Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus Arena


Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

First transmitted in 2004, Jim White takes a road trip into the heart of the poor white American South through a gritty terrain of churches, prisons, truckstops and coalmines.


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Transcript


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# Welcome to my world... #

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MUSIC FADES

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CACOPHONY OF VOICES

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GUITAR MUSIC PLAYS

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BOY: Do you know what you're looking for?

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Do you think this place is on a map?

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Do they have roads you can walk down?

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-JIM WHITE:

-# I was shacked up down in Mobile with a girl from New York City

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# She woke me up one night to tell me that we weren't alone... #

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BOY: Will you know it when you see it?

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# She said she saw the ghost of a woman staring at me

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# I told her not to worry

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# But in the morning when I woke up

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# She was gone

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# So I headed on to Florida where I tangled with some sailors

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# As I lay bloodied on the wharf I cursed the ship they sailed on

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# Wouldn't you know 24 hours later that ship sank into the ocean

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# Disappearing like an unwanted memory beneath the waves

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# I guess it's cos still waters run

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# Run deep in me

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# Cos I've this crazy way... #

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MUSIC IS DROWNED BY ENGINES

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-Hi.

-Turn it off.

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What's up, man?

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# ..And I was woke up just before dawn... #

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I've got a favour to ask you.

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-I got some buddies of mine...

-Yeah?

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..and they kinda want to ride around the South a little bit...

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Seems to me, if you want to come and infiltrate the South

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and learn something important about it,

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you're gonna need the right car.

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You can't show up in some Land Rover or Lexus

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and expect poor folks to talk to you, tell you what's in their heart.

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I got this buddy, he's got a...

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he's got a lot of cars.

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There's one in particular I've got in mind which I think would be good for you. It's a 1970 Chevy...

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good big engine in it.

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Problem is...it belongs to Jimmy Tuck, and Jimmy's kinda possessive about his cars.

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They're kinda like women to him, it's like part of his harem, like he's a sheikh.

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-Hey, Jimmy.

-Yeah? What about 100?

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100 a day.

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MUSIC PLAYS FAINTLY

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# ..Providence will stoop down just to save me

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# And it's all because still waters run

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# Run deep in me

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# And I've got this crazy way... #

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See, I was dragged to the South when I was five years of age

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from southern California.

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And I resisted...

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The immensity of the South, I just resisted it,

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because it's an overpowering culture.

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I desperately wanted to leave from the age of about 13. I just couldn't figure out how to do it.

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See that swamp there?

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I couldn't see the beauty in it.

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You see, when you're growing up in this,

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it seems like there's a blanket over the whole world.

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It feels like...

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like Gulliver when the Lilliputians tied him down. You feel tied down.

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When I left the South,

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I'd get some place like Amsterdam, Holland or Tel Aviv, Israel,

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or some place like that, and suddenly it'd smell like the South.

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Someone would say something or I'd see a tree...

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or some gentle moment would sneak up on me

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and I would remember... the value of what I couldn't find when I was here.

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Until you've walked away from it, you can't see it.

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I decided to come back to the South and...become a Southerner...

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as best I can. I will never BE a Southerner.

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I'll be...an imitation of a Southerner. But, in a way,

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I feel like that brings me closer to God, cos I've chosen...

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It's almost like a form of divinity. I've chosen my divinity rather than my divinity choosing me.

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Man, they've got some good garbage here.

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They've got some good stuff.

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They've got corrugated tin sitting on the side of the road, used carpet...

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Some fine lumber in there... Good Lord, that's a big old bookcase!

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That's my kind of road.

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A junkyard road.

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CAT POWER SINGS "Cross Bones Style"

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# Child, come and rescue me

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# Cos you have seen

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# Some unbelievable things... #

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Don't need no guns.

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HE CHUCKLES

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How much are you asking for it?

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500. MORE LAUGHTER

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I'll give you 60 for it.

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-65.

-All right.

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All right. You gotta help me put it in the trunk, though.

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-All right.

-It's not heavy, is it?

-Yes.

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# ..You have seen some unbelievable things... #

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GUITAR PLAYS: "Murder" by Johnny Dowd

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# There's been a murder here today

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# The blood stains are on the walls

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# There's been a murder here today

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# Blood stains on the walls

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# There's a body in a bedroom

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# And another one in the hall

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# I said, "Murder"

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# I said, "Murder"

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# I said, "Murder"... #

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So, we were riding fast, night time, we were high as hell.

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Earl was riding on the hood with a hatchet in his hand in case he saw the warlocks...

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and a tree was coming up with a low overhang.

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He swung that axe at the limb, a big live oak limb,

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and the axe hung and Earl just disappeared off the hood.

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We were going 30mph when he did it.

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It looked like the warlocks got him!

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It turns out he was so high and so drunk that he'd held onto the axe handle and it pulled him off

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and he was laying in the middle of the road laughing like hell.

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Most people it would kill, but he was one of them tough, insane Louisiana people.

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I guess he's either dead or in prison now.

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Probably grew up in a nice little house like that there,

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broke his mama's heart.

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# Oh, alone I took to drinking

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# Bottles of cheap whiskey

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# And staggering through the backwoods

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# Killing snakes with a sharpened stick... #

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Everybody will tell you the South's not a place, it's a state of mind. I think the South is an atmosphere.

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# ..Every creature casts a shadow

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# Under the sun's golden finger... #

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I used to live in New York City

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and I'd ride my bike over that damn Brooklyn bridge every day.

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There was a white line on it

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and I used to try and get my bike to sit right on the white line,

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going at 40mph, I'd try to get my bike on the white line, the tyre to touch it.

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And I noticed that, if I looked down directly at my tyre,

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I could never keep it on the line.

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But if I looked up and sort of glazed my view of things,

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I could keep it on the white line.

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It was peculiar. I reckon, if you look directly at something,

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it's...

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inapprehendible.

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Sometimes you've got to look away

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before you can...achieve something.

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You don't see the South when you ride along the interstate.

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You pull off and there's Cracker Barrel Oil or Dillard's or whatever.

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But you go five or ten miles off the interstate

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and you get to the South as it was 50 years ago or 100 years ago.

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You can't do that in many places.

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# ..Every creature casts a shadow

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# Under the sun's golden finger

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# But when the sun sinks past the waving grass

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# Some shadows are dragged along. #

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# Christ in the cradle It's a wintry day

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# Walking to church in the pouring rain

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# I've got the heirs of Eve and the mark of Cain

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# But I can't get free of this being born stain. #

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See, when I was a boy,

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a Sears Roebuck catalogue,

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a great thick thing, came to everybody's mailbox in the South.

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The first thing that struck us was everybody in the Sears Roebuck catalogue was perfect.

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There weren't any bald heads. Everybody had all their fingers.

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Nobody had any open and running sores on their bodies.

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But everybody we knew had a finger missing

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or one eye put out from a staple glancing off a post.

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In other words, in our world, everybody was maimed and mutilated,

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whereas everybody in a Sears Roebuck catalogue world was perfect.

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And so, we started to tell stories about the people, give 'em names, said where they was from.

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We'd turn over and see this young girl standing in a spring frock

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and say, "See this girl here? She is the daughter of him standing here..."

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We'd turn about 40 pages back. "Him standing with his shotgun, that's her daddy.

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"You know how come he's looking kinda startled there like that?

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"It's because this fella over here in this green suit with the sharp creases in it,

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"he's seeing that girl, his daughter, and he's doing her wrong, being nasty.

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"And he's gonna fix that fella, he's gonna fix him good. Probably gonna kill him."

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And before it was over, we had everybody related, fighting, feuding and the rest of it.

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BANJO PLAYS # I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger

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# Travelling through this world of woe

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# Ain't no sickness, toil or danger

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# In that bright land to which I go

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# I'm going there to see my father

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# Said he'd meet me when I come

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# I'm only going over Jordan

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# I'm only going over home... #

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# I know dark clouds are gonna gather round me

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# I know my way be rough and steep

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# Yet beautiful fields lie just before me

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# Where God's redeemed their vigils keep

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# I'm going there to see my loved ones

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# They've gone before me one by one

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# I'm only going over Jordan

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# I'm only going over home... #

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My ma let my brother, who's older than I am,

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and my cousins, catch some birds and keep 'em in the house, in a little room.

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One night, Annie, as she sat in that rocker, she hasn't said anything.

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It's too quiet, too still, hearing them trees and that wind, and her being quiet and I said, "What is it?"

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She said nothing. I said, "What is it, Annie?" She said, "Them birds."

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I said, "What about them birds?"

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She said, "Them birds. You don't know it, young 'un, but a bird can spit."

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I said, "What?" She said, "He can spit, open his mouth and spit.

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"You got your mouth open and it goes in there, you're dead, young 'un."

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I said, "Why would he wanna do that?" "He usually don't.

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"But usually he ain't in nobody's house locked up neither.

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"You need to let them birds go before they spit in your mouth."

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On one level, this is just saying get the birds out of the house.

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On another level, she's telling you there's a right way to do things and there's a wrong way to do things.

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Everything had a right way and a wrong way.

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HE PLAYS BANJO

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Sorry to interrupt you, but will you play me a song?

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OK, let me think here.

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What kind of painting's on there?

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One's just a horseshoe there.

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And...a cross in the middle.

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Basically this is just a symbol for this being a work instrument for...

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for God.

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# The chill of Coffeeville

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# She's in those hills still

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# Kindness of her face so white

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# The chill of Coffeeville

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# Lord, pray it be your will

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# That she dwell in your house tonight... #

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# Cottonmouth, quick cross the water

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# She gave me her hand Phyllis Ann

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# Cottonmouth, quick cross the water... #

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HARRY CREWS: She would cook a possum in the oven,

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showed us how to butcher one - when the offal, the guts and stuff come out, you got rid of that.

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You didn't get rid of the brain. The head was a delicacy. She took out its little eyes.

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You... You...dug your hole and you put the guts and the blood and mess down in there.

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And the teeth.

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Then the eyes. But the eyes, bless God, would have to be pointing down

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so that if he woke up - and he would -

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and come looking for you who killed him - and he would -

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and him being a meat-eating carnivore, he'd come looking for you and find you.

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But if you put the eyes down and he woke up down there in the dirt,

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he'd start digging, cos they're digging animals.

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Well, when he woke up, he'd start digging but he's pointed the wrong way, unbeknowns to him.

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So he'd dig right on down and you're safe,

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cos he's gonna hit some little Chinaboy down on the other side of the earth, but not you!

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You're safe. Things like that kept you safe.

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The truth of the matter was

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stories was everything and everything was stories.

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Everybody told stories. It was a way of saying who they were in the world.

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It was their understanding of themselves.

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It was letting themselves know how they believed the world worked -

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the right way and the way that was not so right.

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# Sunday I am young and wild Monday I am lame

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# Tuesday I start twitching Wednesday I'm insane

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# Thursday I lay dying Friday I'm quite dead

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# Saturday I'm carried away by things better left unsaid

1:21:371:21:41

# But heaven ain't no place, brother

1:21:431:21:45

# Love ain't no word, sister

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# And prison ain't no building made of iron bars and stone

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# You can seek the rhyme and reason

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# But in the realm of the unknown

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# You won't catch no true reflections in that "Alabama Chrome"... #

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Can't buy a new car. Yours is all rusty.

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You cover it up with some duct tape. That's why they call it Alabama Chrome.

1:22:081:22:13

Welcome to Smalltown in the South.

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You come pulling into town,

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you see all the strip joints, cut and shoot bars.

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Then you work your way into the respectable realm of...

1:22:281:22:32

..churches and main-street businesses.

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It's a kind of crucible - the haves and the have-nots.

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The have-nots are round the edges...

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and they bury their powerlessness...

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..in sort of the ritual of...

1:22:501:22:52

sin.

1:22:521:22:55

Hello! I love the small town. It's not even half a mile across the whole town. Very small.

1:22:551:23:02

Over here we have the church...

1:23:021:23:05

Over here we have the truck stop. Over here a jump joint.

1:23:051:23:10

And behind me we have a prison. A typical Southern town.

1:23:101:23:13

Whatever you grow up in, if there's generations upon generations that have grown up in that before you,

1:23:131:23:19

it gets in your blood. I had a cat one time that had never been out of the house.

1:23:191:23:25

I was watching a TV show and there was a chicken on the TV.

1:23:261:23:31

This cat had never seen a chicken.

1:23:311:23:34

But the chicken came on the TV and my cat...

1:23:341:23:38

instinctually went into a stalk mode. He just looked at it.

1:23:381:23:43

He'd never seen a chicken and he wanted to kill that thing.

1:23:431:23:47

It was in his blood to kill that chicken. In a small town like this,

1:23:471:23:52

it's in your blood - you gotta either choose Jesus or choose hell.

1:23:521:23:57

You've got your choice. And there's not a whole lot in-between.

1:23:571:24:02

I guess if you've got your choice between grief and nothing,

1:24:021:24:07

you'll take grief. You know you're alive when you're sad.

1:24:071:24:12

Otherwise, how do you know you're alive?

1:24:141:24:18

Did you see how short that town was? We ran out of town.

1:24:191:24:23

# I came into town

1:24:261:24:29

# I was looking for a job

1:24:291:24:35

# I couldn't find nothing

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# I started looking

1:24:391:24:43

# For someone to rob

1:24:431:24:49

# I took out my ski mask

1:24:561:25:00

# And I put it over my face

1:25:001:25:05

# Walked into the feed store

1:25:081:25:10

# And I robbed everyone in the place... #

1:25:111:25:17

-WOMAN SINGS:

-# First there was a funeral

1:25:171:25:22

# And then there was a trial

1:25:221:25:27

# They hung me in a courtyard there

1:25:291:25:33

# And let me hang up there a while

1:25:341:25:42

# Let me hang up there a while... #

1:25:451:25:52

# I bought a new shirt

1:26:011:26:04

# So soft to touch

1:26:061:26:09

# And a new pair of beetle boots

1:26:111:26:16

# Hope I didn't pay too much... #

1:26:161:26:24

-What have you been doing?

-Killing time.

1:26:291:26:33

It won't die.

1:26:331:26:35

Did I tell you about this buddy of mine?

1:26:371:26:41

-Who's that?

-You don't know him.

1:26:411:26:45

He was in an accident.

1:26:451:26:47

A bad traffic accident.

1:26:471:26:50

He was with his wife... having sex while they were driving.

1:26:541:26:59

-I guess he...

-And he lost control of the vehicle. Wow!

1:27:001:27:04

-The car rolled over, he wasn't hurt,

1:27:061:27:08

but she was thrown from the vehicle and had a spinal injury.

1:27:081:27:13

Now she's in a coma, probably will never get out of it.

1:27:141:27:20

Now he's so completely ate up with guilt,

1:27:201:27:24

he spends all his time at the hospital, lost his job...

1:27:241:27:28

# My eyes got heavy

1:27:301:27:33

# I fell asleep

1:27:351:27:38

# Usher came by and said

1:27:411:27:45

# "Get out of here, you creep." #

1:27:451:27:53

His whole...thing now to justify his existence

1:27:531:27:57

is that he'll never touch another woman.

1:27:571:28:01

He feels like that...

1:28:011:28:04

to make amends...for what happened.

1:28:041:28:08

Like he says, it's not a sacrifice he's making.

1:28:081:28:13

It's a religious thing, a penance.

1:28:141:28:16

-An act of love.

-It's an act of love, exactly. Exactly.

1:28:161:28:22

How long has she been in a coma?

1:28:221:28:25

-Seven years.

-Oh.

1:28:261:28:29

# ..Then there was a trial

1:28:291:28:32

# Hung me in a courtyard there

1:28:331:28:37

# Let me hang up there a while

1:28:381:28:45

# Let me hang up there a while. #

1:28:481:28:57

One Saturday afternoon, this man came in and asked me if I could cash his cheque. I told him I couldn't.

1:29:081:29:14

So he went down the street and got a couple of cans of beer and got his cheque cashed.

1:29:151:29:21

He got back along, about the door... and I saw this white man come up behind him and give him a prod,

1:29:211:29:28

took both feet and kicked him in the back and he went down in the gutter.

1:29:281:29:33

This old man came out of his coat with a butcher knife.

1:29:331:29:38

He took that butcher knife and just punched the guy in his stomach, all the way through him.

1:29:381:29:43

When he did that, this other guy reached in his pocket and got HIS knife out

1:29:431:29:49

and they were laying in the gutter fighting.

1:29:491:29:53

The police happened to come by and they took them to jail.

1:29:531:29:58

You know, it's the bad, the bad's more exciting.

1:30:001:30:04

Doing bad's exciting, you know? That's...

1:30:041:30:08

Getting in trouble, that was the outlaw-type ways, you know.

1:30:081:30:12

I listened to outlaw music and stuff like that

1:30:131:30:17

and that's just...that was really what I wanted to be, in a way.

1:30:171:30:22

-It started a long time ago.

1:30:221:30:25

I was smoking weed and drinking...

1:30:251:30:28

and one day one of my friends came down to Georgia,

1:30:281:30:32

and he had had it and asked me if I wanted to try it. I did and I liked it

1:30:321:30:38

and I just kept on, kept on and...

1:30:381:30:40

couldn't get enough of it in the end.

1:30:401:30:43

I attempted to break into a bar in...

1:30:441:30:48

Christmas Eve 2000.

1:30:481:30:51

They gave me seven years flat.

1:30:511:30:54

I had a good family, well-respected people and...

1:30:541:30:58

I would get in trouble, they would get me out of trouble...

1:30:581:31:03

until it didn't matter if I got in trouble or not - they were gonna get me out.

1:31:031:31:08

Then finally they couldn't get me out and now here I am.

1:31:081:31:12

I broke in a house...

1:31:121:31:15

down at home...

1:31:151:31:17

Uh...

1:31:171:31:19

I got convicted on that

1:31:191:31:22

and I had a parole violation...

1:31:221:31:25

..and here I am.

1:31:271:31:29

It was, like, eleven. We was drinking and smoking pot,

1:31:301:31:35

cos that was the only excitement going on.

1:31:351:31:39

I just kept on drinking and kept on...

1:31:391:31:43

I got into drugs and heavier drugs and...

1:31:431:31:47

I started doing cocaine and ecstasy and meth, you know, and...

1:31:471:31:52

That's about the only excitement around here, you know.

1:31:521:31:56

Armed robbery.

1:31:561:31:58

Boring, really.

1:32:001:32:02

There ain't nothing to do.

1:32:031:32:06

Trouble. Get into trouble, that's it.

1:32:061:32:09

I do this just to kinda keep my mind off of the...

1:32:091:32:13

..predicament I've gotten myself into.

1:32:141:32:17

Selling crystal meths and stolen property.

1:32:171:32:21

That's about it.

1:32:241:32:26

Tell them how you got caught.

1:32:261:32:29

-No. I just...

1:32:291:32:31

-I could handle some of that.

-You sure would.

1:32:311:32:35

You sure would.

1:32:351:32:38

I don't know... Just...

1:32:401:32:42

I...

1:32:431:32:45

I don't really want to talk about it.

1:32:461:32:49

I guess my family is what got me started. I just...

1:32:491:32:53

I remember growing up, never going to church or nothing, my family party, party.

1:32:531:32:59

Then when I got about 13, old enough to think I was big enough, they find God!

1:32:591:33:04

I just couldn't turn over after living that long the way I'd lived.

1:33:051:33:10

Hell, they wanted to do right then and I didn't see no point in it.

1:33:101:33:15

I remember when I was a kid, you used to just dive into the river and didn't care what was out there.

1:33:151:33:21

But as you grow up and become an adult, you fear those things.

1:33:211:33:26

But as a kid, you don't. It's just part of growing up.

1:33:261:33:30

I grew up, I was a Pentecost.

1:33:351:33:37

When I went to church. And it was a really hard church, real strict.

1:33:371:33:42

And...

1:33:421:33:44

It taught me you had to speak in tongues. Well, when I went to church I never did speak in tongues.

1:33:451:33:51

They didn't teach... There was no middle ground.

1:33:511:33:55

You was either...in church or you was in the bars.

1:33:561:34:00

It was one way or the other. There was no middle ground.

1:34:001:34:04

Hell, I worked doing roofing, you know.

1:34:041:34:08

..I ain't in. ..I made $300 a week.

1:34:081:34:11

Yet I could sell crystal meths and make $5,000 a week.

1:34:111:34:15

I didn't have to bust my ass at all.

1:34:151:34:18

Just...just last time, it caught up with me.

1:34:181:34:22

I got locked up in 1989.

1:34:221:34:24

They gave me 120 years for five cell charges - they gave me 20 years a-piece.

1:34:241:34:30

They got child molesters - they slap him on the hand, give him six months.

1:34:301:34:35

I sell a little dope and you want to throw me away for ever.

1:34:351:34:40

My mama's died since I've been in. My daddy. I've lost my kids. I had to give them away to adoption.

1:34:401:34:46

I don't know how to explain my life. It's just so messed up.

1:34:461:34:49

'When life doesn't have a lot of pleasures to offer you, you gotta do something.'

1:34:531:34:59

It's like a buddy of mine. He said, "Let's do something, even if it's something wrong."

1:34:591:35:05

Every town needs a bad guy, somebody who can take the heat.

1:35:061:35:11

They don't like me.

1:35:111:35:13

They think I'm a little crazy.

1:35:131:35:16

You know, just...

1:35:161:35:19

I'd drink, party and raise hell on Saturday nights...

1:35:251:35:29

get up on Sunday morning, go to church, try talking to a good man.

1:35:291:35:33

They act like they don't do bad things.

1:35:331:35:36

All of 'em's bad in one way or another.

1:35:371:35:40

# Cold, cold, cold As the cold wind blows

1:35:551:36:00

# I was halfway there one frozen dawn

1:36:031:36:07

# When she appeared at the side of the road

1:36:091:36:14

# A woman weeping in the frozen snow

1:36:141:36:20

# Her black hair flying across the empty road

1:36:211:36:27

# Cold, cold, cold As the cold wind blows

1:36:271:36:33

# I pulled to the shoulder and she fell to the snow... #

1:36:351:36:40

A Pentecostal town like this...

1:36:401:36:43

..Saturday night comes, you gotta decide who you are, what you're gonna do.

1:36:441:36:50

When you're poor...

1:36:501:36:52

..and you've got very little resources,

1:36:551:36:59

you can't live up to God's expectations. It hurts too much.

1:36:591:37:04

You're waiting for that promise of heaven, and it never comes.

1:37:041:37:09

Pretty soon you think, "I'm just gonna take what I can get."

1:37:091:37:14

# ..And she called my name in the swirlin' snow

1:37:141:37:20

# And I turned to run back to my car

1:37:201:37:25

# There was nothing waiting but her frozen arms

1:37:271:37:33

# Cold, cold, cold As the cold wind blows. #

1:37:331:37:40

I'm gonna get outta here.

1:37:401:37:42

I got no real use for a place like this.

1:37:421:37:46

Y'all might wanna go inside and see what they have to offer. It might be educational for you.

1:37:461:37:52

-Johnny, I'm heading out. You want a ride?

-I don't think so. OK.

1:37:521:37:58

-This is your bar?

-Mine and my husband's...

1:38:011:38:05

What you got here is your basic, Deep South, cut and shoot bar.

1:38:051:38:09

To me, I look at it as a thing of great beauty.

1:38:091:38:13

It's a representation of the humanity, for all its good and bad, that lives there.

1:38:131:38:19

It's real. It's a real place.

1:38:191:38:22

To those people inside there, they don't know it's a real place.

1:38:221:38:26

That's just the place they go.

1:38:271:38:29

'Slim's has been here for ever.'

1:38:331:38:35

I've known Slim's since I was a little kid.

1:38:351:38:38

-All you gotta do, baby, is come down and save 'em.

-You're not sinners.

1:38:381:38:44

You're just having a good time.

1:38:441:38:46

Let's go to confession Sunday morning and be saved(!)

1:38:461:38:51

Look, I'm a backslider.

1:38:511:38:55

I'll tell you... this is rock and roll.

1:38:551:38:59

I was rock and roll when I was born. I'm rock and roll now.

1:38:591:39:04

There's not a lot to do here.

1:39:161:39:19

But you can invite people like this to become your friends, so you can buy friends.

1:39:191:39:26

The Bible says, when you backslide you must start your first works over.

1:39:261:39:30

MUSIC PLAYS, PEOPLE SHOUT

1:39:381:39:41

You love Jesus and you're for real, you shall be saved. That's what the Bible says.

1:39:451:39:50

The devil cannot read your mind.

1:39:501:39:52

A town like this is like a pressure cooker...like a...like a vice.

1:39:531:39:59

People in the main, they just get squeezed down and flattened out.

1:40:001:40:05

Like this, they get squeezed down.

1:40:051:40:08

End of the cone, what's around the edges there, this part right here...

1:40:101:40:15

..that's your criminal element.

1:40:211:40:23

There's your religious fanatics.

1:40:251:40:27

That right here, that's the artists.

1:40:271:40:30

They don't fit in the cone.

1:40:321:40:35

They gotta find some other way to express themselves or they get eaten like I ate that. I'm the small town!

1:40:351:40:41

You take Jesus into your heart, you're going to heaven.

1:40:431:40:48

You've just got to repent, ask God to forgive you.

1:40:481:40:52

Sex in the South is the best.

1:40:521:40:55

We're family.

1:41:041:41:07

It's not drinking, it's not drugs.

1:41:071:41:09

It's family.

1:41:091:41:12

-Don't know when to say no.

-But God gave you enough sense not to jump in front of a 18-wheeler.

1:41:121:41:18

Don't ever get the wrong idea about little bars on the side of the road.

1:41:221:41:28

You can meet some of the best people.

1:41:281:41:31

-That's when I earned my...

-But God didn't have no...

1:41:311:41:37

Best of five. Best of five.

1:41:371:41:40

There's a great tradition emerging from a clash with the sacred and the secular.

1:42:111:42:17

The devil's alive in the South. Without the devil, what's God? Nothing. You need both.

1:42:171:42:23

-You need something dark, ghosts... you need evil before good makes any sense.

-Yeah. You need some sin.

1:42:231:42:29

Those people like Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, they could have been priests or killers.

1:42:301:42:36

The amount of blood, the bloodthirstiness of so many of the songs...

1:42:361:42:40

It's just oral tradition in poverty.

1:42:401:42:43

But what is it about Southern music and Southern religion that has a lot of blood and violent images to it?

1:42:431:42:49

-It's very sensual.

-Yes. It's almost...Pentecostal. It's a God, a devil that you can touch and feel.

1:42:491:42:55

-The flames of hell are all around you.

-Pentecostalism is very sensual. We're not snake handlers.

1:42:551:43:01

-Most people don't want that kind of relationship with God.

-I don't!

1:43:021:43:07

They don't want to even take it that far, but to take that step is an amazing leap...

1:43:071:43:12

For the uninitiated walking in...

1:43:281:43:31

seeing a healing service or...

1:43:311:43:33

..a spiritual church in full bloom,

1:43:351:43:38

it's quite a wondrous sight.

1:43:381:43:41

There's a real power there that you can't deny.

1:43:411:43:45

It's pretty incredible.

1:43:451:43:47

And there's a lot of love there.

1:43:471:43:50

And there's a lot of... There's a presence.

1:43:501:43:54

It's... It's hard to explain.

1:43:551:43:57

It's just so hard to explain.

1:43:591:44:01

Things happen there that defy explanation.

1:44:011:44:05

And you feel like you're in the presence of God, real strong.

1:44:051:44:10

It gets sort of addictive.

1:44:111:44:14

You go to a Presbyterian church, you go to a Catholic church, and it's a lot of friendly talk.

1:44:141:44:20

But it doesn't give you any clue that beyond your mind...

1:44:201:44:25

..that there's some...immensity...

1:44:261:44:30

that loves you.

1:44:301:44:32

You get in one of these churches,

1:44:321:44:34

the first thing they do is set the mind at the door,

1:44:341:44:39

walk in with your heart.

1:44:391:44:41

And it feels...real good sometimes just to leave that mind behind

1:44:411:44:46

and let your heart do the talking.

1:44:461:44:49

I'm excited about Pentecost!

1:44:501:44:52

I'm excited about the Holy Ghost.

1:44:521:44:55

I'm excited that there is a power that can bring a man out of darkness

1:44:551:44:59

and put him on a pew and put his life back together

1:44:591:45:04

-and put his wife back in his home.

-CONGREGATION CHEER AND APPLAUD

1:45:041:45:08

'I could tell you what the blues was about because I had them.

1:45:081:45:13

'From the time I was 16 until I was 25, I used drugs every day.

1:45:131:45:17

'I used to lie on my couch on Sunday afternoons, high all weekend,'

1:45:181:45:22

and I'd be saying to myself,

1:45:221:45:25

"There's got to be something more significant than this."

1:45:251:45:28

When they look at us, they say, "My goodness, you folks are crazy.

1:45:281:45:33

"You folks act wild, like you've lost your mind." No, we found our mind!

1:45:331:45:39

Not only our mind, we found our purpose, our destiny, our dignity.

1:45:391:45:44

We're not lost, we're not crazy,

1:45:441:45:46

we're not part of the thing that's turning the world upside down.

1:45:461:45:51

-We're here to turn it back upright.

-CHEERING

1:45:511:45:55

GUITAR MUSIC

1:45:551:45:57

# Some people make fun of the way I move

1:46:051:46:09

# They may talk about me cos I carry this book

1:46:111:46:15

# It's plain that they don't know

1:46:171:46:21

# I'm a sinner but he don't know

1:46:241:46:27

# And when the devil came around I said, "Listen good..." #

1:46:291:46:33

If a bit of chemically-induced excitement can make people happy on a Saturday night,

1:46:331:46:39

the righteousness and the peace of the Holy Ghost can make YOU excited every day!

1:46:391:46:45

It can make you have a purpose to live. Yes, I'm a radical. Yes, I'm a fanatic. Yes, I'm extreme.

1:46:451:46:52

I used to be extreme in one direction. I found what was really wrong.

1:46:521:46:57

# I'm going through the valley

1:46:571:46:59

# I'll reach that mountain top

1:46:591:47:01

# I'm rooting for that city I can't stop

1:47:011:47:05

# Oh, Lord, hear me when I pray

1:47:051:47:11

# I want to stand where you're standing, Lord... #

1:47:111:47:15

# One day Jesus will call my name

1:47:181:47:23

# As days go by I hope I don't stay the same

1:47:231:47:29

# I wanna get so close to him that there's no big change

1:47:291:47:35

# On that day when Jesus calls my name... #

1:47:351:47:41

Sing it with me.

1:47:411:47:43

# One day Jesus will call my name

1:47:431:47:49

# As days go by I hope I don't stay the same

1:47:491:47:55

# I wanna get so close to him that there's no big change

1:47:551:48:01

# On that day when Jesus calls my name... #

1:48:011:48:05

INDIVIDUALS CALL OUT

1:48:051:48:08

SHE SPEAKS IN TONGUES

1:48:101:48:12

# ..Some days I bless him And some days I curse

1:48:241:48:29

# And many's the day I put myself first

1:48:291:48:36

# But it's not what I do the cross made that plain

1:48:361:48:41

# And one day Jesus is gonna call my name. #

1:48:421:48:46

Help us sing it now.

1:48:461:48:48

# One day Jesus is gonna call my name

1:48:481:48:52

# Hallelujah

1:48:521:48:54

# As days go by I hope I don't stay the same

1:48:541:48:59

# I wanna get so close to him it's no big change

1:48:591:49:04

# On that day Jesus calls my name. #

1:49:041:49:08

-PEOPLE WHOOP

-That's right. Yes.

1:49:081:49:12

That's what we're looking for. Just keep it up. That's right.

1:49:121:49:17

Yes. You're holding on.

1:49:191:49:22

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.

1:49:221:49:26

In a poor world like this,

1:49:261:49:29

gravity seems a lot stronger. It's pulling you down into the earth.

1:49:291:49:34

And every day it's a fight not to disappear...

1:49:341:49:38

the way the gravity's pulling you.

1:49:381:49:40

Maybe you're thinking

1:49:401:49:43

if you're gonna disappear, you're gonna disappear according to your own terms, escaping from reality...

1:49:431:49:50

..define your own, make your own,

1:49:511:49:53

be the guru of your own little Tibet.

1:49:531:49:57

The beauty of the people who have no wealth but still...

1:49:571:50:02

..enrich their world with their stories and their songs and their language...

1:50:031:50:09

You could walk into any one of these mobile homes

1:50:091:50:13

and you could hear the best story, the saddest story that you'll ever hear in your life.

1:50:141:50:19

It was a little alien about this big, and it was really messed up,

1:50:191:50:24

so I went and I had to get this one done. This is a cover-up.

1:50:241:50:29

I used to have mine and my ex-husband's name.

1:50:291:50:33

This one is a cover-up.

1:50:331:50:35

It had initials "BE" here and I covered them up.

1:50:351:50:39

And this one here is my son's tattoo.

1:50:391:50:42

You see? He died about 15 years ago.

1:50:421:50:45

And when he died, I put the wings on to represent him.

1:50:451:50:49

That's an old gang I belonged to. I'm gonna get that one covered up.

1:50:491:50:54

I'm gonna get this one covered up.

1:50:541:50:57

The ones on my back are cover-ups.

1:50:571:51:00

And I got...

1:51:001:51:03

this one right here.

1:51:031:51:05

This is a sister tattoo. Another girl got one just like this, named Star.

1:51:061:51:11

And we both had this one on us, too. They were called sister tattoos.

1:51:111:51:16

And then...I got a... a messed-up pyramid with one of my ex-boyfriends' initials in it.

1:51:171:51:24

And then the panther with the blue wings and the heart with...

1:51:241:51:28

the two hearts with my two sons' names in it, and I got a ninja star here.

1:51:281:51:34

I was 16.

1:51:341:51:36

It was young, dumb years.

1:51:361:51:38

There's nobody perfect, except the Lord himself.

1:51:381:51:42

And if anybody tells you they're perfect, they're a liar.

1:51:421:51:46

# It's gonna rain champagne

1:51:571:52:01

# And the hills are gonna dance

1:52:011:52:05

# There will be power in the blood

1:52:101:52:13

# When that helicopter comes

1:52:131:52:17

# Rocks are gonna roll uphill And the sun will dive in the sea... #

1:52:221:52:28

There you go. A lot of rapture talking, that car right there.

1:52:281:52:33

The Bible says you must be born again.

1:52:331:52:36

The rapture? What's gonna take place in the near future, I think.

1:52:361:52:41

These scenes are the Lord and his angels. They're coming out of the graveyard.

1:52:411:52:47

The Bible says the grave will come up first to meet the Lord.

1:52:471:52:51

They'll be coming out them buildings, the ones that's ready to meet the Lord.

1:52:511:52:57

Pilots in planes - one pilot may be a born-again Christian... If he's born again,

1:52:571:53:04

he will go with the Lord. If he's not saved, he'll be left.

1:53:041:53:09

If you're not born again, it don't make any difference if you've been to church all your life,

1:53:091:53:15

you MUST be born again when Jesus comes.

1:53:151:53:18

As I travelled all around the world,

1:53:181:53:20

I became more and more dissatisfied with my search for God.

1:53:201:53:25

I couldn't find God wherever I went.

1:53:251:53:28

I couldn't find any meaning.

1:53:291:53:31

Then I realised I was looking for what everybody else was,

1:53:321:53:37

I was sort of looking for the gold tooth in God's crooked smile.

1:53:371:53:42

So I came back to the South...

1:53:431:53:45

..looking for that.

1:53:461:53:49

And I ended up stumbling on places like this right here.

1:53:501:53:54

And it's all wrong. It's so wrong that it's right.

1:53:571:54:01

They come in here to... They've got problems. Some of them's divorced.

1:54:141:54:19

Some's in a bad frame of mind.

1:54:191:54:22

They come in here to find out if the Lord can help 'em,

1:54:221:54:27

and he CAN help 'em. The love and the blood is what does the work.

1:54:271:54:32

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the great German poet,

1:54:321:54:36

he said, "There is no crime of which I cannot conceive myself guilty."

1:54:361:54:41

You think about that for a minute, buddy.

1:54:411:54:45

That doesn't just include homicide...

1:54:451:54:48

..that includes infanticide.

1:54:501:54:52

My understanding of that is that he is admitting...

1:54:521:54:57

his oneness...with mankind,

1:54:571:55:00

his involvement in mankind.

1:55:001:55:03

He did NOT escape...

1:55:041:55:06

..original sin.

1:55:081:55:10

# ..a bar in southern Mississippi

1:55:101:55:13

# She meets a man by the name of Charles Lee

1:55:131:55:16

# She introduces herself to him as Lee Charles

1:55:161:55:21

# "What a coincidence," he says And one week later they are married

1:55:231:55:27

# He wakes up one night six months down the line

1:55:271:55:31

# To find her staring at him in the oddest way

1:55:311:55:34

# When he says, "Honey, what's wrong?"

1:55:361:55:38

# She says, "Nothing, dear. Except that tears are a stupid trick of God."

1:55:381:55:43

# By the time they find his body six weeks later

1:55:461:55:50

# Hell, she's a thousand miles away... #

1:55:521:55:56

-Child molesters and people who kill cops.

-They call it death row.

-One of the guys grabbed a gun.

1:55:561:56:02

-The guy said, "You had a gun, why didn't you do something?"

-Murder.

-The woman was seven months pregnant.

1:56:021:56:08

-She got thrown through the window.

-# Cut it, spit it up... #

-Then thrown back in.

1:56:081:56:14

# Baby, why don't you cry?

1:56:141:56:17

# Baby, why don't you cry?

1:56:171:56:20

# Baby, why don't you cry...? #

1:56:201:56:23

Kimberly Leach was kidnapped by Ted Bundy.

1:56:231:56:28

-If I would have been the trial judge that tried Ted Bundy for murder...

-Killed him.

1:56:281:56:33

As the judge, I wouldn't do it unless I was personally willing to throw the switch myself.

1:56:331:56:39

They take that blade and stick it in the handle, they go by you... you're laid wide open.

1:56:391:56:45

Man being what he is...

1:56:451:56:47

finds out WHO he is...

1:56:491:56:51

..in moments of extremis,

1:56:521:56:55

when he's gotta jump right or jump left, he can't stay where he is.

1:56:551:57:00

Until I got saved, I was married for 27 years.

1:57:001:57:04

And when I got cancer, I wound up getting divorced.

1:57:041:57:08

I feel like I've been to hell and back. I had a son that was 15...

1:57:081:57:13

He passed away.

1:57:131:57:16

And...that stops you from believing for a while.

1:57:161:57:20

But I believe that he went to a better place,

1:57:201:57:24

because he was headed in the wrong direction too.

1:57:241:57:28

And it took me a long time to figure out that he is in a better place.

1:57:281:57:34

I went to his grave the other day, first time in 12 years.

1:57:351:57:39

It took me a long time to go there.

1:57:391:57:42

I'm glad I did.

1:57:421:57:44

# I met a little girl in Knoxville... #

1:57:481:57:52

Are you all gonna sing? All right.

1:57:521:57:55

# I met a little girl in Knoxville

1:57:551:57:58

# A town we all know well

1:57:581:58:02

# And every Sunday evening

1:58:021:58:07

# In her home I'd dwell

1:58:071:58:11

# We went to take an evening walk

1:58:111:58:14

# About a mile from town

1:58:141:58:19

# I picked a stick up off the ground

1:58:191:58:23

# And knocked that fair girl down

1:58:231:58:27

# She fell down on her bended knees

1:58:271:58:32

# For mercy she did cry

1:58:321:58:35

# "Oh, Willy, dear don't kill me here

1:58:351:58:40

# "I'm unprepared to die."

1:58:401:58:44

# She never spoke another word

1:58:441:58:48

# I only beat her more

1:58:481:58:52

# Until the ground around me

1:58:521:58:56

# With her blood did flow... #

1:58:561:59:00

WOMAN: I think hell to me is everlasting, it's never gonna stop. It never will stop.

1:59:021:59:08

You will burn internally, starting at the feet or the hands or the head.

1:59:081:59:13

It may start in the inner of your whole body and come on the outside and you'll burn just like that...

1:59:131:59:19

Most ordinary conversation in the South has a theological...

1:59:191:59:24

basis.

1:59:241:59:26

This guy had been in prison.

1:59:261:59:28

He killed numerous of women, numerous of children, numerous of men,

1:59:291:59:34

he killed to kill. Before he died,

1:59:341:59:37

he told the man that his feet were burning.

1:59:371:59:42

His friend watched and saw...

1:59:421:59:45

what that man was dealing with

1:59:451:59:48

and he told him, "Yes, I do believe in hell now. My feet are burning, they're on fire." He was going.

1:59:481:59:55

GUITAR PLAYS

1:59:551:59:57

# Who stole my crown of spiky thorns?

1:59:572:00:01

# Who stole my garments ripped up and torn?

2:00:052:00:09

# Who stole my hammer? Who stole my nails?

2:00:132:00:18

# Who locked Barabbas up in a jail?

2:00:212:00:26

# Who took the burden of the cross?

2:00:292:00:34

# Who can measure what has been lost?

2:00:372:00:42

# Miracles happen every day

2:00:452:00:50

# There are two...roads

2:00:522:00:55

# But there's only ONE real way... #

2:00:552:01:02

You can ride down an old country road

2:01:082:01:12

and see a house painted purple with Milk of Magnesia bottles hanging from the tree, thousands of them.

2:01:122:01:19

I saw that in Florida once.

2:01:192:01:21

That man had an aesthetic outburst,

2:01:212:01:23

he just had to say something.

2:01:242:01:26

He was desperate and the only tool he had was a thousand Milk of Magnesia bottles.

2:01:262:01:32

He probably drank every one himself.

2:01:322:01:34

My buddy, John Wood, he was a psychopathic individual.

2:01:442:01:49

His family was famous for being the people most likely to end up spending life in prison.

2:01:492:01:55

He threw a hand grenade at me one time when I was at the beach.

2:01:552:02:00

One day, John got Jesus

2:02:002:02:03

and he went insane for Jesus.

2:02:032:02:05

He moved to the Philippines and became a preacher there.

2:02:052:02:10

He got him a suit covered with lights

2:02:102:02:13

that would blink John 3:16.

2:02:132:02:16

He was just a regular, old Southern insane lunatic

2:02:162:02:21

who, in his quest for union,

2:02:212:02:24

ended up being more separate than ever.

2:02:242:02:28

GUITAR PLAYS SOFTLY

2:02:352:02:38

NO SOUND FROM TV

2:02:382:02:41

I wish Kojak was on.

2:02:432:02:45

Is that that Geeshie Wiley song they're playing?

2:02:482:02:51

Let's try that. I love that song.

2:02:522:02:54

# The last kind word

2:03:052:03:09

# I heard my daddy say

2:03:092:03:14

# Lord, the last kind word

2:03:152:03:19

# I heard my daddy say

2:03:192:03:23

# When you see me coming

2:03:272:03:32

# Across the rich man's field

2:03:332:03:37

# If I don't bring you flowers

2:03:382:03:42

# I'll bring you a broken me

2:03:422:03:46

# I went to the depot

2:03:492:03:53

# I looked up at the sun

2:03:532:03:57

# Christ, some train don't come

2:04:002:04:04

# Gonna be some walking done

2:04:042:04:07

# My mama told me

2:04:112:04:15

# Just before she died

2:04:152:04:21

# Lord, precious man-child

2:04:212:04:26

# Don't you be so wild. #

2:04:262:04:30

That's a great song, man.

2:04:332:04:35

That's Geeshie Wiley.

2:04:362:04:38

BANJO PLAYS

2:04:382:04:41

# Stay by the brook Stay by the brook

2:04:412:04:45

# You go down and stay by the brook... #

2:04:452:04:49

When I was a little kid, I used to listen to the Gospel Jubilee,

2:04:522:04:57

which is a white gospel TV show in Pensacola. I didn't know I was hearing mountain harmonies.

2:04:572:05:03

I just heard... I heard people lonely for God. And I heard them crying out for his attention.

2:05:032:05:09

And I guess I sympathised with it. I was lonely for God myself.

2:05:092:05:14

I admired them for trying to talk to God in their simple voices,

2:05:172:05:22

not trying to make them pretty or wear a fancy tuxedo.

2:05:222:05:26

# Oh, meet me on the other side... #

2:05:342:05:39

These hills right here are full of spirit.

2:05:392:05:42

No wonder people are thinking about eternity and hell so much.

2:05:422:05:46

Mortality is a frequent visitor to a place like this, I guess.

2:05:492:05:54

Every lamppost is a crucifix.

2:05:542:05:57

And every bridge has a little memorial on it.

2:05:572:06:01

HIGH-PITCHED WHINING: "Amazing Grace"

2:06:032:06:06

She just started laughing. She couldn't help herself,

2:07:062:07:11

even though it was her granddaddy's funeral.

2:07:112:07:15

I don't know what got into Amy and Kimberly and Christie either, her sisters.

2:07:152:07:22

They all started laughing too. It was contagious.

2:07:222:07:26

It was quite horrifying, though.

2:07:262:07:29

You'd think a missionary woman would be more sombre at a funeral, but...

2:07:292:07:35

She couldn't help it, because...

2:07:352:07:37

their granddaddy was lying in the casket

2:07:372:07:41

and Grandmother had had a stroke and lost her short-term memory

2:07:412:07:46

and kept saying, "Wake up. Everybody's here. Wake up, Sud.

2:07:462:07:52

"Wake up!" And for some reason, that just hit her as funny.

2:07:522:07:57

I guess it was either laugh about it or cry about it. But, boy, she laughed so hard.

2:07:572:08:03

Kimberly even snorted.

2:08:032:08:05

I was not amused.

2:08:052:08:08

But, anyway...that's the way it goes sometimes at funerals.

2:08:082:08:13

You never know how people are gonna act.

2:08:132:08:16

Now, the sound of this type of music has been for...

2:08:162:08:20

in my growing up and my grandfather and, I guess, his grandfather...

2:08:202:08:26

it's the old lonesome sound.

2:08:262:08:28

BANJO PLAYS

2:08:282:08:31

It's these old hills that's kinda sad, you know.

2:08:312:08:35

And you get to feeling down and out

2:08:352:08:38

and looking at these old hills, sitting out on your front porch or something,

2:08:382:08:44

and you get to playing these old tunes, it helps you.

2:08:442:08:48

It builds your morale up a bit.

2:08:482:08:51

# Oh, yonder stand Little Maggie

2:08:582:09:03

# With her dram glass in her hand

2:09:032:09:08

# She's drinking away her troubles

2:09:082:09:15

# And a-courting another man

2:09:152:09:19

# Oh, how can I ever stand it

2:09:402:09:45

# For to see those true blue eyes

2:09:452:09:51

# A-sparklin' at another

2:09:512:09:57

# Like a diamond in the sky... #

2:09:572:10:01

I don't like the city.

2:10:152:10:17

I think this is the way God created it. He wants. ..

2:10:172:10:22

a person to live more like this

2:10:222:10:24

than to live on concrete slabs.

2:10:242:10:27

And he also provided the means to make a living.

2:10:272:10:31

Coal was created by the maker.

2:10:312:10:34

There wasn't anything that was made that wasn't made by him.

2:10:342:10:39

And that's about all I've got to say.

2:10:402:10:43

There ain't nothing easy to it.

2:10:432:10:46

It ain't no place for no woosie to be.

2:10:462:10:49

-If I was able, I was telling him, I'd go back in tomorrow.

-Would you?

2:10:492:10:54

I loved to work the mines. Yes.

2:10:542:10:57

It was a hard life, but...

2:10:572:10:59

I went in the coalmines when I was 16 years old.

2:11:002:11:04

My father had an accident, got his hands blowed off with dynamite.

2:11:042:11:08

They gave him a stick of dynamite and a box of caps

2:11:082:11:12

and he's smoking a Chesterfield cigarette!

2:11:122:11:17

Ash is on it about that long.

2:11:172:11:19

And he just turned around and it all exploded right in his hands.

2:11:192:11:24

He looked to me as if his hands were sticking right to the ceiling.

2:11:242:11:29

If there weren't fire in them ashes, setting off those caps, they never did know what done it.

2:11:292:11:35

He used to be a good banjo player.

2:11:352:11:38

My daddy and all my uncles... and my aunts...and grandfather,

2:11:382:11:43

and I had a brother who was a good banjo player.

2:11:432:11:47

I had a boy got killed back in September who was a fine banjo player.

2:11:472:11:53

A fella hit him with a car and killed him stone dead.

2:11:532:11:57

# If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck

2:12:052:12:11

# I'd dive to the bottom and never come up

2:12:112:12:15

# Rye whiskey, rye whiskey rye whiskey, I cry

2:12:152:12:21

# If I don't get rye whiskey I surely will die

2:12:212:12:25

# Rye whiskey, rye whiskey As I always say

2:12:412:12:46

# I'll see you in heaven some old day

2:12:462:12:51

# Rye whiskey, rye whiskey rye whiskey, I cry

2:12:532:12:58

# If I don't get rye whiskey I surely will die. #

2:12:582:13:02

BANJO PLAYS

2:13:022:13:05

Those of you today that are not saved,

2:13:092:13:13

this will be a wonderful day for you to give your heart and life to God.

2:13:132:13:18

But if you do not give your heart and life to the Lord

2:13:182:13:23

while you live on this earth,

2:13:232:13:25

you'll have to go and meet God

2:13:252:13:28

and never return to the earth to get right with God

2:13:282:13:33

and never be out of that awful place of punishment.

2:13:332:13:37

Just think, when you burn your finger or something, how bad it does hurt.

2:13:372:13:42

Well, think of your whole soul being in a great lake

2:13:422:13:46

and the flames rolling around your soul, not a drop of water to put on your tongue.

2:13:462:13:52

You'll remember the many times God spoke to your heart

2:13:522:13:57

to give your life to him.

2:13:572:14:00

And you turned aside those opportunities and did not surrender your whole life to him.

2:14:002:14:06

We know that God is watching everything

2:14:062:14:10

and he sees everything there is on the face of this earth.

2:14:102:14:14

And it's so real to be saved.

2:14:142:14:17

You cannot even put it in words how much it means to go to bed at night

2:14:172:14:22

knowing, if you never get up next morning, you're ready to go.

2:14:222:14:27

You know deep in your soul when you're ready to go.

2:14:272:14:30

MUSIC: "Borrowed Wings" by Jim White

2:14:352:14:39

I was thinking about the desperate people here

2:14:392:14:44

and their desperate religion, their hell-fire religion.

2:14:442:14:48

So they invent a God who's gonna whup some ass, basically.

2:14:502:14:55

# ..Until the sheriff caught up with us and we tried to run

2:14:582:15:03

# Now we return to earth on borrowed wings... #

2:15:052:15:09

Here you feel the presence of the spirit.

2:15:092:15:13

You may not like it.

2:15:132:15:16

It might be wearing the costume of crazy religious people or...

2:15:162:15:20

wild hillbillies or whatever...

2:15:202:15:23

but it's real.

2:15:232:15:25

And it's alive and it's awake.

2:15:252:15:28

# ..On borrowed wings... #

2:15:302:15:32

Welcome to Jesus Central.

2:15:322:15:34

You're sitting here looking at it, on the hill.

2:15:382:15:42

No church.

2:15:422:15:45

It's not in the Bible. I've read the Bible to tormented spirits. They... HE HISSES

2:15:452:15:51

And I've sung songs to the dark and it sang with me.

2:15:512:15:56

Where did you start believing in this kind of stuff? HE LAUGHS

2:15:562:16:03

MUSIC: "I Will Dance Like David"

2:16:032:16:06

# Then, my lord I will dance like David

2:16:062:16:11

# Well, I will dance like David... #

2:16:112:16:15

ALL TALK AT ONCE

2:16:172:16:19

Why can't they see spiritual things?

2:16:282:16:30

Why did there have to be a new way?

2:16:302:16:33

Flesh wants to control.

2:16:332:16:36

Flesh wants to hold on.

2:16:362:16:38

It wants to dominate.

2:16:382:16:41

So that every time I go to do good, evil is present with ME.

2:16:412:16:47

You've got to realise God is so real, so powerful...

2:16:472:16:51

in a spirit form.

2:16:512:16:53

Lock your doors, shut your heart up, close your eyes and ears, and he'll still come through.

2:16:532:16:58

Sit and listen to songs and stuff.

2:16:582:17:01

You'll be sitting there going back in time or going forward in time

2:17:012:17:06

because the Spirit is trying to get your flesh confused

2:17:062:17:11

so he can talk to you. Flesh cannot go in these places.

2:17:112:17:15

CONGREGATION SINGS

2:17:152:17:18

The Spirit of God is kinda strange to the world. Praise the Lord.

2:17:282:17:32

The Holy Ghost came back. Hallelujah.

2:17:322:17:36

PREACHER SPEAKS PEOPLE SING AND PRAY

2:17:362:17:40

Praise the Lord!

2:17:572:18:00

You've come here looking for some sort of essential truth...

2:18:032:18:08

..about the South, or some spiritual revelation,

2:18:092:18:13

and you're not gonna find it unless by accident or by grace.

2:18:132:18:18

These people know about it.

2:18:182:18:20

I guess they have what Flannery O'Connor called the "Wise Blood".

2:18:202:18:25

The blood rules them.

2:18:252:18:28

They don't rule the blood.

2:18:282:18:30

If you want to know the secrets of the South, you gotta get it in your blood.

2:18:302:18:36

And you ain't gonna get a transfusion from the blood bank for it.

2:18:362:18:41

Well, I guess this is as good a place as any to leave you.

2:18:472:18:52

I apologise. I wish I could stay with you...

2:18:522:18:56

while you go and look for what you're looking for, but... Jimmy Tuck...needs his car back.

2:18:562:19:03

And I value my life, so I'm gonna take it to him.

2:19:042:19:08

So long!

2:19:122:19:14

# Where in the world...

2:19:282:19:31

# ..did you come from, my dear?

2:19:332:19:36

# Did some mysterious voice...

2:19:392:19:42

# ..tell you I'd still be here?

2:19:432:19:46

# I bought this ticket to Mobile

2:19:532:19:56

# But I've been stranded all day

2:19:582:20:01

# PA said the bus broke down

2:20:022:20:05

# Ten miles away from the station

2:20:052:20:11

# So seldom a door

2:20:162:20:19

# So seldom a key

2:20:202:20:22

# So seldom a lock

2:20:222:20:25

# Like the love between you and me

2:20:252:20:29

# But seldom comes happiness

2:20:292:20:32

# Without the pain

2:20:322:20:35

# Of the devil in the details

2:20:352:20:39

# Since I saw the smile on your face

2:20:392:20:43

# As I was crying in a Greyhound station

2:20:432:20:48

# On Christmas Day

2:20:482:20:51

# In 1998

2:20:512:20:55

# As I was crying in a Greyhound station

2:20:552:21:01

# On Christmas Day...

2:21:012:21:03

# The burden of love is the fuel of bad grammar

2:21:142:21:20

# You stutter and stammer

2:21:212:21:23

# What a bitch to convey

2:21:232:21:26

# The crux of the matter

2:21:322:21:35

# When the words you must utter

2:21:352:21:38

# Are hopelessly tangled

2:21:392:21:41

# In the memories and scars you show no-one

2:21:412:21:47

# So seldom a door

2:21:512:21:54

# So seldom a key

2:21:542:21:57

# So seldom a hit

2:21:572:22:00

# Like the hurt you put on me

2:22:002:22:04

# But seldom comes happiness

2:22:042:22:06

# Without the pain

2:22:072:22:09

# Of the devil in the details

2:22:092:22:13

# Since I saw the smile on your face

2:22:132:22:17

# As I was crying in a Greyhound station

2:22:172:22:22

# On Christmas Day... #

2:22:222:22:24

E-mail us at [email protected]

2:22:242:22:28

First transmitted in 2004, this is a stunningly-photographed, thought-provoking road trip into the heart of the poor white American South. Singer Jim White takes his 1970 Chevy Impala through a gritty terrain of churches, prisons, truckstops, biker bars and coalmines. Along the way are roadside encounters with present-day musical mavericks the Handsome Family, David Johansen, David Eugene Edwards of 16 Horsepower and old-time banjo player Lee Sexton, and grisly stories from the cult Southern novelist Harry Crews.


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