Six Days Left and I’m (Almost) Getting Ready to Go – With Help From Flatt & Scruggs

By nature I’m a procrastinator. The worst kind. If there’s a last minute, I’ll wait for that, thanks. Which leads me to almost start thinking about May 21st, 2011; judgement day. But, that’s six days away and there’s more pressing needs that must be taken care of first (apparently my wife’s bookshelf won’t build itself and she doesn’t care who’s coming back, it’s gonna get done).

In May of 1952 Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs laid down a song called “Brother, I’m Getting Ready To Go,” and boy, does it move! It’s one of those great gospel bluegrass numbers that has that uncanny confidence of our Oakland Brethren as the extoll their motto “There is no plan B.”

The lord’s saved me, I want the world to know
I’m on my way to glory land
There I’ll see Jesus and take Him by the hand
Brother I’m getting ready to go.

I’m getting ready to go I know
I’m leaving this world here below
Ain’t nothing in this world can turn me back I know
Brother I’m getting ready to go.

Say there wake up while yet you have time
And in the glory land wave
Jesus will hear you and answer your call
Get ready to meet him today

The lines above, taken from the song, could also have been lifted directly from a tract or billboard or painted side-of-car of the doomsayers. What I like about it is the first verse almost comes across as a boast, that is until you hear it sung. Then it comes across simply as fact. That fact is backed up in the chorus. I also like that never in the song does it become clear what exactly they are doing to get ready. I suppose the point is to always be prepared, but that seems foolish now that we know the date and even time of rapture. Truly, I say unto you, this cracked biblical code stuff is a procrastinator’s dream.

Still, I’m bothered by this getting ready business. The implication is that neither Lester or Earl are in fact prepared. Yes, it sounds like they are working on it, but what if, like a thief in the night, even they get jumped? Is this the type of situation where one could file an extension citing work in progress? And, if they aren’t ready do they have moral authority to tell me to do what they have not yet themselves done? Especially perplexing considering the last (final?) revelation, pardon, verse:

Brother don’t wait till it is too late
Jesus might call for you today
It’s awful to know when you leave this old world below
If you are not ready to go

For Lester of course this is all pedantic. He knows by now just how ready he was. For Earl and the rest of us we can only speculate and hope. Is that the true foundation of faith – speculative hope? Perhaps it’s rooted in the zealous confidence of modern day newscasters. Or is all of this just bullhockey and setting up our nation for the second Great Disappointment (third of you’re a liberal – zing!)?

Time will tell. Until then I need not faith to know thy shelf ain’t gonna build itself. Tape measure; check. Pencil; check. Drill; check. Cold beer; check. I’m finally ready.


About Iaan Hughes

Iaan Hughes is a deejay on 91.3 KBCS in Seattle. He plays country & western music.
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3 Responses to Six Days Left and I’m (Almost) Getting Ready to Go – With Help From Flatt & Scruggs

  1. Bruce says:

    Maybe should be considered the fourth dissapointment – I always consider the opening of Al Capones vault by Geraldo Rivera to be a great dissapointment on the level of a failed rapture.

  2. Pingback: The Second Coming Redux; Yeats, Schulz and Me « The Real Mr. Heartache

  3. Pingback: Smush(ed) « The Real Mr. Heartache

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