Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Singing Lazarus' story

My Ignatian prayer yesterday was on the story of Jesus raising Lazarus.  The story always reminds me of Carrie Newcomer's song.  It's written from the perspective of Lazarus, and how difficult life was for him after Jesus was crucified, ending with "When he (Jesus) left this world, I thought he'd take me back."  Heartwrenching.

The song is haunting, and very very beautiful.  It's the idea that people are afraid of Lazarus, the one raised from the dead -- no one will touch him.  Mothers cry when the see him on the street.  And dogs bare their teeth at him.



Now that he's gone
Now the world has moved on
Since he called my name nothing's the same.
As my sister cried
He said, "Lazarus rise." To love and anoint
Or just prove a point?

I'm the one that he saved
I'm the one that he raised
From a dark quiet sleep 
from peace of the grave.
I the one who owes much, but that no one will touch
Mothers see me and cry
Dogs bare teeth as I walk by.

I don't see a veil between heaven and hell
The truth is there's nothing but a warm light and singing.
But here in-between a voice haunts my dreams.
Martha does what she can but won’t look at my hands.

I love the cool mornings. I love a hot meal.
The pulse of the street, night jasmine, and clean sheets.
I can’t sleep or rest; I feel lost and hard pressed.
I wander these rooms still looking for you.

I ought to be grateful to drink from the grail
But I don't belong on either side of the veil.
I look down at my hands that are clasped in my lap.
When he left this world I thought he'd take me back.


from Wikipedia:

Carrie Newcomer was born in Dowagiac, Michigan and raised in Elkhard, Indiana.  She attended Goshen College and received a B.A. in visual art and education from Purdue University.

In the 1980s she was a member of the pop-folk group Stone Soup.  After leaving this group she began a solo career and released her first album called Visions and Dreams.  Between 1993 and 2010, she released 12 additional solo albums.  

In 2003 Newcomer was awarded a Grammy for her song "I Should Have Known Better" recorded by Nickel Creek of its Grammy Winning Best Contemporary Folk Album "This Side."  In 2007 her album The Geography of Light received the Artist of the Year and Album of the Year awards from Folk Wax Magazine.  In 2003 her album "The Gathering of Spirits" received the same awards.  

In 2003 she wrote the national theme song for the YMCA and collaborated with Scott Russell Sanders and folk songwriters Krista Detor, Tim Grimm, Michael White and Tom Roznoski on an album and theatrical production entitled Wilderness Plots. 

Newcomer collaborated with Parker J. Palmer to create the presentation "Healing the Heart of Democracy," and with Jill Bolte Taylor to create the presentation "Transforming Stories."   She has toured the U.S., Europe, and India, including performances with Alison Krauss.


Purple said...

Glad to "see" postings from you...and love the spacious space you experienced

Terri said...

yes, so good to have you posting again, now and then. this makes me want to go buy one of her albums.