Wartime Prayers

ŠPaul Simon, released on Surprise, 2006

.

Prayers offered in times of peace are silent conversations,

Appeals for love or love's release

In private invocations

But all that is changed now,

Gone like a memory from the day before the fires.

People hungry for the voice of God

Hear lunatics and liars

Wartime prayers, wartime prayers

In every language spoken,

For every family scattered and broken.

.

Because you cannot walk with the holy,

If you're just a halfway decent man.

I don't pretend that I'm a mastermind

With a genius marketing plan.

I'm trying to tap into some wisdom,

Even a little drop will do.

I want to rid my heart of envy

And cleanse my soul of rage

Before I'm through.

.

Times are hard, it's a hard time

But everybody knows all about hard times.

The thing is, what are you gonna do?

Well, you cry and try to muscle through

Try to rearrange your stuff

But when the wounds are deep enough,

It's all that we can bear,

We wrap ourselves in prayer.

.

Because you cannot walk with the holy,

If you're just a halfway decent man.

I don't pretend that I'm a mastermind

With a genius marketing plan.

I'm trying to tap into some wisdom,

Even a little drop will do.

I want to rid my heart of envy

And cleanse my soul of rage

Before I'm through.

A mother murmurs in twilight sleep

And draws her babies closer.

With hush-a-byes for sleepy eyes,

And kisses on the shoulder.

To drive away despair

she says a wartime prayer

.

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