In Your Bones is a recurring feature here on Folk Hive in which a friendly fellow blogger lets us in on a jam they hold dear to their heart. A jam that is in their bones, so to speak.
As long as I’ve been reading/following the Common Folk blog/April, I’ve always felt an odd connection with it’s writer. “From the hills of W. Virginia” is not all that different from “from the hills of the Ozark Mountains,” and I will admit, I’ve always yearned to really understand my affiliation to Appalachia, granted by my ancestors of yore. Really though, it’s about feeling like one is not alone: I’m not the only female out there, devoted to folk and bluegrass, inexplicably drawn to banjos and men who admire them as much as I (despite the fact that they’re typically a thousand years older than I). Plus, bitch (and I mean that IN THE NICEST POSSIBLE OF WAYS, YA’LL) has swell fucking taste in music. That helps.
April was awesome enough to send along a jam she loves and she was even kinder to step outside her typical writing style and really open up about why this particular jam means so much to her. I cannot say how much I appreciate that, because though it’s easy for me to do, it’s not always easy for others to be so personal by default. And this jam was something I’d never heard — thanks to April, it’s been ringing in my ears all morning. With further ado…
“Drink Ring Jesus” by Stephen Simmons. The first time I heard this song it instantly seeped into my bones. I was raised in a non-demonitional church which mainly practiced the Baptist doctrine, but when I would visit my dad’s family in Virginia I would attend a Penecostal church (which did not handle snakes), so needless to say I had issues with religion, God and Jesus. However, I still have issues with religion and religious doctrines and my relationship with God and Jesus is complicated to say the least and sometimes even nonexistent. But, when I hear this song I relate to Simmons. I put myself within its context. I realize I don’t have to be in church to find Jesus. I’ve had a lot of problems throughout my life and have made a lot of colossal mistakes and during that time I didn’t have much faith. I still don’t have a lot of faith but it’s more than I did. For me, the song represents finding salvation. Not just asking Jesus for salvation, but finding salvation within myself — a self-salvation so to speak. It’s about coming to terms with my life and trying to make sense of it. Looking for self-reconciliation for the mistakes I’ve made and asking for forgiveness. Now in my thirties, I’m still trying to lay my past to rest and find solace in faith I can’t seem to entirely believe. Weird, I know.
Not weird at all, April, not weird at all.
VISIT Common Folk Music