appears on X-ING
This song was written in the way that I most enjoy. A spark comes. I sift through a few years worth of scribbled one-liners. I synthesize them into a song. It is very much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle using whatever shapes happen to have stuck around from several different boxes.
My father had a recurring dream in which he chased a three-tailed snake through a cornfield. Every time, he would catch up to the snake, reach down and grab it, and wake up. One night years ago, I had a dream in which he caught the snake and cut it up. That was the spark for me to pull this song together.
The found objects and bits in this song are collected from scattered moments – a lot of it comes from the love and support of fans and friends. The other major component is the influence of Daniel Quinn’s writing, particularly the Ishmael trilogy.
I lived on tour non-stop from 2009-2014—with everything in storage except for what I needed to travel & play. Most of all, this song is a thank you to the many helping hands that made it possible for me to do that.
The place where I wrote the song is a big deal to me…at the home of a master machinist inside the gates of a shipyard on the Stono River in South Carolina. The man is a wonderfully generous friend and host, masterful at his craft and a life-long true lover of music. The song is full of inside jokes between him and me.
When I told him the frets on my dobro were too high and causing the me to break strings, he promptly took us to the shop & clamped the instrument into the shipyard’s multimillion-dollar milling machine. As I watched him work on the instrument, I was without a speck of concern. He’s the kind of person around whom I instantly feel relaxed and confident. He finished and said, “The top of the frets are now all between .002 and .005 inches off the fingerboard”.
I have a set of plans he drafted for a bespoke teak stompboard. We also worked on a solid stainless steel tone bar (slide) design.
He always says to me, “When ya comin’ home? Just give me a day’s notice and say hooves, fins or feathers. There’ll be feast waiting for ya.” …and there is.
And…Hope, Grace and Faith are all names of very special people whom I have known.
It takes a day or so to slake the road off of my shoulders
I had a dream my daddy finally killed that snake
To find my legs I long to land along the water
The week the rifleman gives away his only daughter
And there is Hope – sky above
And there is Faith in the ground beneath my feet
And there is Grace in the water of the river
Luckily all three always wanna be with me
The shitty side of clarity is that when it shines
Some will huddle round a god and try to make him dumb it down
But it’s a three, a five and a spiral
The territory’s actually the map as it turns out
And there is Hope – when all else is flailing
And there is Faith – what is certain in your heart
And there is Grace – as if you didn’t know
It’s the point house…quiet peace of heaven on the Stono
The world is made of naught but food and playthings, really
Let us sing and dance and laugh until the lights all go down
Peace in my mind…my heart on fire
My belly as dry as a bone, hear my now
Like those Georgia boys I know named after God’s love
Who have given me more blessings – lawd where do I begin?
The light and the welcome that, simply said, is always there
When there’s no way out find a way further in
And there is Hope – and Hope goes on and on
And there is Faith – she’s the redhead at the bar
And there is Grace – I remember soft, sweet and strong
Golden. Hold the tender moment. Longing
Puzzle pieces raining into place like there’s a reason
Be in Love. Go in Love
Let the sparks fly, but don’t the let smoke out
Go with whatcha got – it’s more than enough
Throw a ten-spot in the swear jar
No longer waiting on the past – I gotta say
Got to work tonight and found y’all here in this living room
Shuckin’, jivin’…fuckin’ thrivin’
Born at dawn in the desert on the day of the winner
I get burned, therefore I exist
Moved on to let the gettin’ better happen on it’s own
I finally feel indigenous in the face of all this
And I feel Faith in the Leavers
And I feel Hope up close
And I feel Grace breathing me
Like lovers at a dead run – it’s all you need to know
To have loved well and to have been well loved
Let us start from scratch unless ya wanna start from sniff
Candle burning at both ends, how ya gonna put it down
In your fucked up perfection, you will figure it out, now…
I would not be surprised to see Jacob, Ben or Hurley
Stroll up to me and say, “Hey, Bret do you know what time is it?”
If you have sight and lungs and tongues and bite and teeth
Yell and tell me now whatcha see from where you sit
Cuz I see Hope – looking up
And I feel Faith – confidelis
And I know Grace – anusara
And I know for sho no one could ever earn all this
My whole life happens all at once in every single moment
Scatter my home hither and yon and find
The tribe…the truth…utterly unthinkable
Don’t change a thing…just leave the farm behind
And there is Hope – pushing the pedals
And there is Faith – she bids me welcome
And there is Grace – she is my history
The tide might allow me to come to know just what I need
Hope – when you hunt it down
Faith – cast your line
Grace – gather it up
It is the time
The time of Hope
The time of Faith
The time of Grace
It is the time