The Good Son's Lament

from by Lola Mullen

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about

I'm not religious, really, but reading this story in Cash's autobiography was moving:

"Cash was very close to his older brother, Jack, who in 1944 was pulled into a whirling table saw in the mill where he worked, and cut almost in two. He suffered for over a week before he died...his father was away that morning, but he and his mother, and Jack himself, all had premonitions or a sense of foreboding about that day, causing his mother to urge Jack to skip work and go fishing with his brother. Jack insisted on working, as the family needed the money. On his deathbed, Jack said he had visions of heaven and angels. Decades later, Cash spoke of looking forward to meeting his brother in heaven."

lyrics

I was so young at 14 years
So young, with all the time in the world
These hands work till they hurt
With callouses that added ages to their worth
One dollar for the pile and no less
To my father goes the toil and the gain from it
To keep my family fed, I'll cut the lumber down to dust
Yes, every inch of it

A preacher in the make
God's hands will surely take
Oh, bring me home, bring me home
With sweat upon my brow, a hand will bring me down
Oh, bring me down, bring me down

Go forward, John, to the light
Of a summers' end for me that fades into a night
For this blade I hover on will be my last
From rib to groin, it split me in two halves

A preacher in the make
God's hands will surely take
Oh, bring me home, bring me home
But I will be rejoined, by his hands I'm made whole
Oh, bring me home, bring me home

Young John, take my hand at long hard last
Brother, be a good son, do just what your daddy asks
Oh, mother, please don't let go, not yet
I shall see you later on, at his feet we'll be met

A preacher in the make
God's hands will surely take
Oh, bring me home, bring me home

credits

from Our Lady of Perpetual Motion, released February 10, 2006

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Lola Mullen

Eastern born, westbound. Austin, TX.

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