Let it Ring!

I saw the Indigo Girls in concert Thursday night, Sept. 11, at the Spartanburg (S.C.) Memorial Auditorium. And, as usual, it was awesome. Nonstop goodness.

It’s the sixth time I’ve seen them … well, it’s the sixth time I’ve seen them at an Indigo Girls show. I’ve seen them numerous times in Atlanta at other shows where they’d show up and play with friends like Michelle Malone. And I actually sat directly behind them – I was in the eighth row with my sister – at Bruce Springsteen’s Ghost of Tom Joad show at the Fox Theater in Atlanta on the night of the Super Bowl in 1996 (Jan. 28).

I was turned onto the Indigo Girls my senior year in high school. My AP English teacher Bobby Crowson and our valedictorian, Tommy White, were having a discussion about their debut. And Tommy, Chris Robinson and I listened to them on the way to a long weekend at Mrs. McMullen’s (our science teacher extraordinaire – physics, chemistry, life, you name it) cabin in the North Georgia mountains not long after graduation. I was hooked.

Their last album, “Despite Our Differences,” is the first one I haven’t bought as soon as it came out, excluding their greatest hits-type release and their rarities album. For whatever reason (likely, lack of cash), I didn’t take the leap this time.

Ont thing I learned Thursday is I need to go out and get that album. And I’ll be buying the next one – due in February – as soon as it comes out, as well.

I had planned, thinking about during the concert, on writing about some of my thoughts on the show. But I heard something at the end of the show that made me alter my plans.

After the Girls played “Closer to Fine,” their “Born to Run” so to speak, to close the main set, Amy came out alone for the encore. Playing a mandolin (or possible a mandola?), she launched into a blistering rendition of “Let it Ring” from her solo project “Prom.”

While I have bought the Indigo Girls’  albums almost religiously, I’ll admit I haven’t listened to any of Amy’s solo projects. Though, I’m not sure why.

Anyway, “Let it Ring” is a powerful song and the highlight of the evening for me.

Here are the lyrics:

“When you march stand up straight.
When you fill the world with hate
Step in time with your kind and
Let it ring

When you speak against me
Would you bring your family
Say it loud pass it down and
Let it ring

Let it ring to Jesus ’cause he sure’d be proud of you
You made fear an institution and it got the best of you
Let it ring in the name of the one that set you free
Let it ring

As I wander through this valley
In the shadow of my doubting
I will not be discounted
So let it ring

You can cite the need for wars
Call us infidels or whores
Either way we’ll be your neighbor
So let it ring

Let it ring
in the name of the man that set you free
Let it ring

And the strife will make me stronger
As my maker leads me onward
I’ll be marching in that number
So let it ring

I’m gonna let it ring to Jesus
Cause I know he loves me too
And I get down on my knees and I pray the same as you
Let it ring, let it ring
‘Cause one day we’ll all be free
Let it ring”

If Amy’s lyrics aren’t powerful enough, belted frantically at the top of her lungs, at the end of Thursday night’s live take, she, almost defiantly, worked in a couple of choruses from “This Little Light of Mine” at the end.


Here’s the only similar version I could find on the Web. Enjoy. Or don’t. I think that is kinda the point. If it makes you uncomfortable, so be it.

3 Responses to “Let it Ring!”

  1. thanks for this post.
    that Amy can make a point like no other i know.
    no ego ever present.
    maybe you can catch a solo show this tour….

  2. oneshorething Says:

    They’re coming to Virginia this weekend. I told everyone at work that you went to the show last week.

  3. Hey, if anyone is considering going that hasn’t seen them before, I’d highly recommend taking in the show.

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