Psalm/Psong for April 20 – “Half Moon” by Iron and Wine

I hereby declare today Murky Wednesday, and not just because our spring-impaired weather here is cloudy and cold, with occasional sideways-blowing Oobleck. Tonight begins the slog through Holy Week, which feels to me like Christianity’s spin on the old Saturday Night Live line “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead!” By the time all the readings are done between the beginning of Palm Sunday and the end of Easter, Jesus has been crucified (by “THE JEWS”!!!) approximately 812 times. At least that’s how it feels to me.

It’s a wonder–maybe even a miracle!–that I’m not an atheist by now. But that’s probably, in part, because I’m married to a Bible scholar who dissembles the anti-Semitism of the Christian Gospels at every opportunity (and there are many). It’s also probably because I have never thought I had to believe any particular party platform in order to belong to a church community.

In keeping with Murky Wednesday, today’s psong is a sort of meditation on darkness and shadows. The unfortunate double negative “I can’t see nothing” makes me hear my 9th grade English teacher’s snorting retort, “Soooo, if you ‘can’t see nothing,’ then OBVIOUSLY you can see SOMETHING!”

Lyrics to “Half Moon”: 

Halfway home in the hilltop trees
And all our footprints in the snow
And the evening glow leaving

Low night noise in the wintertime
I wake beside you on the floor
Counting your breathing

‘Cause I can’t see nothing in this half moon
Lay me down if i should lose you.

Halfway-working on a worn-out house
And all our friends the ragged crows
And aching bones whining.

Where are we when the twilight comes?
The dark of valley and the breeze
And the frozen leaves chiming?

Cause I can’t see nothing in this half moon
Lay me down if i should lose you…

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6 responses to “Psalm/Psong for April 20 – “Half Moon” by Iron and Wine

  1. Your words just make me belly laugh. I look forward to a time when there will be more of them because I may be the wrong age cohort for these psongs. I’ve just looked up Oobleck and see how particularly apt it is. Where do you get that vocab?!

    • Pat, one of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories growing up was “Bartholomew and the Oobleck.” For a long time, I assumed it was a staple in everyone’s household, but I know very few people, outside my own family, who even know it exists. So I guess here’s the short answer to the question of where I get my vocab: I steal it.

  2. Stealin’s good.

  3. And I and my fellow TFC choristers will have crucified him in Bachian style 14 ways to Sunday singing the St John Passion tonight, tomorrow night, Friday afternoon, and Sat night. And there’s some serious BY THE JEWS!!! in that, don’t you know. I’m with you, getting atheister and atheister by the chorus. A happy Murky Wednesday to you and yours. XOX, JO

  4. Pat Murray and I played hooky last night and went to Tenebrae at the Advent figuring the smells bells would be good. None of that but the chant of the whole service was moving and the very long sections sung a capella and by heart by the soprano soloist were awesome.

    However, I tried to get the internet to tell me where the ritual came from without luck. The Christianized symbolism is clear but where did the more ancient actions come from? Christians don’t want to admit those ties and I hope the right kind of biblical scholar can illuminate them!

  5. i save you up , you know. i don’t read your posts as soon as they come out. i save them up like dessert. you’re that good. happy easter, my too-long-lost friend.
    you’re a gift to all of us who read you.

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