The Power of Country Music: “Keep the Wolves Away” by Uncle Lucius
A Storytelling Masterpiece in Song Form
Today’s post delves into a deeply personal experience that I encountered. It revolves around a mesmerizing song that I discovered just a couple of months ago. This only goes to show the remarkable ability of country music to convey profound stories. “Keep the Wolves Away” by Uncle Lucius is a prime example of incredible storytelling through music.
The song depicts the life of a man as he grows from a young age. It opens with the portrayal of his father, who tirelessly sacrifices parts of his being every day, working overtime to provide for his family and protect them from hardships. I must admit, though, that I hold a differing perspective on this matter. Work serves a purpose beyond material provision. It holds intrinsic value and, along with faith and family, forms the pillars that give life meaning.
This topic resonates deeply with me. During the period when my father established his last business until the time he fell ill and could no longer work regularly, he spent his days toiling away. I vividly recall waking up to him already hard at work, and going to bed knowing that he was still at it. He hardly took a break, often neglecting to observe the Sabbath. He could have sought higher-paying jobs with fewer hours, but his decision was driven by personal fulfillment just as much as it was by familial responsibilities. And yet, despite his demanding schedule, he never failed to attend church every Sunday, meticulously groomed, nor did he miss any of my wrestling matches. Throughout the majority of our time together on this earth, he devoted his days to faith, family, and vocation. I cannot fathom a life more fulfilling than the one he led.
“Keep the Wolves Away” acknowledges the reality that certain jobs, such as working at chemical plants, put “bread on the table of the working man.” The song also captivates listeners with its evocative and vivid imagery.
Well, I was barely 13 when the company man attempted to bury my father,
It happened on a French-owned tanker ship, poison spilling into Galveston Bay,
The liquid fire seeped into his lungs and eyes, muffling any cries,
Cold and gripped by the agony of death, he fought relentlessly to fend off the wolves.
In the narrative, a plaintiffs’ lawyer becomes a silent hero. Their efforts result in a settlement that helps the family get through the aftermath of the accident. However, the settlement money is finite, pushing the narrator to put everything on the line. As they declare, “I’m going for broke with every song I play, because now it’s my turn to keep the wolves away.”
This resonates deeply with my own experiences as well. My mother firmly holds the belief that she owes me a better life, no matter the personal cost. She is far too stubborn and proud to accept charity, even from her own family. Yet, the wolves have remained a constant and malevolent presence in my life ever since my father’s passing. They may be unseen and unheard, but their presence is deeply felt. So, when the need arises, I provide my mother with financial aid, and whenever possible, I make a point of dedicating a couple of grueling 15-hour days to replace the roof on our storage shed.
When the time comes for further action, I will do whatever needs to be done. I consider it my duty, and I willingly embrace it because it lends meaning to both my time and my resources.
“Keep the Wolves Away” is featured on Uncle Lucius’s album, “And You Are Me.”
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