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Author’s note 6/10/12 - Writing The Nightingale’s Code, the final draft, I found myself humming the tune of ‘With God on Our Side’ until it stuck with me as an obsessive tic. Eventually I decided to free myself by making my own song from it. That seems to have done the trick.

The theme of God and warfare came through again, unbidden. I just started from a phrase that fit the first line of the tune.

The players here are myself on guitar and vocals; Armorel Weston on bass and vocals; Hayereyah on percussion; Arnold Lane on drums; Ricky Edwards on flute; and Katherine Toy on accordion. Hear a sample.

In Memory of Grace

Fashion a Prayer
©2011 Gibbens/Weston


I fashioned my prayers and I fashioned them well
With the heart of a flower and the skin of a bell.
I put a light in their eyes that the bees get from spring.
I took them up in my hands and I fired them from the sling.

I fashioned my prayers till they shone like a shell
But where I had sent them, I never could tell
If anyone caught them, if anyone heard.
The clouds had appointments, there was a comment from a bird.

In each of my prayers I carved a name,
In each of my prayers I planted a flame.
I listened for footsteps but none ever came.
I fill up the magazine. I lock, load and aim.

I fashion my prayers and I send them to attack
And out of the darkness one comes stumbling back.
“You fashioned us bravely, you fashioned us true
But I’m here to tell you, there’s only one way through.

“You can fire us at heaven where angels rebel
But lower me down, boss, down into the well.
Lower me down, boss, where the light disappears.
Lower me down, boss, on a rope of your tears.

“You can fire us at heaven where Lucifer fell
But lower me down, boss, down into the well.
Lower me down, boss, where the tormented yell,
’Cause that way lies your boss though that way lies hell.”

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