Song of the South: “Levi”

I was out of town over Memorial day weekend, so I failed to share a Memorial Day reflection.  I want to, belatedly.   Instead of sharing my own words, I want to share the beautiful song of Old Crow Medicine Show, “Levi”, lamenting the death of a good Carolina boy at the hand of war.

Memorial Day is not a day to celebrate, but as Old Crow reminds us, to mourn.  To remember the cost of our addiction to violence as a society. To remember, and commit to work toward finding alternatives to violence.  For the best way to remember the loss of life of our brothers and sons is not to wage another battle, but to work toward the day not another drop of blood is shed in the name of politics, power, and profit.

Your progressive redneck preacher,

Micah

Levi

Born upon the blue ridge, at the Carolina line
Baptized on the banks of the new river
Brought upon blue grass and clear moon shine
And tough as iron but a heart soft as leather

Levi, lord, lord, lord, they shot him down
Ten thousand miles from a southern town
Oh, Levi

Like a fire on a mountain, running wild with no states
Playing nights on the glory horse shoe
And Indian raids
Now it’s parachutes and combat boots
They camouflaged they planes
And a country boy who don’t belong
In the desert anyways

Levi, lord, lord, lord, they shot him down
Ten thousand miles from a southern town
Oh, Levi

Well the sandbox sure gets lonesome
And it’s a hundred and nine degrees
Singing carry my back to Virginia
Lord I’m down here on my knees
In a market skrell while the bells were ringing
Loud to fill the air
Levi gazed his eyes out, to the rocket player
Be on the desert and the ocean
To the farthest fields on home
And when the bullets pierced his body
He was already gone

Levi, lord, lord, lord, they shot him down
Ten thousand miles from a southern town
Oh, Levi, lord, lord, lord, they shot him down
Oh, Levi, oh Levi.

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