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Before There Were Gods
from Song Of Myself by Tobin Mueller
Jump to: LyricsLiner NotesSong Of Myself 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.

- Lyrics by Tobin Mueller
©2004 Tobin Mueller

Liner Notes

Song Notes: This is the only track for this collection that includes overdubbed effects, guitar, bass, multiple vocals, and other aspects of a fuller arrangment, the kind I am used to devloping. It is also the only track the predates 2011, the year I began this propect. (Before There Were Gods was recorded in 2004). Although I wrote this song to Suzanne, and the lyrics are all for and inspired by her, I also developed this song as a 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. Fretlass 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 it is beyond morality, before religious intent, beyond the gods themselves. And how it opens the door to a more complete knowing. I thought it was a fitting Bonus Track to this collection, adding a layer of meaning to all the songs chosen before it. I hope you agree.

Song Of Myself

Return to the Song Of Myself page.

Other lyrics pages from Song Of Myself

  1. Impossible Dream [Mitch Leigh/Joe Darion, from Man of la Mancha]
  2. Dignity [Bob Dylan]
  3. American Tune [Paul Simon]
  4. Blue Tattoos [Joni Mitchell]
  5. Blackbird [Paul McCartney]
  6. Being Alive [Stephen Sondheim, from Company]
  7. Frozen Man [James Taylor]
  8. I Have Been Deceived [Elton John/Bernie Taupin]
  9. Let's Pretend [Anderson/Wakeman/Bruford/Howe] (altered lyrics)
  10. Oh Danny Boy [traditional, lyrics by Federic Weatherly]
  11. No Place Like Home [Arlen/Mueller/Mankowski]
  12. Before There Were Gods [lyrics by Tobin Mueller, music by Mueller/Hedges]