Sunday, July 29, 2012

I've come to test the timbre of my heart.

I'll never forget the first time I heard "Hymn #101." It was 2008, and I was catching up on the latest post from Burgo's Blog - Joe Pug: Nation of Heat. Like many fans, Joe had me from his opening line, "I've come to know the wishlist of my father..." and through every line following.


knew he was only 23, but he sounded like he'd already lived a lifetime. That voice. Those lyrics. What?!

Shortly after, I took Mr. Pug up on his sampler offer (brilliant), and he certainly went above and beyond (see picture below):

Who does this? Joe Pug does this, that's who.  
This was from his Lincoln Hall show back in May. Grinnin'
"Hymn 101"
Yeah I've come to know the wishlist of my father.
I've come to know the shipwrecks where he wished.
I've come to wish aloud among the overdressed crowd.
Come to witness now the sinking of the ship.
Throwing pennies from the seatop next to it.

And I've come to roam the forest past the village
with a dozen lazy horses in my cart.
I've come here to get high;
to do more than just get by.
I've come to test the timbre of my heart.
Oh, I've come to test the timbre of my heart.

And I've come to be untroubled in my seeking.
And I've come to see that nothing is for naught.
I've come to reach out blind
To reach forward and behind
For the more I seek, the more I'm sought
Yeah, the more I seek, the more I'm sought.

And I've come to meet the sheriff and his posse;
to offer him the broad side of my jaw.
I've come here to get broke,
then maybe bum a smoke.
We'll go drinking two towns over, after all.
Well, we'll go drinking two towns over, after all.

And I've come to meet the legendary takers.
I've only come to ask them for a lot.
Oh, they say I come with less than I should rightfully possess.
I say, the more I buy the more I'm bought.
And the more I'm bought the less I cost.

And I've come to take their servants and their surplus.
And I've come to take their raincoats and their speed.
I've come to get my fill
To ransack and spill.
I've come to trade the harvest for the seed.
Oh, I've come to trade the harvest for the seed.

And I've come to know the manger that you sleep in.
I've come to be the stranger that you keep.
I've come from down the road,
and my footsteps never slowed.
Before we met, I knew we'd meet.
Yeah before we met, I knew we'd meet.

And I've come here to ignore your cries and heartaches.
I've come to closely listen to you sing.
I've come here to insist
that I leave here with a kiss.
I've come to say exactly what I mean.
And I mean so many things.

And you've come to know me stubborn as a butcher.
And you've come to know me thankless as a guest.
But will you recognize my face
when God's awful grace
strips me of my jacket and my vest,
and reveals all the treasure in my chest?
 



If that song doesn't get in you like Neverland (thank you, Donald Miller), I don't know what will. 


Four and half years, three EPs, and two albums later, Joe Pug's wise-beyond-his-years storytelling ability continues to wow and has him appropriately nestled amongst other greats like Josh Ritter, John Prine, and The Tallest Man On Earth (to name a few!). If that's not telling enough, he's been called a "Modern-day Dylan." His music is the kind that will find you over and over again in those unexpected spaces of your life (at least, it has for me), cutting through the muck. I can certainly attest to his humility and down-to-earthness on-and off-stage, having been fortunate enough to witness him perform three times. That all-knowing grin is for REAL, ladies and gents!


For those of us struggling between "keeping up" and finding balance (isn't that all of us?) his music serves as a friendly, yet earnest reminder that we are called to something much higher than just living day-to-day. 


***If you're a Chicagoan, you can see it for yourself as he closes out Wicker Park Fest this evening on Center Stage at 8:30! I'll be there.***


And here's some more awesome: 


Peace and blessings, y'all, 


RM

7 comments:

  1. Love it! There was a band there earlier called "Derek Nelson and the Musicians" ... so GOOD! http://www.myspace.com/derekchristophernelson

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