond my comprehension. The youtube of Machine you linked to is a rarity, they were pretty militant about folks in the audience not recording the performances.

    • You lucky dog–don’t rub it in 🙂 Man is the guy outstanding or what? Like Doc Watson and Bob Dylan rolled into one. Hope I get to see him at some point.

      I find that those who inject the most meaning and energy are often those who under-state things the most. And via their timing. Chris Smither comes most immediately to mind.

  2. “I find that those who inject the most meaning and energy are often those who under-state things the most.”

    I agree! The first person that makes me think of is Sheryl Crow, but for the wrong reasons. She screws up her face and sings and plays very passionately – I can take about one full minute of that and then I am done. Same thing with really fast bluegrass. For me, its all about nuance and phrasing.

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