Monday, May 2, 2011

The House that Built Me

The music festival I attended this weekend is over and there's 360 days until next year's Merlefest, so you've got time to plan. Oops, 361 since next year is a leap year.

But this year's...Wow.

Sunday mornings I always like to attend the worship service at the creekside venue where Merlefest founder Doc Watson shares his faith along with his music. This year I arrived early enough to listen to the Merlefest chaplain speak.

The crowd was immense, spread out across a hillside looking down on the speaker, not unlike the situation where Jesus once spoke to a crowd sitting on the hillside. In his message the preacher said that he was from this area and Merlefest was his coming back to his roots, sort of like returning to "The House that Built Me," referring to the song sung by Miranda Lambert.  Listen to it and you'll see what he was talking about.
What a great concept...the house that built me!

I've insisted for quite some time that I call Pilot Mountain School a schoolhouse. Validation! Thank you songwriters Tom Douglas and James Shamblin for putting this into words. I knew all along this was a house that built children, not just a school that pushed them through the grades. I looked online for the lyrics and I'm copying and pasting below so you can read through the chorus about returning to the house that built you.

Most of all, I connect to this song because I have seen the adults return to this remarkable school that built them. They talk about it being a sanctuary. They walk the halls where they once marched in line. They touch the walls and run their hands along the bannister. They talk about the spirit they carried away from it and the comfort they draw from returning to it. The lyrics might be about a house rather than a school, but in truth, it speaks about what forms you into you.

Pilot Mountain Schoolhouse, the house that formed a generation.

Catch of the day,


I thought if I could touch this place or feel it

This brokenness inside me might start healing

Out here it's like I'm someone else

I thought that maybe I could find myself

If I could walk around, I swear I'll leave

Won't take nothing but a memory

From the house that built me


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1 comment:

  1. Hi Gretchen,

    I love this song. I think you are on to something with the connection here. Now to get your book completed and published! You can do it.

    Linda A.