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Mitch McVicker
 You're here » Music Lyrics Index » M » Mitch McVicker » Canticle of the Plains » If I Could Make It Work Lyrics

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Mitch McVicker
Album: Canticle of the Plains
Track: If I Could Make It Work

If I Could Make It Work Lyrics

Rich Mullins, Beaker, and Mitch McVicker
Vocals by Kevin Smith
Job 14:14-15

I sit on a piano stool, and I make up songs for these men
Who come in with dust on their faces and mud on their boots
From these places that I'll never go.
I sleep in a rented bed, with a woman who gives me
What little I get of the love that we'd like to imagine
Is left of the love that we never did know.
I slip out and scribble a note that reads like a million bucks.
It's a four cent nickel for my dime store thief
But it sure reads good

And If I could make it work in life
(Make it work in life)
Like it works on paper.
(Works on paper)
If the love that I describe
(Love that I describe)
Could be anything but words
Then I would wipe my eyes,
I'd dry this ink,
I'd trade my pen in on a pair of wings.
And I would
(I would)
I would fly
(I would fly)
If I could only make it work in life

And at the end of every night, I add up the tips
That account for what might not come down to a thing
That amounts to a life, and the sum of it all
I'm afraid is less than what I know
I need to slip beneath the surface of my forgeries
Where I buried my hopes with sometimes my dreams
Still stir me and steal me away.
And I can still hear Dineh Bikeyah call
Just like when we were kids.
And I could tell you all about it in a song.
But Lord, I wish that

I could make it work in life
(Make it work in life)
Like it works on paper.
(Works on paper)
If the love that I describe
(Love that I describe)
Could be anything but words
Then I would wipe my eyes,
(Wipe my eyes)
I'd dry this ink,
I'd trade my pen in on a pair of wings.
(I would fly)
And I would fly!
If I could only make it work in life.
If I could only make it work in life.

Frank and his new found buddy Buzz come into this bar, they're visiting some old time friends of Frank's childhood. At this point Ivory joins them, because there's something very attractive about [their journey]. And so Frank and Buzz both encourage Ivory and say, "You know you don't have to be afraid; you don't have to be timid about life. You can really plunge into it." And so he decides to join them right then and there. At the end of this song, you know, of course, is the big conversion scene. I think it's more implied, because I generally think conversions are more implied than acted out in real life. So they leave the bar, and they're off, and they're continuing their stay in Wichita when we meet this next character, Clare. And she's based on the actual St. Clare, who was actually a very great friend of St. Francis. They head up to church, because they've been up all night getting converted, and so they decide to go up to the church to ask it's blessing and to leave it theirs, and Clare realizes that she can't really go with them, and that she's also very taken by Frank, but she realizes that there's a romantic interest on her part and possibly on his that might impede either their being able to really focus on Christ and really come into a deeper walk with Him. So she stands back and sings ... this is a prayer that she sings ... that she prays. She kind of steps back away from everybody else and goes off a little bit alone and prays for Frank. Because Frank, Buzz and Ivory have decided to leave, and they don't know exactly where they're going. Frank and Ivory made up this imaginary place when they were young called Dineh Bekeya and it was a place where they were gonna go and be the kings of the cowboys and live wild and free on the range. So they're heading towards this place, wherever it may be, knowing that it isn't real, but hoping that they'll find it. Clare and Frank kind of have this conversation about how Frank would like to stay with her, and she would like him to stay, but they both realize that that is not what they're called to do at this point. So it's kind of Clare's "letting go" song, letting go of that to grab hold of something bigger.

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