The Ballad of Love and Hate

by Edie Wadsworth on May 17, 2013


“Pessimism is not in being tired of evil but in being tired of good. Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering, but in being weary of joy. It is when for some reason or other good things in a society no longer work that the society begins to decline; when its food does not feed, when its cures do not cure, when its blessings refuse to bless.”   G.K. Chesterton

I took my beloved firstborn (a wonderful musician in his own right) to see the Avett Brothers last night. Andrew joined us so it was just like old times.  I knew the words to almost every song but I sat mostly quiet and still, leaning in,  trying to really hear, trying to take in the gift, down deep.  I’ve learned from writing here in my own little corner of the world, that it’s no small thing when someone lays bear their heart for you. That book or poem or song that they offer the world  as a gift has likely been costly for them.  It’s a gift I’m learning not to take for granted.

What I loved about seeing them live is that they leave the show exhausted.  They’re not holding back. They’re playing like this is the only show.  And yet, I also sensed a playful detachment, from the work.  They didn’t seem worried about how the audience was receiving the music.  They are true to themselves and write music that only they can write and hope to find a few kindred spirits. It dawned on me  last night that maybe not everybody likes the Brothers.  But the people who love them really love them.   Their music wasn’t polished but it was perfectly raw and gritty.   They’re not trying to make music with universal appeal, they’re trying to make music that’s true to who they are.  OH, the freedom in that kind of artistry.

I went to the concert with a certain partiality to Scott but I left with a newfound love for Seth.  I’ve always loved this song and in fact, I made my book club listen to the lyrics a few years ago.  I’m THAT kind of friend in real life, terribly passionate and sure that you want to study the lyrics of a Brothers’ song just like I do.

This was my favorite song of the night, performed by Seth, with just his guitar. It was magical.

photo copy

So, here’s your weekend homework:  listen and study.  And if you’re really eager, read Orthodoxy, too.

You’ll see, in both, that Love has waited, so patient and kind, carrying with her “the good things we know.”

And the question, is, if the good things no longer work, is it just that our hearts have grown cold?

Love writes a letter and sends it to hate.
My vacations ending. I’m coming home late.
The weather was fine and the ocean was great
and I can’t wait to see you again.

Hate reads the letter and throws it away.
“No one here cares if you go or you stay.
I barely even noticed that you were away.
I’ll see you or I won’t, whatever.”

Love sings a song as she sails through the sky.
The water looks bluer through her pretty eyes.
And everyone knows it whenever she flies,
and also when she comes down.

Hate keeps his head up and walks through the street.
Every stranger and drifter he greets.
And shakes hands with every loner he meets
With a serious look on his face.

Love arrives safely with suitcase in tow.
Carrying with her the good things we know.
A reason to live and a reason to grow.
To trust. To hope. To care.

Hate sits alone on the hood of his car.
Without much regard to the moon or the stars.
Lazily killing the last of a jar
Of the strongest stuff you can drink.

Love takes a taxi, a young man drives.
As soon as he sees her, hope fills his eyes.
But tears follow after, at the end of the ride,
Cause he might never see her again.

Hate gets home lucky to still be alive.
He screams o’er the sidewalk and into the drive.
The clock in the kitchen says 2:55,
And the clock in the kitchen is slow.

Love has been waiting, patient and kind.
Just wanting a phone call or some kind of sign,
That the one that she cares for, who’s out of his mind,
Will make it back safe to her arms.

Hate stumbles forward and leans in the door.
Weary head hung down, eyes to the floor.
He says “Love, I’m sorry”, and she says, “What for?
I’m yours and that’s it, Whatever.
I should not have been gone for so long.
I’m yours and that’s it, forever.”

You’re mine and that’s it, forever.

Salvation Song

“And if you take of my soul, you can still leave it whole

By the pieces of your own you leave behind.”



Okay, last one.  They opened with my favorite song, my anthem.  The song that made me fall in love the brothers and their music.

Head Full of Doubt

“when nothing is old, deserved, or expected.

and your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected

if you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected

decide what to be and go be it.”

“there’s a darkness upon us that’s flooded in light

and I’m frightened by those who don’t see it.”


Also?  I knew we were in for a treat when, “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man,”  by Loretta Lynn came screeching over the speakers about ten minutes before the concert.

Okay, I lied. Here’s the last one. Taylor, singing a song he wrote based on Psalm 42.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly May 17, 2013 at 9:19 am

Wow! So ironic that you would write this today, after my morning prayer for my daughter today, that if she chooses to pursue performing / singing, that God will protect her heart from the feeling of rejection that comes with the territory. I was thinking of the vulnerability that is required for artists, and I just don’t have it, but I pray God will fill her with it as she fulfills her calling. Great, great words for me today.

“They’re not holding back. They’re playing like this is the only show. And yet, I also sensed a playful detachment, from the work. They didn’t seem worried about how the audience was receiving the music. They are true to themselves and write music that only they can write and hope to find a few kindred spirits. It dawned on me last night that maybe not everybody likes the Brothers. But the people who love them really love them. Their music wasn’t polished but it was perfectly raw and gritty. They’re not trying to make music with universal appeal, they’re trying to make music that’s true to who they are. OH, the freedom in that kind of artistry.”


2 Fay May 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I love the Avett Brothers too! I love their raw sound and I love that the lyrics to every song mean something (even if I can’t always figure it out!). When you listen to them you know you know that they’re….real. From the lyrics they write to the instruments that they play, it’s real. I hope I’m teaching my kids to really appreciate the talent of true artists.


3 Kim May 17, 2013 at 12:33 pm

This spoke such freedom to the depths of my soul today. Love it!


4 Andrea May 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I am thankful to have found your blog this week. This post cemented the endearment. We adore the AB’s but living in western Canada we have not had the opportunity to see them. We will travel far and wide to do so one day. And we named our firstborn after GK so savouring this even more.


5 Carol S. May 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Oh my, I’m reading these words and loving them, but have company relaxing and reading in a room together…rain falling outside…we’re on the porch…birds chirping…but I wish I had headphones so I could listen in peace! I will be back to listen soon. I know I must know the first song because as I read the lyrics I can imagine hearing this before. Too much information I know, but will look forward to listening this weekend. My oldest is home from college tonight…gotta love those oldest boys. Glad you had a wonderful night together.


6 Carol S. May 17, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Just ran in to find my phone and when I came back outside there were headphones hanging on the door handle. Listening now and loving this. They play effortlessly, beautiful harmony. Thank you.


7 Elizabeth May 18, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Have you seen this? L-O-V-E the Avett Brothers.


8 Edie Wadsworth May 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Best video EVER!!!
Thank you :)


9 Elizabeth May 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm

This is also worth the read – especially if you like Scott. I love when people stand firm in the their faith and speak candidly from their hearts,


10 Flower Patch Farmgirl May 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Avett and GK in one post? Cory thanks you from the depths.


11 Edie Wadsworth May 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm

It’s the least I could do, really. All week I’ve been reading Orthodoxy and then to see the Brothers with GK’s words swirling around in my head? It all came together like a beautiful symphony. The fact that Cory’s down with that makes me love you both all the more. Truth tellers are always telling the same story.


12 Missy May 20, 2013 at 6:47 am

It’s my contention that there is an Avett lyric to suit every situation. In any life event I search out a scripture first, then ponder an applicable Avett lyric. :) Tear Down This House has spoken right to my soul since my daddy died of cancer. The lyrics say what I’m too sad or afraid to say. Salvation Song is my family’s anthem & it’s what we want for our children. My high school sweetheart who is now my husband( & best friend of 25 years)and I make our teenagers listen to Love Like the Movies. After all “real life is more than just two hours long”. Every Avett song is my absolute favorite. Their concerts leave me with something akin to a runner’s high.


13 Leslie May 20, 2013 at 9:09 am

Love the brothers. We (my husband, our two twenty-something children and their spouses) actually saw them live THREE times last year (Dallas, Shreveport, Baton Rouge). The gift of sharing a love of something wonderful with your kids is, well, a gift! If I’m on a solo road trip, the brothers are my favorite accompaniment — it’s like having friends in the car! So glad you got to see them!


14 Southern Gal May 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm

I missed this in my weekend of nursing recovering surgery patient and praying for a dear friend’s father. The words to that song are too good. You know? I’m off to listen to more Avett Brothers. It’s been a while since my AB jag.


15 Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home May 23, 2013 at 1:23 am

The Avett Brothers are the subject of much conversation between me and my 18-year-old son. One of those conversations sparked my May post at (in)courage, which includes a video from the brothers. We even have good natured debates about who is our favorite (a resounding Scott for him; I think Seth is awfully precious). I’ll bet that concert was awesome.


16 Edie Wadsworth May 25, 2013 at 6:55 am

Well, now I love you even more!! So true, too, about how worldview informs everything.
You should definitely take your son to see them live if you haven’t.
It was an awesome date for Taylor and me, since we get precious little one on one time.
We talked a lot about lyrics and a lot about life.
Making some good memories!
Love to you and yours,


17 Trudy K May 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm

So sweet Edie. If I went to see them perform I believe I would be in tears, blissful tears all evening. THANK YOU for the lyrics!


18 Edie Wadsworth May 25, 2013 at 6:41 am

They were absolutely amazing, Ms. Trudy!!


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