God's acre is a fenced-in hallowed ground

Posted On: Tuesday - January 23rd 2018 6:01PM MST
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Not Lilydale, but beautiful Mt. Auburn cemetery around Boston, Massachusetts.

I started re-listening to those 10,000 maniacs a week back, as I ... no, I don't mean the Antifa ... I'm writing about Natalie Merchant's ex-band here; do try to keep up. Anyhoo, where was I? Yeah, a friend turned me on to the band about the time of the album Blind Man's Zoo, 2 albums after the song featured in this post. Bands with original rock sounds like this were called "alternative rock" - not "alt-rock", as we didn't shorten up things like JLo and Brangelina back then - and WE LIKED IT THAT WAY. This alternate rock, besides the grunge music that came out about that time, was the last gasp of the period of generally decent music, I suppose.

When I came to hear the song here a number of years later, just catching up on the older 10,000 Maniacs material, it was such a great one for me. It's that the song is about hanging out in graveyards - or cemeteries, if you like that word better. I had always liked to go there to be in peace, when I was living in the big city. The noise was gone, the people there were no hassle, and the scenery was always kept very nice, of course. Just like Miss Merchant wrote (below), it's not some haunting, weirdo thing to sit there and enjoy the peace and quiet. I am always respectful and try to keep away from anyone coming to mourn a loved one lost to this world.

Just checking out some of the gravestones is nice too, especially if the place has been around a long while, as the last names and other small bits of info. give an idea of what kind of people inhabited the place. One can see how long they lived and the lengths of the generations when families are buried together there. I'm no historian, but, of course, many cemeteries are a primary source for historians.

I have discontinued this habit just due to location, but need to return, hopefully in the usual state. Here:

Come as we go far away
from the noise of the street.
Walk a path so narrow
to a place where we feel at peace.

Some think it is so haunting
to be drawn to the cemetery ground as we.
There's a stillness here, thankful found.

A child's pose angelic;
a stone lamb at her feet.
Part the matted overgrowth
to read the carven elegy.

Some think it so haunting
to be drawn to the cemetery ground as we.
There's a stillness here, thankful found.

Born in New Albion
of Rice family elite,
wed to Myron Bilowe.
Thrice with sons
blessed was she.

Some think it so haunting
to be drawn to the cemetery ground as we.
God's acre is a fenced in hallowed ground

Here soon to rise up,
Amelia tender and sweet.
Her last words spoke out
"all is well, all is peace".

Some think it so haunting
to be drawn to the cemetery ground as we.
God's acre is a fenced in hallowed ground.

Some still think it so haunting
to be drawn to the cemetery ground as we.
God's acre is a fenced in hallowed ground.
It's a hallowed ground.

The song is "Lilydale", and the name fits this beautiful song. Written by guitarist Robert Buck with Natalie Merchant, it's off of the album The Wishing Chair from back in 1985, 2 years prior to In my Tribe with the track "Hey, Jack Kerouac" from that previous post on those maniacal beatniks.

Last thing here, would a Lady Gaga, Beyonce, or Taylor Swift ever be able to write a song with this great tune and beautiful lyrics? Hell, I'd be satisfied [NOT! - ed] with just grammatically correct lyrics as a starter, or, oh, yeah, maybe annunciating them as well as Miss Merchant vs. ululating on half the notes like some kind of Moslem orangutang. That's not any kind of un-PC hate, BTW - I'm just sayin, that's all ...

(The song lyrics site has "hallowed" as "hollow", but I'll give him a break on that ignorance based on the slight difficulty with Natalie Merchant's Yankee/Mass accent.)

Saturday - September 1st 2018 7:04AM MST
PS - Amelia, first off, thanks for writing! I assume you love this song too, and hanging out in the graveyard once in a while for peace.

I will tell you that every time I get lyrics to copy in to posts, I have to correct the punctuation first. Yeah, it's just lyrics, but I like to put in the commas an periods in the places where they belong.

I don't think most of the lyrics sites spend much time on trying to get the words really right. OTOH, as you say, it may sound like "hollow". It's be a lot worse if Merchant was a hip-hop singer!! She sings very clearly compared to most singers, even of real songs (i.e. not hip-hop/rap).

The fenced-in area is the entire graveyard, with one acre being one of your small ones, seen in every decent-sized town. The nicer ones I've been in are 5 or more acres. If you ever get to Boston walk around Mt. Auburn Cemetery some time - it's beautiful.

Oh, in answer to your first question: Yes, I do have it on CD. If I can find the original case, I'll check if it even has the lyrics. If so, I'll report back.

Tuesday - August 28th 2018 10:21AM MST
PS Thanks for fhe hallowed/hollow clarification! And I'm wondering: do you have a copy of the album with the lyrics printed? I kinda want it to be "hallowed" but, as you say, so many online lyrics have it as "hollow", and I fin't hear the "d" when she sings.
I'm assuming the fenced-in ground is the fenced in area with the tree stump. Could it be hollow underneath?
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