APPALACHIAN GOTHIC: A HOME AT THE END OF THE ROAD

(Sung)
Forget your troubles
Come on get happy
You better chase all you cares away
Shout halleuja
Come on get happy
Get ready for the judgement day

Some gentle movement snuck up on me
It reminded me of the road home
Where the good stuff is.

It’s my kind of road… its a junkyard road.
The sights I’ve seen of some unbelievable things
Are the things that rescue me in unbelievable ways.

When you see bloodstains on a wall
You know that’s a place where there was a murder today
That place back there at the end of the road home
That place where your mama soothed your breaking heart
With a rocking chair and Jesus…
She’d sing ‘Rock me Jesus — Rock me all night long’

The sun is shining
Come on get happy
The lord is waiting to take your hand
Shout hallelujah
Come on get happy
We’re going to the promised land

Under the sun’s golden fingers, the road stretches back there
Back where the atmosphere is a heavy blanket
A blanket that hides a hazy and incomprehensible wreck of a civilization

The road home leads to a place where beer and cigarettes
meander in thumbless hands
The hands and the road meander through the sharp creases
of a brand new Sears and Roebuck catalog
that claims the good stuff is only a phone call away.
So you look around for your thumbs on the road
… so your can order some for yourself today

Everything has a right way and wrong way there at the end of the road.
Wrong like the turns that you took a long time ago.
Right like the white pearl moon under the strong hand
of a mustached, good looking, red-headed banjo man

And stories there are everything
Everything there is a story. A story about pain, faith, and love.
Pain just ain’t no word brother
Faith just ain’t no word sister
Those are the makings of love.
And love is the road home to that little mountain town

Where there sits a church. A truck stop. A juke joint. And a prison.
All pent in and cooped up in a 1/2 mile of pavement
A half-mile of paved heaven AND hell surrounded by mountain walls

There… in that little place … you know your alive when you're sad
There in that place you either choose sin or you choose Jesus
Don’t ask any questions — just choose!

We’re heading across the river
Wash your sins away in the tide
It’s all so peaceful on the other side

I’ve been known to go back and forth on that road many times.
When I get to the country end they look at me funny and familiar
When I get back to the city end — they ask…
“what have you been doing back down there in that little hillbilly town?”

What I’ve been doing for years is bouncing back and forth … bouncing hard
Bouncing from one end to the other of that road home.
Killing time that won’t die.
Eat up with guilt because I don’t feel guilty anymore — for those things in life I have resolved that I will never get around to...

I somehow manage to get around though… every now and then…
Around to the country end of the road home
And — for a while — I make my peace with being there.
Just like the clouds — I make my peace to hanging around there a while
Whether its a penance or an act of love makes no nevermind
Because just like those clouds — for better or worse —
That Appalachian sky is one that I remember as mine.

The sun is shining
Come on get happy
The lord is waiting to take your hand
Shout halleluja
Come on get happy
Get ready for your judgment day

I started bouncing on this road a long time ago
When I smoked weed and all
Just a kid listening to that outlaw music and dreaming.
Cause when you're a kid — there are only two excitements there
There’s the excitement of dreaming of being an outlaw or… being a preacher.
The only difference between the two is — that one tote a bible and one totes a gun.
I never have been able to figure out what those preachers needed with all those guns.

Life doesn’t have a lot of pleasures to offer you back at the country end of the road
So, as a kid, you find yourself making up things to do —
mostly those outlaw dream things
After all — every end of the road town needs a bad guy
But even southern outlaws go Pentecostal every now and then
They go around on those odd and desperate Sunday mornings to talk it all through with the Good Man.

But before that Sunday morning ever arrives — you got to pass through Saturday night
Saturday night at the end of the road in a Pentecostal country town
And it’s those Saturday nights are when you decide who you are… not those Sunday mornings
Those Saturday nights that are at the end of the road of 6 days are called hard work
Those Saturday nights when you’ve been waiting for 6 days for that promise of heaven
Those Saturday nights at the end of the road of 6 days of hard work waiting on a promise that never comes
So on those Saturday nights… you just take what you can get.

And you get on down towards the end of the road
where there sits that little concrete block bar
It’s your own personal Jesus in the form of a redneck oasis on the side of the road
That little slice of Saturday night heaven is real to you.
It’s the place where you go for Saturday night service
It’s where you and the rest of those sinners go to get down for real
Because like they say… if you love Jesus and you are for real… you shall be saved.

So you save it all up for Saturday night there.
Saturday night in a Pentecostal country town
Where the clash of the sacred and secular play musical chairs
Where you dance around the pool table until you are moved by the spirit
The spirit that feels like the flames of hell at the bottom of a bottle of beer
The spirit that moves you to know the shine of heaven in the back of a pickup truck with a sensual and raw southern lover
It’s that roadside spirit that can turn you rebellious, radical, and extreme

Have mercy Lord…when I’m rebellious
Thank you, Jesus… I know what looks like to be a radical
Hallelujah… when I’m filled by the spirit I can be extreme
I’m a roadside rebel prophet preaching near the end of the road
I’m a southern country boy who rides from time to time on a hell destined Harley
I’m a southern country boy who turns down the road from time to time — to ride on the wings of an angel
But when most of folks there look at me
ME ain't what they see
what they see is a queer little country boy
A boy standing here… near the end of the road
… where God and gravity are hard

God is all around here at the end of the road.
And yet sometimes… God is hard for me to find
Maybe its because I may not really be looking for the same hellfire God as the rest of them
Maybe I’m looking for the golden rule of God…
Maybe I’m just looking for the gold tooth in God’s crooked up and pimped out smile
Maybe I’m looking for the face of God that knows my sin is not original
No matter how much I might fancy myself an original sinner
Maybe that’s why I keep coming back here… just trying to figure out how to be a man…
A man of God…

Because you see…Man, being what he is, finds out who he is
In the extreme Appalachian Gothic moments that happen every day here.
Back down here at the end of the road.
Back down here where you can’t back down
Where you can’t jump left
Where you can’t jump right
But,you better make a move of some kind if you are going to see tomorrow
Tomorrow where you can walk again — walk back up from near the end of the road.
Where those old mountain philosopher lunatics perch on their porches and preach!
And what they preach to that scared little 13-year-old boy
sitting in the front row of that little country church
and holding on tight to his mama's hand is this…
they look him dead in the eye
and yell at him…
Son! God hates you for what you are
you are a heathen, an abomination, not worthy to be called a child of God

and so cast out by the one you love, you find yourself alone ~ standing on the side of the road….
until some gentle movement sneaks up on you
and reminds you that you were given your own eyes … to see the truth
you were given your own big heart …
worthy… WORTHY… to love and to be loved
and you were given your own two feet.
When it is safe, you can choose to walk down a new road
A road that will lead you to a home
of your very own creation. And, when you find yourself standing
at that door… open it… breath free… walk on in.
Then you’ll discover … where the good stuff… has always been.

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Culture Futurist ™

Culture Futurist ™

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Rockies-based Culture Futurist™from Appalachia. Pioneering into the wilderness of unopened life at intersection of Arts, Science, and Business.