Shaking The Gates - Richard Thompson

from the album 13 Rivers (2018)

Have you ever thought about the gates to heaven?

If there is a gate, does that mean there is a wall or a fence?  If so, is its purpose to keep souls in, or to keep them out?  I mean, does heaven need a wall?

And what is the experience at the gates like?  Is it like the TSA line at the airport?  Is it like the lines at Ellis Island a hundred years ago?  Or, is it like the line to get into Studio 54, with Saint Peter in a white leisure suit, hand selecting those who are allowed in?

And do people really get turned away at the gates to heaven?  That seems like a shitty way to treat a newly departed soul.

On the closing track to his new album, Richard Thompson finds himself Shaking The Gates to hell.  Hell, of course, seems like a place more likely to have a gate.  Kind of like a prison gate.

The song title is likely derived by the John Wesley quote, "Give me a hundred preachers ... who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the gates of hell and set up the Kingdom of God on this earth."

More recently, Shaking The Gates to hell is a rally cry against corporate globalization and greed.

But, most likely, the song is about being a reprobate, a scoundrel, and an Irishman.

Regardless, it is a beautiful and sad song.  Nobody plays a guitar, or sings, like Richard Thompson.

Click Here to listen to Shaking The Gates by Richard Thompson.

Click Here to read my February 2013 blog post for Will You Dance, Charlie Boy? by Richard Thompson.

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