If I Ever Serve My Sentence: Daniel Johnston – Spirit World Rising

I’m not sure when these song of the day posts turned into obtuse therapy sessions with myself, but I’m sure no one reads this shit anyway (thankfully!) so here’s another one! The week of Daniel Johnston is almost over, it’s always sad to let a loved one go. No, that’s not right. We’re not letting him go, he is always around. It’s more that we’re moving on, but why are we doing this? Is it our own choice or his. Ok, this is unnecessary. Obviously it’s our own choice but it’s within these choices, where we actually can decide, that makes us feel whole. The rug isn’t being pulled out from underneath us, leaving us looking around trying to figure out what the fuck is going on, who the fuck we really are, what lawn we just woke up on and how/why did we end up here anyway? Adam mentioned yesterday that Chord Organ Blues may be his favorite Daniel Johnston song, and it is definitely up there for me. It’s really a toss-up between that and Spirit World Rising. Both mention Texas, for whatever that’s worth. The religious overtones and imagery in Spirit World are hard to miss, and that is the community that Daniel grew up in. The purple robes of the advent priests, the second coming of a savior to free Texas from whatever terror Daniel saw in it. I’ve never been to Abilene, so I have no idea. This song just sort or tears though me. I find it difficult to do anything else while listening, it’s hypnotic. I use that description a lot… you think that means I need to sober up? There is something about the scene set up in the song, it’s simple, most of the words repeated continuously, but it’s the force and confidence that he sings with which drives everything home. There will be validation, there will be atonement, there will be something more. So in short: I need to stop checking facebook, because it depresses the fuck out of me.

I have been to Abilene
The spirit world rising
I have seen in Abilene
The Devil has Texas

Purple rose they shall wear
The spirit world rising
The number on their forehead and hands
The devil has Texas

From the sky the number seven
The devil defeated
In the sky the New Jerusalem

I have been to Abilene
The spirit world rising
I have seen in Abilene
The Devil has Texas

The Spirit World Rising
The Devil has Texas
The Spirit World Rising
The Devil has Texas