Thursday, January 18, 2007

Forgive Me, I'm Sweetly Dement-ed

It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity for a good live show. Tomorrow I will break that streak with a visit to The Beachland Ballroom by Iris Dement, one of Americana’s best loved singer-songwriters, and a personal favorite.

Iris is the youngest of 14 children. She got her musical start as part of a deeply religious musical family who sang gospel tunes, but later fell under the influence of folk and country. She penned her first song at 25, and headed to Nashville in 1988.

Iris Dement has an unusual voice, truly all its own, and like no other I’ve ever heard. It’s really beautiful. I am hoping she does this tune, Sweet Forgiveness.

Once, caught in the endless circle of a very painful argument, a very good friend said to me, “You mean more to me than this conversation.” No one had ever said anything like that to me, and no one has since. It taught me what it means to forgive and be forgiven. And I know that I’ve fallen short since in other friendships and relationships because I forgot that very important guiding principle.

I’m grateful that I still have that friendship, and some others that carry me through some pretty tough times as well as some pretty good ones, too.

Clevelanders, I hope I’ll see you at The Beachland Ballroom, tomorrow night (Friday, Jan. 19) 8 p.m. curtain!

SWEET FORGIVENESS (Iris DeMent)(c) 1992 Songs of Iris/Forerunner Music, Inc. ASCAP

Sweet forgiveness, that's what you give to me

when you hold me close and you say "That's all over"
You don't go looking back,
you don't hold the cards to stack,
you mean what you say.

Sweet forgiveness, you help me see
I'm not near as bad as I sometimes appear to be
When you hold me close and say
"That's all over, and I still love you"

There's no way that I could make up for those angry
words I said
Sometimes it gets to hurting and the pain goes to my head

Sweet forgiveness, dear God above
I say we all deserve a taste of this kind of love
Someone who'll hold our hand,and whisper
"I understand, and I still love you"

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