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The lyrics for this song were written by our friend and fellow conspirator Rev. Rodger Hunter. Roger is the chaplain of Boarding Homes Ministries. Under its expansive umbrella he gathers those huddled on the edge of society and those ensconced in the middle of it and invites them into community with one another. Rodger’s work, and the wisdom he has drawn from it, have profoundly influenced Bruce and I, and our whole family, in particular our daughter Madelaine who has spent many years under Rodger’s tutelage.
Rodger has taught all of us to see differently. He has instructed us in a way of looking at others that moves past categories and mines instead the depth of richness and possibility beneath outward appearances. This is difficult, but it is profoundly healing for the one gazing at another with love and for the one being gazed upon.
This song was originally written and recorded for ‘Cat Jeoffry Songs and Hymns’, a project commissioned by BHM that seeks to heighten understanding of “our relations with the gifted and beautiful people in the mental health community who have so much to teach us.” The song invites its listeners to use their gaze as restoration. This may seem a simple matter. But the practicing of it will prove otherwise. Never the less it must be attempted, for looking at others with love changes the viewer, the viewed, and the view, drawing us all back to our original loveliness. CJ
My face is cracked-up little tiles,
Like some dried-up old river bed.
Searin’ desiccating hatred
Been blowin’ all round my head.
Why don’t you oil me?
Come on and oil me,
My love, anoint me,
Oil me some more.
My face been chiseled by the clever,
A pummeled Easter Island Dope.
I’ve been chipped right down, and tipped right down,
My face is runnin’ out of hope.
Eyes can create, so take my face,
And make my face and shape my face.
Ease round my eyes, all twisted from lies,
Knead my tired face I need your care,
Design me with your lovin’ stare.
My face truly polished by the smooth,
Been well buffed from all the push offs.
I got those low-down-dirty-down
from Bruce Ley Collection One 'The Peacock, the Deer, and the Moon',
track released March 26, 2014
Scott Bruyea, drums
Bob Hewus, bass
Steve Kennedy, tenor and baritone saxophones
Bruce Ley, piano, organ, guitars, percussion, lead vocal
Scott Bruyea, Bob Hewus, background vocals
Rodger Hunter, lyrics
Bruce Ley, music