gentry13

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2004 at 5:23 pm

the mad mission of patty griffin

it started out simple enough. after our saturday morning guy’s group had finished a greasy breakfast and spent some time in prayer we headed over to the thrift store that is located in the musty basement of the episcopal church. after we descended the stairs and turned the corner into the small, cinder block room that houses the thrift store, i was immediately startled, for right there in front of me was an ex-girlfriend who i often refer to as “o’hare.” as she alternately glared and ignored me, i tried to find something, anything, that would attract my undivided attention.

i found just what i was looking for on the cluttered south wall, which boasted one of the most eclectic music sections i have ever seen. on the cd shelf a brand new, unwrapped copy of r.e.m.’s out of time was located right beneath a worn copy of please hammer don’t hurt ’em. on the other end of the shelf was an album by the artist who sexually stimulated millions of evangelical boys with her breathy hit “baby, baby,” and an album by two dread-locked men who shuffled their way to an undeserved grammy. however, since my not-so-secret infatuation has moved from a Christian pop singer to a certain, unnamed middle-aged actress and if i want to celebrate lip syncing i can always watch ashlee simpson, i was more interested in the cassette tape section. it was there that i found, underneath a copy of the breakfast club soundtrack, a number of mix tapes that were worth purchasing. so it was that for seventy-five cents i picked up unauthorized copies of shawn colvin’s cover girl, albums mark cohn and bruce cockburn that i have yet to digest and living with ghosts, an album by one of the first ladies of contemporary americana, patty griffin.

i was so excited about finding the patty griffin tape that i wasn’t even bothered when i had to squeeze by “o’hare,” whose vibe was unsurprisingly dissonant, to drop my 75 cents on the counter and make my merry way out of the store. later on saturday afternoon, while cleaning the toilet that the recently departed bastard defiled, i heard “mad mission” for the first time. this song rent my heart as quickly as the tracks on hiatt’s meet the family. this song spoke, simply and eloquently, about the beating heart of the missional life and the ever-allusive beauty that is often found therein. when i realized that the song clarified the deepest intentions of my heart, i felt a lump in my throat. furthermore, as i listened to it time and again i was reminded of one mission (read: my relationship with o’hare) that i am glad i aborted.

all of this by way of introduction…here are the lyrics:

mad mission

We were drinking like the Irish

But we were drinking scotch

Bartender turned on a movie

Everybody turned to watch

And every single eye was gleaming

As he reached the final scene

Well, at least mine did

Here’s lookin’ at you, kid

It’s a mad mission

Under difficult conditions

not everybody makes it

To the loving cup

It’s a mad mission

But I got the ambition

Mad, mad mission

sign me up

I think I’ve seen the look before,yes,

it’s kind of non-commital

It says come hither, baby, but then he’s hard wood to whittle

it says it don’t mean a thing, but still, somebody does

He’d like you to join the club that likes to say

there’s no such thing as love and

It’s a mad mission

Under difficult conditions

not everybody makes it

To the loving cup

It’s a mad mission

But I got the ambition

Mad, mad mission

sign me up

Sometimes you find yourself

flying low at night

Flying blind and looking for

Any sign of light

You’re cold and scared, and all alone

You’d do anything just to make it home

It’s a mad mission

Under difficult conditions

not everybody makes it

To the loving cup

It’s a mad mission

But I got the ambition

Mad, mad mission

sign me up

Sign me up

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