Patty Griffin: “Chief” from 1000 Kisses

I don’t consider myself to be a high-maintenance person, but once in a while I long for some pat on the back.  You know, someone to recognize that, if I’m not living well, at least I’m putting in a good effort.

No one chooses to live poorly, but it just takes a certain kind of vigilance to maintain your ship afloat and steady.  Part of that vigilance may be simply to choose to sail calm seas — so you don’t have to spend your energy fighting the impossible battle of steadying in a rocky ocean.

Patty Griffin is one of the most gifted singers in my book.  She just has this really expressive voice, which has this edge, not an aggressive, brutal one, but nevertheless a sharpness, that just seems to cut straight through to a deeper part.

And when she sings in the voice of this old, retired man looking back, it just reaches to my core.

Honey I’ve been put through the paces
Running like a dog on a track
The wheels keep you going as fast as you get there
You don’t ever get to go back

I don’t really know what I’m doing
Just watching myself in some play
And the actress looks like she wants to home
And lie in her bed all day

Her hands won’t work the machinery
‘Cause her brain tells them what to say
It’s a helluva life but it’s somebody’s life
Up and down the street all day

But I wish that you could see me
When I’m flying in my dreams
The way I laugh there way up high
The way I look when I fly
The way I laugh
The way I fly

Chief got out of the army
Jesus went to live with the poor
I’m still marching up and down that street
I don’t know what I’m doing that for

Well, I don’t know what I get right and what I get wrong.  There’s certainly been lots of stumbling.

But I keep trying.

Hell, I ain’t nothing if I ain’t that.