Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Song-by-Song Review of Raising Up the Dead: Streets of Gold

I got debts that I can’t pay
I won’t see another dime a day, o yea
And the rain falls down this government line
While the suits get a room in a hotel, wasting time

And it’s easy to fall down hard
And it’s easy to fall

But I know, I’m walking tomorrow paved on streets of gold

And this car I drive is a little worn,
But I’ve got to make it to Houston in this storm
Cause what little peace that I can find
Is flowing through the bayou not this vine

And it’s easy to fall down hard
And it’s easy to fall

But I know I’m walking tomorrow paved on streets of gold
I know this time in the valley, it can only save my soul

O they say not to worry about tomorrow
Does that mean I should live for today
Cause right now I can’t find the peace of mind to stay

I know I’m walking tomorrow, paved on streets of gold
And I know my time in the valley, can only save my soul

If any song sounds like vintage Caedmon’s, this one does, down to the chording, the harmonies and the folksy sound. The strangeness of the grammar on this song distracted me a bit once I actually started listening to the lyrics. Nevertheless, I love the percussion on this song and the harmonies.

Themes of contentment, jealousy and living with a proper eschatological hope predominate here. The song does work as a nice counterpoint to the siren song of “Come with Me.” The narrator is rough around the edges. His life is not perfect, he’s waiting in line for government checks and drives an old car. Instead of listening to the siren song about green shores, however, this person doesn’t reach for the eternity that waits for him on the other side. He allows himself to walk through the valley. I feel as if this song would be poignant for those who have recently lost their jobs. It’s easy to fall down hard. Peace is difficult to find. But there is hope. It is a hope that doesn’t lead to apathy here on earth.

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