Skip to main content

orphan girl

i received a package in the post yesterday. i love reaching into the dark abyss of empty mail-space and feeling something other than glossy ads and credit card applications. it felt manila. sure enough, it was a padded yellowish envelope. the return address said "paste music" and so i knew what it was.
inside was a little plastic disc encoded with 13 songs by over the rhine. i had pre-ordered it months ago and it finally arrived. its called 'live from nowhere: volume 2."
i love over the rhine.
upon first listen, i wasn't blown away by the music. it is a kind of collection of a variety of their songs from different albums arranged in different ways or performed live. most of the tunes seemed good not great. there are a couple songs i have never heard of before, and one i just didn't like. but, and this is a huge but, track # 10 is 'orphan girl,' a song originally written by one gillian welch and also recorded by emmylou harris on her fantastic cd 'wrecking ball.' anyway, the first time i ever saw over the rhine live, at grove city college probably 10 years ago, they did this song. i have never heard them play it since on any recording or at any concert. but here it is in all its beauty with karin singing like she means it when she says, "i have no mother i have no father i have no sisters i have no brothers, i am an orphan girl." (when i sing along, i always say 'orphan child,' so as to be gender-neutral).
so, i just wanted to share my postal bliss with you.


Mary said…
I, too, love reaching into cold metal boxes to find a bit of love and excitment. I thought that was just a college thing...but turns out be it a college box or an apartment box, the steel can be cold and empty and depressing, or filled and content and happy. i love the latter. In other news...your birthday present is not coming. now i can tell you, it was a tshirt from Relevant...and they are out of stock. guess its good i got you something else...even if its not as cool as something from Relevant.
Crafty P said…
oh greg. That concert, in Crawford Hall, was one of my favorite memories from GCC. I remember how they had candles lining the stage and carpets draped over the floor. I'm going to have to go through some old notebooks today to see if I can find the songlist from some of my more recent OTR concerts. I vaguely remember hearing Orphan Girl sung again- I always wished and hoped they would sing it at every concert I attended since that GCC one.
So excited to hear it's on this album, which, by the way, I had no idea existed. How in the world did I miss a new OTR album?
Thanks for rekindling that lovely memory for me today.

mary- so sorry your shirt never made it to your brother. relevant shirts are very cool, in my opinion.
greg. said…

no problem on the shirt. i know they were moving their offices and going through all kinds of stuff, so that's probably why there was so much confusion. i am happy with my gift(s). and a relevant shirt would always make a great christmas present...


i, too, remember that concert. it was like a curtain was pulled back, giving me a view into a whole new way of playing/hearing/living music that i had never imagined before. it sounds corny, i know, but for me it was a spiritual moment. that being't buy it. just don't buy it.

greg. said…

did you get anything in the mail yet?
Erin said…
Don't know if you check old entries for new posts, but we received our copy last week, and while i'm always hesitant to criticize anything OTR, i have to say i'm getting a little tired of 18 versions of the same song on 20 CD's. We have every CD, but there's probably only enough songs for half that many. Orphan Girl does help, though...
greg. said…
hey erin,

i kind of agree. i don't need 5 versions of a song, if they all sound basically the same. but, i don't mind it at all if they take a song and do what linford often says about it: put a new dress on it. i like that. its like a variation on a theme. so that part doesn't bother me. i know that you and m. aren't as into their covers as i am, but i love it when they do other people's songs.

all in all, i like the album, but its not a studio release, you know? its just for the very serious fan.

Emoly said…
Hey Greg, I went back to this blog, knowing that you'll get this in an e-mail: you can come visit us and see Over the Rhine in concert for $28 this summer, if you'd like!

It's at the Meijer Gardens (where I'm always taking pictures) they have an amphitheater, and members get to pre-order tickets at a discounted rate. It's Thursday, August 9th, hmmm that's your day off...

I thought of you when I saw Over the Rhine was coming. And seriously, if you're interested, let me know and I'll get tickets?!

Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …