Sermons

by Matt Halvorson

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    Fifty percent of all proceeds go to support Columbia City Preschool of Arts and Culture (my son's school) as they struggle to pay their wonderful teachers during the Coronavirus Quarantine.
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1.
The Truth 04:35
It’s just the story of a father And his father and his son And everything we’ve ever done You’ve mentioned that I’m crazy You won’t hear me disagree No one knows better than me And I’m not gonna lie There’s only one thing on my mind: To live forever or die trying ‘Cause every day just keeps disappearing in the blink of an eye And I’ve got no time for photographs Yeah, I tore every one in half There’s just today, and I gotta get busy And the stories of our fathers Become the stories of our sons It’s just how it’s always been done So there’s only one conclusion I imagine you’ll agree The whole thing’s as crazy as me And I’m not gonna lie There’s only one thing on my mind: To live forever or die trying ‘Cause every day just keeps disappearing in the blink of an eye And I’ve got no time for photographs Yeah, I tore every one in half There’s just today, and I gotta get busy Don’t sell your soul For less than you owe Of all ways to go Ain’t no way back home down that road Don’t sell your soul For less than you owe More than you know All of this has gotten me thinking… When all of this is over Fly my ashes to the sky And just let ‘em fall from on high Like a dream of summer weather I’ll be blowing with the leaves Forever a part of the breeze And then I’ll be the truth I’ll be all we always knew but never really understood I’ll be somewhere regardless of place and on the outside of time And I’ll redraw every photograph Yeah, no more carving up the past Just every day No time to get busy
2.
Where do I go from here? It’s never been less clear Should it worry me at all If I can’t see my picture on the wall? And where do I go from here? When it feels like I haven’t walked in years I just laid down I still blacked out — I just stopped coming around And how could I ever find Everything I need? Is it all right If I’m not a man but just a bag of bones? And after all these years of wishful thinking And questions that have long since lost their meaning My one regret Is everything that hasn’t happened yet And why do these ghosts appear? Never letting go, never really here I find I can’t recall Most of the past winter, spring or fall And after all these years of wishful thinking And questions that have long since lost their meaning I’m no closer than I’ve been So, I guess I’ll just ask myself again Where do I go from here? Idealize the past? Make decisions out of fear? But even through the gray Well, I swear the sun, it used to shine every day Every day Tell me I’m no different
3.
Thought I could never live without you Then you began to slip away Oh, my... My, how things have changed Thought I could just reclaim the old days That everything could be the same But, my… My, how things have changed And now it’s hard to tell... A time to linger from a time to move on A new beginning from all the days come and gone The thrill of springtime from the chill of the frost All I’ve found from all the things that I’ve lost
4.
The Answer 06:25
In those days I still held to a certain belief in an Answer Something I could hold onto as I made my way down the road But beauty and bitterness, joy and desire proved distracting And the Answer just stayed buried in the snow Yeah, the Answer just stayed buried in the snow So, I moved on and on till I found myself so far south that I forgot that I ever had meant to go home And I tried, but I couldn’t quite course-correct quickly enough To avoid meeting some darkness in my soul Yeah, the darkness I’d been happy to ignore So, I showed my face to the sun every chance that I got And all I’d heard, ever seen, ever said seemed a lifetime ago And all too soon all I had known had been all but forgotten What was left, it only left me wanting more Yeah, the answers only left me wanting more Till I realized all I had to show For ten years or more Was unbridled potential, a sense of impending disaster And an Answer In the snow So, with nowhere else to go… I called home And said, "I know what we’re here for. Yeah, I know what we’re here for." In this place we call home I know what we’re here for Yeah, I know what we’re here for So, I walked for years just to whisper a message and offer Some version of all I had learned on the way But all I could deliver was something much cheaper and harsher Than everything I knew but couldn’t say Than the Answer that I couldn’t quite explain And I still don’t know to this day Exactly what changed But everything all at once seemed somehow simply to say There’s really little else except to stay And to ask anew every day And to call home
5.
Welcome Home 02:22
Welcome home, my son, for the first time. I missed you so much Even before I knew You Were the one You are. Do you recall your words or my reply the first time we spoke in this new world? I do. Ain’t it strange the way we never change or stay the same? The way I’m me The way you’re you Ain’t it all strange but true? Ain’t it strange but true? I love you.
6.
I had not believed till present tense In any kind of sacred residence In anything my body couldn’t sense Now I need no earthly evidence So, let the record not reflect Anything I’ve done or said Any sign of social debt The truth about this privilege: That hell pays for what heaven spends Till hell can barely make the rent But we have all been heaven-sent To each our own self-righteousness So, let the rebirth now commence Acceptance is your best defense Too many days too poorly spent To just forgive when no one repents No prophets and no providence Just you and me, and if not now, when? And no peace till the violence ends More to do before I rest
7.
Let the spokesman say his peace Just pretend this will all be over in a few weeks But we all know the truth, I guess ‘Cause no one really knows what’s gonna happen next And I don’t know what it means I just know that it’s not about A search for meaning under hospital ceilings And I don’t know what it means I just know that it’s not about Being broken, or having my dreams stolen My lease on life Was creased and folded over twice Now I can see the end Where my youth had just been Take it easy, get some rest Ain’t so easy with these echoes in my head Only one thing clear to me: The future just ain’t what it used to be And I don’t know what it means I just know that it’s not about A search for meaning under hospital ceilings And I don’t know what it means I just know that I’m just about At my wit’s end, and I’m tired of pretending That I’m okay when I’m not okay When I might never be okay
8.
Here I Am 05:58
Where do I belong? What a strange question What does that even mean? Don’t I know by now there’s no such thing? We are where we happen to be So let’s not pretend it’s our fault But let’s not pretend we’re not all part Part of it all, we’re part of it all We’re all part of the story We’re part of it all, we’re all part of it all We’re all part of the horror and the glory We’re part of it all, we’re part of it all We’re all part of the same long story How strange to realize I really, really am alive! Which means I’ll die. Don’t I know by now not to spend my days drifting further away? When what would I give in the end for five minutes more with an old friend? And yet, here I am Here I am. Here I am! So, if time gives no reason for leaving each season behind Then I can get by without quite knowing how it all rhymes We’re all sons of sons Born of what’s yet to come Nothing more than what’s already been said and done So, whether I cry Or I hold my head high While it’s there to get, I get by With a smile And I don’t ask why I don’t know why I don’t need to know why
9.
Well, I try so goddamn hard to get so far that I don’t go nowhere I see every single thing as it could be, and then I just sit there And I don’t know why I don’t know why Well, now it’s just you and me, so privately, I have a confession I believe now, you and me, though we’re unique, we ain’t nothing special And that’s all right Yeah, that’s all right Well, as people come and go, I’ve come to know we’ve all met before And our memories are gone, but we live on over and over and over And we don’t know why And that’s all right Yeah, that’s all right
10.
Old Souls 04:51
Every day and every night are just the time I’ve been given The time of my life So, every night and day I try to have the time of my life I pledge to live right — right as I raise each drink I try to keep it simple, but there’s too much time to think And then it’s over before you can blink Oh, and when all that I asked for was a little more time All they gave me was a piece of their mind And when all that I wanted was to have nothing at all All they gave me was a piece of the pie Until I found that I… I was barely alive Under the weight of all that I dragged behind That wasn’t me Just “mine” Hear my confession: I’ve made concessions, but my foot is down now Fear and aggression, shame and depression, all of the wheels I’ve spun around All of my questions with no answers to be found Yeah, I give it all back to the ground All my obsessions and all my collections and all of my stresses and all my successes My bones and my flesh and the heart in my chest and all of the rest Just take it! I’ll still be left Oh, and when all that I asked for was a little more time All they gave me was a piece of their mind And when all that I wanted was to have nothing at all All they gave me was a bigger piece of the pie Until I found that I… Just as sure as I breathe I believe That the less that I ask for The less that I need
11.
Summer Sun 02:42
Summer sun So glad you’ve come To wash away All the cold gray All the old ways All the things I’ve left undone Sweet summer sun So glad you’ve come

about

It's just the story of a father, and his father and his son, and everything we've ever done.

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released February 28, 2020

Words and music by Matt Halvorson.
Performed by Matt Halvorson.
Recorded in a flash at Momentum Studios in Portland, Ore.
All tracks mixed and mastered by Matt Halvorson, except "The Heart Wants What I Tell It to Want," "Under Hospital Ceilings," and "Here I Am" mixed by Zebulon Dak.
Original album art by Jon Halvorson.

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Matt Halvorson Seattle, Washington

Matt Halvorson is a musician, writer, activist and father, and his music is an exploration of his place in the world. An earnest, prolific songwriter, Halvorson’s songs plumb the depths of his soul, and he sings each delicate tune with captivating intensity. He founded and continues to manage the Rise Up Music Project, and he writes a blog about equity in education called Rise Up for Students. ... more

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