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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Alley Cock

That rooster woke me again today
He sure has got a lot to say
Walking around outside his coop
Making me wish for chicken soup

He’s the alley cock
Walking the walk
And talking the talk

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Broke Down and Broke

After our harrowing breakdown experience last week we wrote this song on the 17 hour drive to Denver from Shreveport:

Broke Down and Broke

Broke down and nearly broke
Ain’t that the way that it always goes
When time is on your side
And you’re feeling mighty fine
Moving on down the road

Thinking maybe so
We shoulda stopped a few miles ago
Outside the last town
When we heard that funny sound
And now the black smoke’s burning my nose

Now we’re broke down and nearly broke
We need a tow to the nearest garage
Made a call to triple “A”
But they wouldn’t pay
And now we’re sittin by the side of the road

Two nights in a roadside hotel
Our cash flow is getting real low
Gotta make up the cost
And the time that we lost
Getting the diesel repaired

We were broke down and now we’re broke
At least we’re back on the road
Until the next time my friends
When it happens again
And we’re broke down and broke