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  • Elizabeth Bryant

All That You Have is Your Soul

As we stride ever onward, now into a summer that promises to be one like we have never experienced before, we continue to take a moment each day with music. Throughout these next few months, look for some more offbeat choices, many more of your own community selections and comments, and as ever, a little injection of faith, hope, and love into your day.

Got a song you just love? Email to tell Jeff about it!


Today, we have the treat of a meditation on a fantastic Tracy Chapman song from WPPC member Elizabeth Bryant. Here's Elizabeth:

This live version of Tracy Chapman's "All That You Have Is Your Soul," takes it fast with a fierce edge. I love her toughness (and upper arms), though the sound quality takes a moment to kick in, and I think the huge white audience may affect what she does at first.

This live version was performed in Golden Gardens Park, San Francisco, on November 3,1991. This was after the March police beating of Rodney King but before the April 29, '92 acquittal of the police and the subsequent 1992 LA riots (with smaller riots in San Francisco, Atlanta, NYC, and Toronto), rioting that resulted in "63 deaths, 2,383 injuries, more than 7,000 fires, damage to 3,100 businesses, and nearly $1 billion in financial losses," according to Wikipedia. The song is not directly connected. The song itself was released in 1989 on Chapman's terrific second album, Crossroads. The entire album is worth listening to. I think the context of this performance is important, though the raw pain and honesty in her voice rings clear and transcends any particular time, or rather, it homes in on not only then, but now:

"So don't be tempted by the shiny apple

Don't you eat of a bitter fruit

Hunger only for a taste of justice

Hunger only for a world of truth

'Cause all that you have is your soul."

Oh my mama told me

'Cause she says she learned the hard way

She say she wanna spare the children

She say don't give or sell your soul away

'Cause all that you have is your soul

So don't be tempted by the shiny apple

Don't you eat of a bitter fruit

Hunger only for a taste of justice

Hunger only for a world of truth

'Cause all that you have is your soul

Well I was a pretty young girl once

I had dreams I had high hopes

I married a man he stole my heart away

He gave his love but what a high price I paid

All that you have is your soul

Why was I such a young fool

Thought I'd make history

Making babies was the best I could do

Thought I'd made something that could be mine forever

Found out the hard way one can't possess another

And all that you have is your soul

I thought, thought that I could find a way

To beat the system

To make a deal and have no debts to pay

I'd take it all, I'd take it all, I'd run away

Me for myself first class and first rate

But all that you have is your soul

Here I am, I'm waiting for a better day

A second chance

A little luck to come my way

A hope to dream, a hope that I can sleep again

And wake in the world with a clear conscience and clean hands

'Cause all that you have is your soul



All that I have is my soul.

We also lift up the following prayers shared during last Sunday's worship service:

  • Dean and Mary --celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last week with friends and family. It was wonderful!

Even in our separation, God, help us to feel the deep delight of your love for all. Amen.

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