Let it Be with Me – an Advent song

I know it’s Lent, not Advent, but we just performed this song live on March 2 and I thought it could be worth sharing:

These lyrics were written in the hopeful early days of thinking about a child and expecting one. I would get up early each morning, go down to the basement, sit on the floor, and sing.

Won’t you sing with me?

Dear friend and talented songwriter Momma Molasses let us crash her gig the other night. One of her newest songs is all about audience participation:

 

The church bells rang, and two voices sang.
Old sorrows became a dream.

All the wrong I’ve done…is forgiven,
and I don’t regret one thing.

Won’t you sing with me, my darling?
Won’t you sing with me someday?
Won’t you sing with me, my darling?
Won’t you sing with me always?

your song

bucket

          The first tone tap tap taps like water on a windowsill, only it doesn’t sound like a gray day’s rain — it sounds like a sun-warmed raindrop, sweet and clear. The note gently tap tap taps on the heart.

          My friend sent me the song in a care package to Namibia, where I lived as a teacher. At night I listened to Kate Walsh sing, as close to inside my ears as I could get. She sang my longing as I lay under the mosquito net. I yearned for everything, out there in the desert — family, language, food, technology, romance — and she lullabied me.

          I listened to Kate on repeat. I took her with me out to the spigot as I filled the blue bucket to wash clothes. I stood in the dust and tried to make sense of her words:

So I’ll make whirlpools,
and watch him sparkle

I didn’t know what she meant, but watching the water made me think I did. At the outdoor tap, the water was warmest, the closest thing to warm water. A subtle piano cascaded notes down, in a swirl, but the water gushed out hard. Sunlight sprang up from the bottom.

          Kate’s voice was simple, sometimes nervous. Sometimes she sounded old, like a granny, sometimes young and shy. Her voice shrank, as if to say, notice me, don’t notice me. Like a fisherman she cast her lines out, and nearly forgotten words bobbed at the end:

I’m stuck on a boy, who
fills me with joy, I
knew I was wrong to
jump straight on into
this picture so pretty

It was a confession trailing off.

and we’ll make
love, make
magic

         I lugged the dusty-bottomed bucket back inside. Was she right? Would it be magic?