Stopping by the local chapel this morning, some might have heard Psalm 46:
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Hearing mention of that river which makes “glad the city of God” caused my brain to make a connection—which might not be so wildly inappropriate—to this old T-Bone Burnett tune, “River of Love.” He’s known all over these days as the producer to tap when a deft touch on rootsy-realness is called for (recently even bringing Reggie Dwight back to basics) but yours truly was the closest-thing-possible to a real fan of his back in the mid-1980s when he was still releasing records under his own name on a semi-regular basis. His music had a special charm (and so still does), being a fine cocktail of wryness, cynicism and hope, with memorable melodies and a decent degree of that rootsy-realness.
“River of Love” is from his 1986 album simply titled T-Bone Burnett (curiously so because it was actually his fourth or fifth solo album). Embedded below via YouTube is a live performance by T-Bone Burnett of “River of Love”, with Jerry Douglas providing the lovely sounds on the dobro.
There’s a river of love that runs through all times
But there’s a river of grief that floods through our lives
It starts when a heart is broken into
By the thief of belief in anything that’s true
But there’s a river of love that runs through all times