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Before There Were Gods
from If I Could Live Long Enough by Tobin Mueller
Kush Shell
Jump to: LyricsLiner NotesIf I Could Live Long Enough album
Click here to download the mp3.

Before there were gods,
Before we knew the difference,
Before there were lines that marked the land
between here and there,
You knew me. That’s what you said. You said
You knew me (you knew I was there)
with a love that reached beyond the dead.

Beyond the turning of the world
Beyond the burning of each life I’ve led.

Before there was time,
Before we traveled through it,
We gathered like pilgrims to stand at the edge
of all known land.

On the shoreline
the waves can play like children.
On the shoreline
the footprints wash away.

At the end of the world before there were gods.
At the end of the world...

There are seagulls that cry as the lovers swim by
near the feet of a savior, standing.
There are layers of clouds forming words in the sky
and we read them in swirls, as they can be
when the waters rise.
When the waters rise.

(Rain down to me.)

And I stand here,
with my mouth opened wide,
hoping to catch you,
like the rain.

And I stand and I trace, in this pilgrim place,
all the lines that we made
in the sand.

Before there were gods,
Before we knew the difference,
Before there were lines that marked the land,
You knew me. That’s what you said. You said
You knew me.

Before there were gods.

©2004 Tobin Mueller

- Lyrics by Tobin Mueller; music by Tobin Mueller & Michael Hedges

Liner Notes

This track was first released as a Bonus Track on my 2012 piano/voice album Song of Myself. But it fits much better under this title. The lyrics were inspired by my wife, Suzanne. She believes we knew each other a long time ago, and she hopes we will know each other again.

This song is also an homage to the late guitarist Michael Hedges (December 31, 1953 – December 2, 1997). I have always loved his haunting song Lenona (1981). I contacted his estate to ask if I could use his actual guitar performance on this track and they agreed. The guitar that is heard in the opening and played all the way through (panned in the middle) is Michael. I had to cut and paste it here and there, straighten out some of the timing using digital technology, but otherwise kept it as is. Fretless bass is played by George Winston. All other instruments, effects, and vocals are me, including those guitar fillers panned left/right in the middel section, seagulls and other sounds from Cape Cod, and Indian flute.

The song speaks to the timelessness of love, the sense that love is beyond morality, something created prior to religious intent, beyond the gods themselves... and how it opens the door to a more complete knowing.

* Artwork by Vladimir Kush

If I Could Live Long Enough

Return to the If I Could Live Long Enough page.

Other lyrics pages from If I Could Live Long Enough

  1. If I Could Live Long Enough
  2. Before There Were Gods
  3. Pilgrim Of The Great Return
  4. Was There Once A Time
  5. Forge A New Life
  6. Falling
  7. Turn It Around
  8. When I Sing
  9. A Promise
  10. The Shape Of My Life
  11. When You Awake
  12. When You Awake reprise
  14. You Can't Touch Me
  15. Rock A Baby With Voodoo
  16. Believe
  17. Lucky Boy Blues
  18. Tango
  19. What Is This Touch