There was a wicked messenger
From Eli he did come,
With a mind that multiplied
The smallest matter.
When questioned who had sent for him,
He answered with his thumb,
For his tongue it could not speak, but only flatter.
He stayed behind the assembly hall,
It was there he made his bed,
Oftentimes he could be seen returning.
Until one day he just appeared
With a note in his hand which read,
"The soles of my feet, I swear they're burning."
Oh, the leaves began to fallin'
And the seas began to part,
And the people that confronted him were many.
And he was told but these few words,
Which opened up his heart,
"If ye cannot bring good news, then don't bring any."
Copyright © 1968; renewed 1996 Dwarf Music
First release: John Wesley Harding, 1967