The Bible and The Bottle

A new song – I started out with a mock country backing track I put together a few years ago that re-emerged at just the right time and inspired wordsmith friend John Delk to come up with a tale of a couple breaking up in a bar, we started to muse on the fact that one of the pair might be a preacher, or at the least some kind of holy man…

Eventually, John’s lyrics morphed into a tale of a drinker trying to choose between The Bible and the bottle, maybe between right and wrong. John brought back the second character but gave us the news that she’d died some time ago…perhaps this was the cause of our protagonist’s drinking problem.

I overdubbed with my own instruments the original instrumental loops I’d used in the demo (drums and pedal steel guitar aside) on Telecaster, Taylor and bass guitars, changing the parts somewhat to make them more dynamic and adding a completely different guitar solo. I then set about recording my version of the vocal with John’s lyrics. I guess I mangled them in places, but I also came up with a couple of new lines I like, namely the lyric about hearing the angels calling and the final line about reading The Bible at the bottom of a bottle, alluding to him only seeing the light once he’s completely drunk…having (the listener might assume) led to his girlfriend’s death in a car crash when he had taken charge of his first car way back when.

The Bible and the Bottle

Blink… and it’s gone
Another year, another song
Seems this old soul just stumbles along

Well, I turned seventeen the year she died
Still can’t believe that was ’89
If I could go back I wouldn’t offer that ride

Now, I have to drink to clear my head
I really don’t care what The Good Book said
Another Sunday morning will soon be gone

If The Bible or the bottle is the choice I got
Well I can’t tell if I can take it or not
Lord, the truth is all the trouble that I got

You know, I’m still here?
Just hanging in, I can hear
those angels calling, calling me to prayer

But, maybe I’ll just take another shot
The Bible and a bottle is all I got
Well, it seems, nothing else will clear the air

The Bible or the bottle is the choice I got
And I don’t care if they get it or not
It’s The Bible or the bottle like it or not

I can’t take what’s wrong and make it right
And I can’t say I won’t drink tonight
That’s the truth, And that’s the trouble
It’s not The Bible, It’s the bottle

That’s the truth and it’s no trouble
It’s The Bible or the bottle
It’s The Bible not the bottle
You read The Bible at the bottom of a bottle

Words by John Delk and Dave Bradley
Music and arrangement by dB
Vocals, instrumentation, production dB