Let the Mystery Be

It’s my favorite time of year! Whenever we add new material to the set I get to choose from some of the most amazing songs ever written to bring you, our listeners fresh ear candy. Sometimes the song selections even come from our audience, as I encourage folks to write down suggestions on our email list. Many times the songs are just not something I’m particularly interested in singing but occasionally there is a stand out. Such is the case with Iris DeMent’s outstanding song from 1994, “Let the Mystery Be.”

Our band often gets complimented on our song selection and so, with that said, I felt that it was time to add a song with a deeper message than just the cheating heart, tear in my beer refrain. This year I’ve been trying to develop my songwriting craft by looking at songs by John Prine, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon as well as Merle Haggard and more traditionally country writers. I’ve found that while it’s important to have a message in your lyrics, it’s equally important to try not to alienate your audience, especially in country music where a large portion of your listeners have more conservative views. You can still be punk rock without screaming about Anarchy. And you can speak about politics and religion without being radical.

I was unfamiliar with Iris DeMent before hearing her marvelously crafted song. She is an amazing songwriter who tends to write a lot about charged subjects such as religion, war, sexual abuse and government policy. She grew up the youngest of 14 children in a deeply religious Pentecostal family, and “Let the Mystery Be” speaks to that subject. I love the song and hope that you will also!

LET THE MYSTERY BE (Iris DeMent)
(c) 1992 Songs of Iris/Forerunner Music, Inc. ASCAP

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they they all came from
everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go
when the whole thing’s done
but no one knows for certain
and so it’s all the same to me
I think I’ll just let the mystery be

Some say once you’re gone you’re gone forever
and some say you’re gonna come back
Some say you rest in the arms of the Saviour
if in sinful ways you lack
Some say that they’re comin’ back in a garden
bunch of carrots and little sweet peas
I think I’ll just let the mystery be

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they they all came from
everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go
when the whole thing’s done
but no one knows for certain
and so it’s all the same to me
I think I’ll just let the mystery be

Some say they’re goin’ to a place called Glory
and I ain’t saying it ain’t a fact
but I’ve heard that I’m on the road to purgatory
and I don’t like the sound of that
I believe in love and I live my life accordingly
but I choose to let the mystery be

Everybody is wondering what and where they they all came from
everybody is worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go
when the whole thing’s done
but no one knows for certain
and so it’s all the same to me
I think I’ll just let the mystery be
I think I’ll just let the mystery be

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