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Have You Heard Mark Heard?

03 Feb

There are few musicians who have spoken so loudly to me as Mark Heard. He spoke almost like a prophet, in lyrics that were “often haunting and rarely ordinary.”

Listen to how Heard defined his “mission” in the liner notes of his 1983 album, Eye of the Storm: “I prefer to see myself as a writer who is a Christian, and I prefer to let my faith flavor my observations rather than dictate them. I prefer for my pen to act as a nerve receptor and write about the world – the real one – that exists outside society’s and Christian society’s simplistic, plastic, media-fed notions of what life is and what is important….I prefer not to excommunicate myself from either the ‘secular’ world or the church, in favor of attempting to write in a way that is communicative to both but calculated towards neither.”

His album High Noon ends with the song “Treasure of the Broken Land”, a song he wrote after watching his father be slowly and painfully overtaken by death. Its a gripping song that is drenched with heartache and hope.

Treasure Of The Broken Land

I see you now and then in dreams
Your voice sounds just like it used to
I know you better than I knew you then
All I can say is I love you

I thought our days were commonplace
Thought they would number in millions
Now there’s only the aftertaste
Of circumstance that can’t pass this way again

Treasure of the broken land
Parched earth, give up your captive ones
Waiting wind of Gabriel
Blow soon upon the hollow bones

I saw the city at its tortured worst
And you were outside the walls there
You were relieved of a lifelong thirst
I was dry at the fountain

I knew that you could see my shame
But you were eyeless and sparing
I awoke when you called my name
I felt the curtain tearing

Treasure of the broken land
Parched earth give up your captive ones
Waiting wind of Gabriel
Blow soon upon the hollow bones

I can melt the clock hands down
But only in my memory
Nobody gets the second chance to be the friend they meant to be

I see you now and then in dreams
Your voice sounds just like it used to
I believe I will hear it again
God how I love you

Treasure of the broken land
Parched earth give up your captive ones
Waiting wind of Gabriel
Blow soon upon the hollow bones

Written by Mark Heard © 1992 Ideola Music/ASCAP

Link: Mark Heard Tribute Project

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Posted by on February 3, 2006 in music

 

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