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the matthew show: Listen to Music

The Straight Mile

(the matthew show)
February 25, 2015
written by Barton Carroll
commissioned as part of the Legacy Leadership Academy tuition fundraiser, summer 2014
Into a canopy of laurel and ridgepocket pine
Our forefathers walked their very last straight mile
Into hard, hard times
Back in them stricken days
Were they looking for something or were they turning away?
And the first killing frost in the fade of autumn's gold
Bent their backs into the winters; bent their memories into songs
And with one step low, they cut their furrows in the slopes
And they built their wounded homes into the stoney mountain earth

And a longing was born for what always came before
With a shiver in the bloodline
With melody on a drone
Got shed of those lately ways

Well the heavens went aflame and a father was struck down
And act of god in a god fearing town
And the voices of the hymnals sung of angels in the air

Oh a scalded heart will see symbols everywhere
So cower your troublin' mind from the praise and the shouts
Opposition from within and defender from without
Like when the mountebanks rise, cynical and vain
And dosey doe upon the ground where pretty polly was slain

Oh the tremors of the earth never reached these dells
You better keep your eyes down, son
On the winding trail you can't walk a straight mile

Oh traveler will you understand?
There's a rhythm in despair
It's the price for ancient songs
It's the hand-me-down sorrow of a place where there's no future
But the past goes on and on

For the hills and the hollows and the silence of the pines
You let me down, oh you broke my heart
But I don't walk through the valley alone
I always pray to Saint Joey Ramone

Oh sweet rock and roller, won't you set me free at last?
And break open the western sky
'Cause if you give me the chance
I'll walk the straight mile