A Thousand Tongues

from by Steve Slagg

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lyrics

Dad, can you help me understand what it means that you're gone?
Just yesterday, I wanted to ask you a question:
What was the hymn that my grandaddy still sang
Years after all language and memory left him?
Was it "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing" or old "Amazing Grace"
in that New Florence nursing home?
Whichever one it was, he knew more verses than you or the hymnal
(But I wasn't singing along
I was in the corner with the TV on)
I wonder why that hymn lingered so long in my Granddad's memory
And did he learn it as a boy
In that same brick church where he was buried in North Dakota?
Or am I mistaken?
Did he move there when he was grown?
I just asked Mom, but she didn't know

Dad, can you pray I learn how to show love
Like the love you showed when Grandpa was dying?
You sat for hours and sang and read to him
From the hymnal 
And the Bible
And when his lips grew dry and cracked
Covered in sores and blisters
You swabbed his mouth with a wetted sponge
"I hope that feels good"
Your voice cracked and you cried
(And I cried a little bit too,
I had the presence of mind to put the TV on mute)
Then, just a few years later, when your own turn came to die
I watched my mother do the same
And go to sleep alone in the bed you'd shared for my whole life

I wonder if my lover ever lingered in the same way
Would I have the strength to care for him?
Speaking of my lover, would you have kissed him like a son?
Or, scared and angry, would you have pushed us both away?
I just asked Mom, but she just can't say

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great redeemer's praise
The glories of my God and king
And triumphs of His grace

Hear Him, ye deaf; ye voiceless ones
Your loosened tongues employ
Ye blind, behold, your Savior come
And leap, Ye lame, for joy

Ye blind, behold, your Savior come
And leap, Ye lame, and leap, for joy

credits

from Strange Flesh, released June 27, 2019
Steve Slagg (piano, organ, vocals, backing vocals)
Cathy Kuna (cello)
Kit Shields (backing vocals)

Music and lyrics by Steve Slagg

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Steve Slagg Chicago, Illinois

God-haunted, gay-of-center weird singer-songwriter with death problems

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