Present: Tense

from Sermons by Matt Halvorson

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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


from Sermons, released February 28, 2020
Words and music by Matt Halvorson.
Performed by Matt Halvorson.
Recorded in a flash by Zebulon Dak at Momentum Studios (Portland, OR).
Mixed and mastered by Matt Halvorson.
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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