Doc Mills

From the North

The Devils Are Here...

It is often noted that Winston Churchill referred to his depression as a "black dog" that visited him from time to time. I always thought it was pretty cool that Churchill was so forthright about that burden so long ago, since so many of us are reluctant to acknowledge our own black dogs. "Confession #20" is me acknowledging mine.

"Confession #20" was recorded live. As is the case with my other "confession" songs, #20 is a straightforward testimony that prioritizes truth over form; its number comes from the day of the month on which it was completed. I finished #20 on March 20, 2017, after about six months of passive writing.

Some of the lines come from an earlier song I had written but ended up throwing back. I also borrowed a line from Shakespeare's "The Tempest," when Ariel says "Hell is empty, and all the devils are here!” Though I count many poets and writers as influences in my songwriting (Robert Frost and Jack London are probably the two most obvious), I have never copped a line like this before. But, I could not have written a better one.


Confession #20

You say everything to the doctors
So they can name your disease
I've never been much of a talker
But I'd do anything to breathe

They say son since you need to feel better
Each day just take one of these pills
Be a shame to be reading your letter
With you next to your gun on the hill

They want me to hear about Jesus
But I know just what he'd say
You can find all the answers and reasons
If you bend your knees and pray

They know pride goes before destruction
So they run from the ending they fear
But I know after careful deduction
Hell is empty, the devils are here

Whoa where I come from
Cold always gets in
You can knock the snow from your boots by the door
But you can't shake the teeth of the wind

After all of the talk of honor
All the truths I swore
When the son becomes the father
Nothing matters anymore

Is this what I deserve?
What becomes of me
Turns out only the best sinners burn
The rest are left to freeze

Whoa where I come from
The hour's getting late
And we don't need the evening news
To tell us who to hate