Under the Gray

by Arthur Alligood

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1.
I thought I had you down and there was nothing more to say I could have written couple of essays explaining you all away But then you came like that angel to Peter’s side and said “Follow me boy we’re busting out tonight.” In moonlight I saw clearly your face Oh, the things I had mistaken you for All that time I had spoke your name It was easy to spout off in the company of the saints But I knew you only as I had dressed you up in garments of philanthropy and moralism But in the moonlight I saw clearly your face My tears were for the liar I had made you out to be I thought I had you down and there was nothing more to say I thought I was smart and could move on to other things But then you came like Jesus to his boys in the upper room and said “If you ever get over me it’ll be way too soon.”
2.
Boy, press on don’t look back The past will only haunt you and make you stumble in your tracks One day you will see it, but now is not the time That day you’ll come to a spacious place You’ll look over your shoulder and see miles and miles of grace Of course you’ll see your blunders, your screw ups and the like But like frost in the morning, grace will have covered over those times You’ve never held yourself together Grace has been there the whole time You’ve never held yourself together Grace has sustained you all the while Girl, don’t you turn around You know what happened to Lots wife as they were heading out of town The past is gone girl, the only stretch of road is ahead But one day you’ll come to that place in life You’ll turn to stand in awe at grace for miles and miles....Sure you’ll see your mishaps, those boyfriends that you had But over every mistake they’ll be a sign that clearly says– Brothers and sisters we’re on this road And you can be sure that we will fall and break some bones But we got to keep on pressing on...there’s a land that awaits And the grace that has sustained us this far is the grace that keeps us now as we walk along And the grace that is to come, what beauty we will see in every direction as far as the eye can see
3.
Hey, I know that face.... I’m so sorry those kids drove you up the wall? What’s that one boys name...the one who always gives you a time? And brings the whole class out of line On the drive home were you wondering if There’s a better life, waiting on us to come and snatch it up Just run a bath and we’ll sink down deep far away from all hints of today Baby, I feel so down I don’t know what’s the matter I’m useless in so many ways Is this what they call the Lord’s work? Its become such a burden I feel like giving it all up My thoughts of late have been day dreams of A better life, waiting on us to come and snatch it up Lets hop in bed and we’ll dream and drift far away from all hints of today Tomorrow makes so many promises but are they empty just like a politicians? Or will tomorrow keeps its word and we’ll realize in the morning that....? This is the better life, we’re living it, and nothing do we lack...no, nothing at all A bigger house and more money in the bank couldn’t add a thing to all we’ve got
4.
04:23
We have no fences We use his name more frequently than common conjunctions A friend he is, but a Father as well We love his ear, but hate the back of his hand We’re more scared of our plane being hijacked Or getting in a wreck coming home from work We got this “fear” thing down pat, but what we fear ain’t worth too much Oh, to tremble Oh, to quake before the one who covers our mistakes… We’d do good to learn he is not like us Oh, to shudder Oh, to fear the one above, but right here We’d do good to learn he is not like us Most of our songs have that one plea, “We want to see your face.” That was that last thing Israel wanted… they knew one glance would bring them to the grave Do we know what we’re asking for? We have no fences, no guards About the easiest thing to do nowadays is to trample his courts He loves a happy heart and a joyful smile, but I wonder when’s the last time you went to church thinking you might die? In his image, from the dust, by his hands were fashioned but still he is not like us We’re prone to ramble and to wander steal, horde, and squander… You’d think by now we’d have learned he is not like us He is not like us We are not like him and he is not like us
5.
The red glare on the streets of downtown The glow from a computer screen round 2 A.M. The big, bright sign flashing “Babes, Babes, Babes.” Crude drawings on bathroom walls Boxes of back issues stacked in the hall Late night commercial’s with a number begging you to call Look around at this cell that were in At the chains on our ankles and wrists I think we’d like to get out, but don’t know where to begin? Do you remember life without this darkness? Didn’t we have eyes once like the sun? Weren’t we free then of what we’ve now become? Somehow this world became one big, long grocery line Magazine racks stacked high on both sides and we turned our eyes to the left and to the right and let it all in Now look at this cell that we’re in At the chains on our ankles and wrists We’d like to get out, but don’t know where to begin? Movie store, top shelf videos Late night hotel, cable t.v. shows The girl on the corner stretching out her pantyhose asking, “Looking for a good time?” I know you see this cell that we’re in You see the chains on our ankles and wrists Come quickly Lord we don’t know where to begin? Like Israel in the palm of Pharaohs hand We don’t know where to begin
6.
04:15
Broken..... I am going Running....I wish I was Crawling.... is an overstatement Inching..... is a more accurate term. A months time is one step for me I’m like a movie in ultra, slow motion Milemarkers come every decade or so At this pace will I make I ever make it home Fixing....my thoughts on you Trying....to keep my eyes on home Experience...you’ve had more than me You know ever bend in the road You wrote the book entitled “Faith” and there are no Cliff notes. You seen me search for an easier way All the dead end streets I thought would take me home A land called thirstlessness where joy is constant and strife is absent where angels sing holy anthems in unison and saints they stand in linen, bright and clean Broken..... I am going Running....I wish I was Crawling.... is an overstatement Inching..... is a more accurate term. I doubt it most days, but there’s still some hope inside that one day I’ll close my eyes and wake to find myself home
7.
I don’t believe My lips speak notions of a fadeless, unspoiled land and I act like I want to go there, but I don’t believe such a place exists And it hurts to know the devil has seen more than me You think this would be heaven’s confirmation, but in him I doubt I believe I don’t believe in heaven anymore My mouth will tell you stories of shadows that make blind men see and I act like it could happen, but inside I don’t believe It hurts to know demons have had a front row seat I don’t believe in them either, but the stories make you want to believe I don’t believe in miracles anymore If you asked me my name I’d tell you Israel but the name tag on my heart reads “Jacob the Wrestler.” And it hurts to know he got his hands on you Have we ever touched? Have we ever hugged? Have we ever been in the same room? I don’t believe/I don’t believe/, but I want to believe your right here
8.
04:00
I ain’t looking for a back alley though your path sometimes looks like one I want the narrow road, straighter than an arrow I want to follow it till I lay down this life I borrow But now I need a lamp to show me where to put my feet And a star in the offing calling me And a peaceful heart that knows your leading me Side streets will not suffice though they maybe easier for traveling I want the gravel and the towering mountains I want incessant joy flowing like a fountain I bet that light is up ahead around the corner where its always been I bet I’m just as near to the place where we’ll finally stand face to face....face to face
9.
I’m down past the point of flame Scared to peruse the grate Its just ashes.... just powder I know Remnants of a fire that once burned out of control And all I’ve got left is a bruised hope that there’s more than I know Under the gray(Under the gray) Buried deep down(Buried deep down) Under the gray, deep down Prayerlessness was the thief he came and stole all my joy Slothfulness was his method Before I knew it he had made me poor And left me to rummage through with my bare hands It’s a long shot, but something still may be there Down below the soot and the black, burned out coals There maybe some embers still left to blow Here I go...time to dirty up my hands I need some scars to remind me that the fires still there
10.
05:27
Blistered knees on piercing gravel Your heavy sprint is now a ghastly crawl Every move piercing.........hurting Thoughts racing faster than your body is moving I know every degree seems like a flogging, but hold on don’t let go You’re nothing, but he’s bringing you along like a nervous bride holding on to her Daddy’s arm All your life its been the same You crossed the river just to find the same terrain Rocks then to mountains and back to rocks again But don’t let the hard break you unless its in his hands I know every degree seems like a scourging, but hold on don’t let go You’re nothing, but he’s bringing you along like a nervous bride holding on to her Daddy’s arm I am here don’t let go, don’t let go I am here and I know... Every degree seems like nails in your hands and feet and thorns upon your brow You’re nothing, but he calls you son..so keep holding tight to your Daddy’s arm
11.
04:42
Mow the grass Read a book Underneath the trees where the jungle once was Finish a chapter and take a look through the leaves The sun and clouds like kids begging “Look at me daddy..Look at me.” Linger long Let it all set in Life is living once again Take a seat on the front porch Watch the neighborhood kids ride their bikes through a mud puddle Listen close to the way they talk to each other and realize how far you’ve come and the ways you’ve come too far Take a walk beneath the stars Try your best to count each one Say a prayer from your heart to the unseen The one that makes the stars shine and fills you with awe at their shining

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released September 29, 2006

Produced by Andrew Osenga

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Arthur Alligood Springfield, Tennessee

Songwriter/Singer from Middle Tennessee.

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