No Country

(Originally posted 10/2/2018) John Mark McMillan has a knack for writing albums that give language to my current spiritual condition. They all have this melancholic, from-the-fringe undercurrent to them that really resonates with me. (Surprise, surprise, right?)

His latest album from late 2016 is no exception. I hadn't listened to it in a while, and decided to pull it up while I was making dinner the other night. I was singing along with my favorites (we're both baritones) and reflecting on the lyrics of No Country.

And I got no place to call my country I got no place to call my country, anymore // Never saw it coming, never thought I'd wake up With no place to call my country I got no place to call my country, my country

That song was released either just before or after the 2016 election, and while that's not what he wrote it about, it certainly speaks to that moment. But, for me, this song captures really well what deconstruction feels like. More often than not, it blindsides you and it feels like all of a sudden, well, you've got no place to call your country anymore. All your familiar landmarks and roadsigns and safe havens are gone, and you're a stranger in a wilder place. It's disorienting, lonely, and frankly terrifying.

So I share this because I think it's really important to find art that speaks to you where you're at, and sometimes that's hard to come by in the midst of a major faith transition. I'm thankful for people like John Mark (Gungor is another one) who are writing music to, and from, that space.

Full lyrics below.

Peace and tenacity,

PB

// I feel the tremors, the rumors of war Upon the surface of my door And I’ve got no place to call my country I’ve got no place to call my country anymore

I don’t have the tools to deal with this I don’t have the drugs And I’ve got no place to call my country I’ve got no place to have my love anymore

Yeah, when the bomb went off We were dancing in the kitchen with a neon cross Yeah, baby I’m lost I never saw it coming Never thought I’d wake up With no place to call my country I’ve got no place to call my country My country

I know every one of us are hypocrites Still I never thought that it would come to this No place to love, no place to exist I’ve got no place to raise my kids

All of my reserves are compromised You can punch a hole in all my alibis I know that I’m wrong But you don’t know you're blind Do you see me Do you see me tonight

Yeah, when the bomb went off We were dancing in the kitchen with a neon cross Yeah, baby I’m lost I never saw it coming Never thought I’d wake up With no place to call my country I’ve got no place to call my country My country No place to call my country

I feel the tremors the rumors of war Upon the surface of my door Yeah, when the bomb went off We were dancing in the kitchen with a neon cross Yeah, when the call came back I was standing in the shadow of a panic attack Yeah, I don’t know where I’m at And I never saw it coming I never thought I’d wake up With no place to call my country I’ve got no place to call my country My country No place to call my country My home My home