…no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me

Born in 1961 into a devout Pentecostal family in Paragould, Arkansas, Iris DeMent was the youngest of 14 children. When she was three the family moved to Cypress, California where she grew up, first to the sounds of gospel music and later to the influences of such artists as: Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.

After college in Kansas City, DeMent remained in Missouri and supported herself as a waitress, while composing songs and honing her guitar and singing skills at open-mic nights around town.  In 1988 she made the leap to Nashville and eventually landed an independent record deal.

Today’s selection was included on her debut album, “Infamous Angel” which was released in 1992 when she was 31 years old. Despite a total lack of support from country radio, the album’s word-of-mouth acclaim landed her a major record deal, with Warner Brothers, which re-issued the album and served as the label for her next two albums as well. Now identifying herself as an “agnostic Christian” DeMent’s themes include religious skepticism, small town life, human frailty and forgiveness.

“Let the Mystery Be” has since been covered by a number of other artists (most notably 10,000 Maniacs) and was one of her numbers during Season One of the BBC Transatlantic Sessions, recorded at Montgreenan Mansion House in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1994. Here’s a YouTube clip, with priceless expressions and a group of musicians who seem to be having way too much fun…

LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Sunday 3 June  

Let The Mystery Be

Iris Dement

 Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from

Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done

But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me

I think I’ll just let the mystery be

Some say once you’re gone you’re gone forever and some say you’re gonna come back

Some say you rest in the arms of the Savior if in sinful ways you lack

Some say that they’re comin’ back in a garden, bunch of carrots and little sweet peas

I think I’ll just let the mystery be

 Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from

Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done

But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me

I think I’ll just let the mystery be

Some say they’re goin’ to a place called Glory and I ain’t saying it ain’t a fact

But I’ve heard that I’m on the road to purgatory and I don’t like the sound of that

Well, I believe in love and I live my life accordingly

But I choose to let the mystery be

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from

Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done

But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me

I think I’ll just let the mystery be

I think I’ll just let the mystery be

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