Before I married Farmer, I didn't know any songs by Mary Chapin Carpenter except "Shut up and Kiss Me." I thought she was a silly country singer. Then one day he played "The Age of Miracles" for me and it made me cry. Her voice is like a strummed cello, vibrations deep and melancholy. Her lyrics are like Psalms of lament: searching, sometimes hopeful, the poetry of pain to words. Her newest album is one of Farmer's favorites, Ashes and Roses.
One song called "Old Love" is just such a psalm-like poem of longing in sadness and hope, for a love that lasts. Knowing that Chapin Carpenter had herself recently gone through a divorce when she made the album, gives the song an even greater connection to a lament.
This song, of course, makes me think about my relationship with Farmer. But it also makes me think of the church, the longing we have for reconciled relationships with our brothers and sisters. The hope that we have that God will connect us in those moments so that love "holds on/ when it's told, love, that all hope is gone."
I want old love, the kind that holds on When it’s told, love, that all hope is gone Against all odds, wagers and prayers To the wall love, to the furthest somewhere
I want old love, the kind that takes years To turn to gold, love, burnished and seared On the high wire, by rain, wind and sun With the hard times forgiven and done*
lyrics from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/marychapincarpenter/oldlove.html