Song Lyric Sunday

Helen Espinosa’s theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is Guilty Pleasure. Yummy!

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 4.04.55 PM
1968 Neil and 1988 Neil. Still going strong in 2016.


I fell in love with Neil Diamond when I was in high school. My friends — Dead Heads and Moody Blues fans — had the same regard for Neil that many today have for John Tesh or Michael Buble or Barry Manilow, meaning not a lot. But I. Didn’t. Care. Neil sang to me in a spiraling surge of emotional energy that I might now describe as a virgin’s chaste orgasm. (How can I admit this in public even now? I’m sure I’m blushing.)

Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show has a power of its own. There’s a good reason Diamond uses it as his concert closer. Maybe it’s more like Sinclair Lewis’s Elmer Gantry, but personally, it makes me think of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. Go figure.

The YouTube video to his 2008 Madison Square Garden performance is linked in the song title, and as a bonus, I’ve included links at the bottom for videos of performances from a 1971 BBC concert and  a 1988 concert, too.

“Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”


Neil Diamond

Hot August night and the leaves hanging down
And the grass on the ground smellin’ sweet
Move up the road to the outside of town
And the sound of that good gospel beat
Sits a ragged tent where there ain’t no trees
And that gospel group tellin’ you and me

It’s love brother love say brother love’s traveling salvation show
Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone goes
‘Cause everyone knows brother love’s show

Room gets suddenly still and when you’d almost bet
You could hear yourself sweat he walks in
Eyes black as coal and when he lifts his face
Every ear in the place is on him
Startin’ soft and slow like a small earthquake
And when he lets go half the valley shakes

It’s love, brother love say brother loves traveling salvation show
Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone goes
‘Cause everyone knows ’bout brother loves show

I say brothers
Now you got yourself two good hands
And when your brother is troubled you’ve gotta
Reach out your hand for him ’cause that’s what it’s there for
And when your heart is troubled you’ve gotta reach out
Your other hand, reach it out to the man up there
‘Cause that’s what he’s there for

Take my hand in yours
Walk with me this day
In my heart I know
I will never stray
Halle, halle, halle, halle, halle, halle, halle, halle

Love brother love say brother love’s traveling salvation show
Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone goes
I say love brother love say brother love’s traveling salvation show
Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone goes

1971 BBC Concert

1988 The Best Years of Our Lives Tour

Lyrics provided by Google Play.

Song Lyric Sunday


Author: Sue Ranscht

I am a writer. Let me tell you a story...

16 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday”

  1. I liked Neil Diamond for a while – something to do with ‘Stones’ and a tall, blonde German medical student on a Greek island … 😉 Interesting the one you chose, made me think of Steve Martin’s film Leap of Faith which almost no-one I know has ever seen, Have you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, memories. Yours sounds charming.

      No, I haven’t seen Leap of Faith, but I just watched a 7+ minute revival scene on YouTube. I’ll see if I can find it on Netflix. Thanks for the recommendation. Did you ever see him in Roxanne?


  2. I could see you blushing from here! I’ve always loved Neil Diamond. One of my favorites is Sweet Caroline…”hands touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you…🎶.” Yep, takes me right back to some rather hot summer nights.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Neil Diamond! My son likes him too, he also likes John Denver and Dolly Parton..I’m more inclined to Rolling Stones, Coldplay etc..but there’s always time for Neil (and Justin Bieber…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! My son grew up listening to my oldies, and when he finally realized his generation had its own music, I heard Cherry Poppin’ Daddies through Blink 182, Train, Rob Thomas, and such. I listened to Boy Bands like NSYNC, but never got into Justin Bieber — except for a traffic jam before his latest concert in San Diego. Lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I too like Neil Diamond…thank you my dear sister, for turning me on to him, way back when. I had the pleasure of seeing him this past year when he came to town. He’s still got it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did enjoy The Monkees and Davy Jones, but I never developed a taste for Cat Stevens. Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, yes, even Donovan. Bob Dylan for sure. Carole King. Oh, and Simon and Garfunkel! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Sue Ranscht Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: