Anais Mitchell – Why We Build The Wall

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing a couple of concerts at The Fremont Abbey in Seattle. It’s a great venue, and home to my faith community, Church of the Apostles. One of these shows was an artist that was new to me – Anais Mitchell. She gave a great show, along with her friends Jefferson Hamer and Rachel Ries. Her live performance reminded me of Alison Krauss, with just a little less country and little more folk. It was a good enough show for me to go download Mitchell’s latest album, Hadestown. It’s a concept album – “a folk opera based on the Orpheus myth and based in a post-apocalyptic American depression era.” It’s a haunting, compelling, epic work  – very artful. Not easy listening per se, but worth your attention. “Why We Build the Wall” is a brilliant, dark, empire-challenging commentary – very different on the album than live, but both are great. Here’s a video of a live performance – listen and read the lyrics posted below. Oh, and if you either a) like what you hear, or b) just trust my judgment, Amazon.com has Hadestown on sale for download for just $5 this month.

Why We Build the Wall

Why do we build the wall?
My children, my children
Why do we build the wall?

Why do we build the wall?
We build the wall to keep us free
That’s why we build the wall
We build the wall to keep us free

How does the wall keep us free?
My children, my children
How does the wall keep us free?

How does the wall keep us free?
The wall keeps out the enemy
And we build the wall to keep us free
That’s why we build the wall
We build the wall to keep us free

Who do we call the enemy?
My children, my children
Who do we call the enemy?

Who do we call the enemy?
The enemy is poverty
And the wall keeps out the enemy
And we build the wall to keep us free
That’s why we build the wall
We build the wall to keep us free

Because we have and they have not!
My children, my children
Because they want what we have got!

Because we have and they have not!
Because they want what we have got!
The enemy is poverty
And the wall keeps out the enemy
And we build the wall to keep us free
That’s why we build the wall
We build the wall to keep us free

What do we have that they should want?
My children, my children
What do we have that they should want?

What do we have that they should want?
We have a wall to work upon!
We have work and they have none
And our work is never done
My children, my children
And the war is never won
The enemy is poverty
And the wall keeps out the enemy
And we build the wall to keep us free
That’s why we build the wall
We build the wall to keep us free
We build the wall to keep us free

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