The Stable Song

I had to share a new favorite song (again). I first heard this song several months ago and fell in love with it from the first time I played it. I came back to it a few days ago and It has been on an almost constant loop on my computer and in my head. Every now and then I come across a song that resonates with me in all the right ways. This is one of those special songs. The instrumentation is very minimalistic: a guitar, upright bass, violin, and banjo are the instruments I hear. The song lives in between genres, in my opinion. But it is probably best categorized as folk. And Isakov’s voice is very distinctive and perfect for this song. I believe this will be his signature song, if it isn’t already.

And the story of the song is wonderful. It can be interpreted several different ways, as all good art can. I watched a live version where Isakov says that when he is asked what the song is about, his reply is that it is a poem about everything. But, to me, it is a story of a man who wants to create music that is beautiful in a clean, technical way. He struggles to find his muse and create something that is beautiful in that one narrow definition of beauty. After much struggle, he is unsuccessful and rebels against the whole creative process. He abandons it for a time.

After an undetermined period of time to live and experience life, he comes back and now knows that to create the best art he can, he needs to be true to himself. He learns that there is beauty in imperfection and the dirty stuff of life. I love this song for the music and the artist’s voice. But the lesson is one that I am in the process of learning. I feel that I have something creative in me that wants to come out. I believe I know the general form, but I am still searching for specifics. So I identify with the person in the song who is struggling in that way. This is one of the main reasons I started this blog. Writing is the focus of my creative efforts, as it is something I have loved to do from a very young age.

Whether you have heard this song or not, if you take a few minutes to listen and follow along with the lyrics below I hope you enjoy.

The Stable Song

remember when our songs where just like prayers.
like gospel hymns that you called in the air.
come down come down sweet reverance,
unto my simple house and ring…
and ring.

ring like silver, ring like gold
ring out those ghosts on the ohio
ring like clear day wedding bells
were we the belly of the beast or the sword that fell…we’ll never tell.

come to me clear and cold on some sea
watch the world spinning some machine

now i’ve been crazy couldn’t you tell
i threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell
now i’m covered up in straw, belly up on the table
well and sang and drank, and passed in the stable.

that tall grass grows high and brown,
well i dragged you straight in the muddy ground
and you sent me back to where i roam
well i cursed and i cried, but now i know…now i know

and i ran back to that hollow again
the moon was just a sliver back then
and i ached for my heart like some tin man
when it came oh it beat and it boiled and it rang..its ringing

ring like crazy, ring like hell
turn me back into that wild haired gale
ring like silver, ring like gold
turn these diamonds straight back into coal.

Lyrics Graphic
gregory alan isakov 2013

9 thoughts on “The Stable Song

  1. I like how the music sounds a little like an acoustic symphony. And the meaning is so universal and subtly delivered. It’s a meaning everyone should be so lucky to experience. Glad you shared. Wishing for you…the specifics. 🙂

    • Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Ansley. I love acoustic music and I like your description of this song as an acoustic symphony. I agree. That and the fact that, as you say, it’s a poem about a universal experience has made it one of my favorite songs.

      It seems like my blog always gives you trouble logging in. It isn’t intention, I promise. 😉

  2. What I’ve learned from it:
    It all comes down to this…
    Trust in the simple things and in your true essence…
    it’s what makes your heart beat and the start of a dream

    • Thanks very much for following my blog and commenting. A friend shared this song somewhere on social media several years ago, and it has been my favorite song ever since.

      • I just heard what I thought was an alternate version, by Whiskey Myers called “A Trailer Called Home”…. EXACT music, different lyrics by Darrell Scott..? Does Isakov approve of this?

        • Looks like Scott wrote the music and both artist use the same melodies for their own lyrics. Scott works with both artists regularly so I’d assume it’s all on the up n’ up.

  3. I think it is a young man that seeks, grows, marries, lives, rebels, ages, and now he seeks those younger days to do it all over again, not necessarily different, but for the beauty of it.

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