- October 28, 2020
- Henry Carrigan
by Henry Carrigan (@henry.carrigan), Folk Alley
Rosanne Cash has long been our seer, combining prescient glances into the shadows that inhabit our society with a soulfulness that aches for justice and love and light. Cash lives deeply in situations, exploring their emotional nuances, and emerges from them with songs that name our condition, that call us back to ourselves, that transport us emotionally. Her new song, “Crawl into the Promised Land,” co-written with John Leventhal, who produced it and played all the instruments, captures her exhaustion from living with the uncertainty of the isolation forced on her by the pandemic, her anger over the “greed and base ambitions” that fuel the injustice and hatred that divides us now, and her hope that we can overcome our brokenness return to a “promised land” where love and justice heal us.
Riding along a North Mississippi blues line, the verses of “Crawl into the Promised Land” deliver a fierce indictment of the state of our society, especially as we approach the election. She shouts defiantly, “deliver me from tweets and lies,” against a backdrop where “torches burn and mothers weep, deliver us from judgment day.” Getting to the promised land won’t be easy and will take generations: “Fifty years away from here/Sixty, if I run.” The chorus—which features the vocals of Sarah Jarosz and Jakob Leventhal—brightens with hope: “Don’t it feel like home, don’t it feel like we belong/You gotta lift your head and raise your hands to crawl into the promised land.”
Cash points out in a letter that accompanies the song: “I need more space and time to understand what happened, what we are still going through. Why we elected such an unfit person to guide us, why we kill Black people with impunity, why our leaders dismantle and mock every institution we have painstakingly created to hold us safe, why some deaths matter and others don’t. I won’t be here ‘fifty years away from here’, but someone I gave birth to, or someone they gave birth to, will live in those times and understand, and maybe pass the knowledge on to me, even in another world or another life. The magnitude of the moment requires time and an ocean of reflection.”
“Crawl into the Promised Land” stirs and inspires us with its searing emotional depth. Proceeds from the single will be donated to the Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement, an educational online memorial to commemorate the victims of lynchings in the State of Arkansas in collaboration with the Equal Justice Initiative and Coming To The Table.
"Crawl Into the Promised Land" is available - HERE
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