Heaven and the Hanging Tree (Live)

by Kevin Gordon

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Recorded by Thomas Piaia at Landhaven in Huff's Church, PA, on 3/11/17. Editing by KG.

lyrics

Heaven and the Hanging Tree

Countless dawns have found me strung out
On some stranger’s floor
Staring down the thin air,
Hours from the door
Lying drunk in boot heels,
Tracing crosses in the ceiling tiles
It was the habit of a quiet child
Looking for more

Reaching for right place in the balance
Between the mortal and the mystery
Struck dumb down where knowledge cast us
Between heaven and the hanging tree

I ran from every preacher’s hand
Who ever towered over me—
Hungry to hold me under that water
Grinning little white teeth
At night I’d whisper prayers like secrets
To something up above—
Struggling for simple love
And hoping to be

Reaching for right place in the balance
Between the mortal and the mystery
Struck dumb down where knowledge cast us
Between heaven and the hanging tree


Dirty jokes in a church pew
A whore’s benevolent kiss
The taste on your tongue,
Stain of her on your lips

Out west I saw where a man of sorrow
Carved a shrine in a sandstone wall
Burned his crying candles down alone
Behind museum glass, santos stare back
The death cart always rolls
It’s the ache of faith,
The woodcarved blood and the bone

Reaching for right place in the balance
Between the mortal and the mystery
Struck dumb down where knowledge cast us
Between heaven and the hanging tree

credits

released July 8, 2017
Original studio recording of this song appears on "Cadillac Jack's #1 Son", (Shanachie 6029), produced by Garry Tallent, released Feb.1998.

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about

Kevin Gordon Nashville, Tennessee

Kevin Gordon is a Louisiana native whose latest releases, Long Gone Time, & 2012's Gloryland, earned raves from the NY Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, and others. His songs have been recorded by Keith Richards, Levon Helm, Irma Thomas, & most recently, Hard Working Americans. "Down to the Well", a duet w/Lucinda Williams, was featured on the Oxford American Southern Music Sampler. ... more

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