“O Death” – Ralph Stanley


“In 2009, the Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance was given to international pop star Brad Paisley. In 2008 and 2006, it went to Nicole Kidman’s boyfriend Keith Urban. In 2002, it was awarded to Ralph Stanley, the 75 year old bluegrass singer, for this a cappella performance of an Appalachian funeral dirge. He deserved it.

Partially speaking in the voice of a man on death’s door, partially as death itself, the song takes its power from its unflinchingly physical depiction of the end of life. In so many country songs, death is a welcome respite from pain; here, it’s a horrifying prospect, the transformation of a person from something alive and vibrant into a collection of cold, moist flesh and bone.”

— from ilovecountry

I’ll fix your feet til you can’t walk
I’ll lock your jaw til you can’t talk
I’ll close your eyes so you can’t see
This very air, come and go with me

I’m Death, I come to take the soul
Leave the body and leave it cold.
To draw up the flesh off of the frame
Dirt and worm both have a claim.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.