Saturday, June 20, 2009


Susan Werner

Susan Werner in Ridgefield, CTThe town of Ridgefield, CT, has a series of concerts in their park during the summer. The series is too-cutely called “CHIRP”, an acronym for “Concert Happenings In Ridgefield’s Parks” (see, I told you it was too cute; also, be warned that the web site is hideous, playing music at you unbidden, making annoying sounds when you move the mouse around, and assaulting you with bouncing photos), and last Tuesday their guest was the wonderful Susan Werner.

It was a beautiful, cool evening, perfect for food, wine, and music in the night air. And Ms Werner ended the first half of her concert with my favourite of her songs, “Time Between Trains”.

But before that, she did songs I hadn’t known, from her recent albums. In particular, she did some from The Gospel Truth, from 2007. And in the album’s title, “Truth” is the operative word, over “Gospel” — here’s what the Chicago Tribune said about it, as quoted on Ms Werner’s web site:

Susan Werner takes on the church in contemporary American life in this gospel/bluegrass-tinged collection of 11 new originals. Quite possibly the first “agnostic gospel” album, this CD surveys the wide variety of viewpoints regarding the church today, ranging from earnest and uplifting handclap choir rousers such as “Help Somebody” to the introspective and critical “Forgiveness” and “Sunday Mornings,” pausing along the way for comic relief in the frank and humorous “Our Father” and what is sure to become the anthem of agnostics everywhere, “Probably Not.” A project sure to confirm Werner’s reputation as “one of the most innovative songwriters working today.”

That “frank and humorous ‘Our Father’ ” was my favourite, and here it is, for your enjoyment too (and you can hear bits of the songs, along with Susan Werner’s comments, on this video; don’t miss it):

Our Father (The New, Revised Edition)

Thy kingdom come to every nation
Thy will be done in everything we do
Lord, lead us not into temptation
And deliver us
from those who think they’re You

Lord send us forth to be of service
To build the schools and dig the wells
And deliver us from the creepy preachers
With their narrow minds and very wide lapels

Lord give us strength to bring compassion
to every corner of the world
And please allow for women in the Catholic priesthood
And remind the pope that he coulda been a girl

Lord deliver us from politicians
Who drop Your name in every speech
As if they’re Your best friend from high school
As if they practice what they preach

1 comment:

D. said...

I discovered Susan Werner at this same venue last year (and yes, they have an awful website!), and was happy to see her billed again. It was once again a wonderful show, and I felt lucky that it didn't get rained out, as everything else around here seems to be this month!