top of page

Song of the Day: Buddy Greene Covers Mark Heard on TOKENS

Last night I had the pleasure of attending (with novelist and Rabbit Room contributor Jonathan Rogers) the second taping of Tokens, a journey through books, music, humor, and theology in the spirit of A Prairie Home Companion. This week the special guests included Buddy Greene, band leader and consummate musical genius Jeff Taylor, Annie Moses Band, Native American singer Bill Miller, and the excellent Julie Lee.

I visited the website today to see if they had posted any of the clips from the show (they haven’t yet), and stumbled on this great performance by Buddy Greene and company from the first show. I know this Mark Heard song from the Pierce Pettis album State of Grace. It’s such a rousing song that it’s easy to miss how great the lyrics are.

RISE FROM THE RUINS Words and Music by Mark Heard

Nobody asks to be born Nobody wishes to die Everybody whiles away the interim time Sworn to rise from the ruins by and by The engines are droning with progress The pistons are pounding out time And it’s you and me caught in this juggernaut jaunt Left to rise from the ruins down the line

We will roll like an old Chevrolet The road to ruin is something to see Hang on to the wheel For the highway to hell needs chauffers For the powers that be

Go and tell all your friends and relations Go and say what ain’t easy to say Go and give them some hope That we might rock this boat And rise from the ruins one day

Ever try to carry water in a basket Ever try to carry fire in your hand Ever try to take on the weight of the everyday freight Til you find that you’re too weak to stand

Why so pale and wan, fond lover Why so downcast and desperately sad We can walk, we can talk We ain’t yet pillars of salt And we will rise from the ruins while we can


bottom of page