One Night Only

by Arthur Alligood

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Rain falls on the righteous Rain falls on the right Rain is falling on the left too Can’t nobody find a light It’s been coming down so hard hard to keep from getting wet Dummies on tv speculate no signs of stopping yet Can’t nobody find a light Can’t nobody find a light Day as dark as night Can’t nobody find a light Rain falls on the ignorant Rain falls on the wise Rains been falling on the blind fools the proud been getting drenched too Swipe up, take the bait Every king wants a kingdom with high walls and a locked gate the poorest of the poor gonna pay, the poorest of the poor gonna pay
Syrup left on the table the ants have moved on in can’t get enough sugar like a birthday boy and his friends Life’s a disappointment when you’re always surprised the rain keeps falling on your hay day all you wanted was clear skies Bread left in the pantry mold has set up shop green as all your envy why can’t I get all this pain to stop? Life’s one big let down when you can’t get passed the pain shoulda coulda done this and that but there’s nothing you can change Sometimes the frig stops working Sometimes the stove won’t even burn The pipes have started leaking Now, will you ever learn? Life’s a joy and a pleasure when the rain falls as a gift and the pain is just a window for letting the truth on in Life’s a holy mystery when it stops being yours your days just like a vessel headed for the shore you found out what it was for
I’ve stood at Merton’s cabin seen the blinking cell phone tower soaking in the silence with the distant passing cars I’ve sat on the Bench of Dreams and felt nothing and everything ignorant to the seeds of contemplation in the soil of my heart Now, if I know one thing it’s God who speaks in silence and only fools fiend the babble, they clamor on and on and on hallelujah, thine the glory surely God must find it boring wishing all would learn the language simple words without speech But I know it’s hard to find a whisper in the chaos cattle call it’s hard to leave the multitude for the mountain when you’re so use to the cymbal’s gong it’s hard to let go of it all I am no desert son, no anchorite there’s both wrong and right where those seeds were buried but I no longer assume the flower is spoken into bloom creator casting spells by silence just as well I’ve stood at Merton’s cabin knowing I was trespassing peering through the window at the lamp still on I’ve sat on the Bench of Dreams wondered what it all might mean aware of the seeds of contemplation seeds of contemplation new seeds of contemplation in the soil of my heart
Four verses into an altar call She was crying; I was dozing off Till she grabbed my hand and whispered soft, “Honey, I hear the angel’s song” The aisle was a river of the Holy Ghost all the sheep were swimming toward the host and the weak wine in the silver cup I saw her add her tears and drink it up I pined for the preacher’s long last prayer my eyes caught in the coldest stare thought of weeping myself, but not for my soul I was just so sad....I knew I had to go Standing she was on her own front porch steps still sweating in that Sunday dress mosquitos hovering round her neck She told me just how it felt She said, “i could have swore I was flying....with Jesus right beside” I smiled, but I was lying i didn’t believe a word she said
I was born beneath a Georgia pine and my Daddy’s stare grew up in the steeple shine felt the tug of the Bible Belt went to Revival every year cause that’s just what we did heard the preacher telling all the sheep to shut up and repent Scheduling a revival is like planning a heart attack you might see the signs along the way, but you never know when it will hit Down here in the shallow South(stubborn, Christ-haunted) it’s all we can do is schedule revivals thinking God will pay his dues Well, I joined the youth group and went to camp, got down on my knees I was down there at the altar the band played “softly and tenderly” I started reading the Bible when I got back it lasted all of a week, but I had a brown-haired girl on my mind who was way out of my league Now, I live with two ghosts one holy, one profane I read the marquees every 50 feet those sayings they drive me insane Now, I know that I’m no better and it could be a whole lot worse, but if those white-washed buildings are the wedding dress then honey, let’s try on a skirt
A murder of crows cawing some hymn corn in the pews last church of the field A world just as tender as silk ‘neath the husk the wind keeps a praying but nothing ever comes Buzzards and drones Over the blight Day after day keeps Bleeding to night Coveys of quail gone with the doves the wind keeps a praying, but nothing ever comes This lonely, blue marble Circling the sun Abused and neglected beat like a drum the wind keeps a praying, but nothing ever comes nothing ever comes what’s been done has been done.
I could feel it in the room like she was waiting with the words names of all the people I had hurt and let down they won’t stick around when the news gets out Shame she speaks softly at the bottom of the well the sky lost above you night as dark as hell I could tell you the story, but you’ve already made up your mind no benefit of doubt this time a good man is still hard to find you used to be the kind She’s just waiting for you to fall Swears you’ve lost it all and there’s nothing you can do You’re a liar and a fake ah, there’s nothing you can do hey, but that’s not you that’s not you that’s not you
The Rio’s on the rise/Lonnie’s on the front porch/going blind, blind, blind/he’s been dying in the living room/brittle as the kitchen broom/swears he’ll tell his secret soon/wonders who he’ll tell it to “How’d you ever get out here?/Did you settle for settling down?/Was it really just a woman that kept you from leaving town?” “You know, I thought it’d be funny/to send a postcard from the road/saying “Greetings from Indecision! Take the one or take them both!”/but the angel at the P.O smiled/I’d knew I’d be around for a little while.” “Pure as the White Sands/she drove me to see/Pure as white linen/she always was to me.” The Rio’s on the rise/Lonnie’s on the front porch/for every drop of rain a sigh/the day id nearly sleeping/he gives it one more try/just an old man and his oxygen/tank and tube his only friends/‘tween the porch and what she called the den/he finally left town/with not a soul around/his secret safe and sound


released May 3, 2019

All songs by Arthur Alligood
Amiable Alleycat Music ASCAP

Electric guitar- Nick Huddleston

Harmonies on “Shame” - Tiff Alligood

Recorded by Eric Delong
Mixed and Mastered by Eric Delong


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Arthur Alligood Springfield, Tennessee

Songwriter/Singer from Middle Tennessee.

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