You want the high lonesome brought down to earth—
the value of gold, devoid of its worth.
Like herbless reggae, or atheist Bach
like love without romance and time with no clock—
it’s smokeless jazz without the snap
buried treasure without any map.
It’s Andean flutes without the coca
Moon with no shine—ni vida, ni loca . . .
You can’t have your culture without the Gospel
like rain without water, it’s simply impossible.
You can’t keep the tree without having roots
or gather a harvest without the fruits.
So get the hell gone with your atheist bluegrass
lest someone imply you’re an unsaved jackass . . .