Saturday, December 22, 2007
Anyway, that atheism stuff. Having been alternating between two rather demanding books - Dominic Sandbrook's Never Had It So Good and John Burnside's The Devil's Footprints - I turned to the television and stumbled upon an Emmylou Harris concert. For more than thirty years, Nige and I have worshipped this woman, the greatest female singer since Ella Fitzgerald. I heard her say something about religion being the poetry of the people. She then sang a gospel song that made all the hairs on my body stand on end, followed by two Parsons/Hillman masterpieces, Sin City and Wheels, which made me cry. When Keith Richards heard Sin City, he knew his friend Gram Parsons had left him far behind. The band was not right for Daniel Lanois' The Maker, the baptismal prayer that ends her album Spyboy and always makes my mouth go dry. It was perhaps as well; I couldn't have taken much more.
I suppose you could listen to Emmylou while maintaining a lively sense that God does not exist. But why bother? You see, what I really don't get about atheism is, what's the point?
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:23 am