I Need the Wild Truth

T-Bone Burnett is a name that you might never have heard before. He’s a muso and music producer.

For anyone who has known anything about ‘Christian Music’ for a while it may interest you to know that he is married to Sam Phillips – formerly known as Leslie Phillips.

T-Bone Burnett is a well respected professional who has toured in Bob Dylan’s band and produced music for Counting Crows, The Wallflowers, BoDeans, Los Lobos, Bruce Cockburn and others. He is also a Christian. However he doesn’t serve up the usual themes in his music. He releases his music to a secular audience and tackles a huge range of ideas.

I like his music and I like his attitude. His lyrics make me think. He is quoted as saying, “You can sing about the Light, or you can sing about what you see because of the Light. I prefer the latter.”

Maybe we should take a leaf out of his book and make sure that everything we do and say is ‘about what we see because of the Light.’

Here are the lyrics to just one of his songs. It’s not his best or most insightful, but trying to pick which song that would be is a task beyond me.

The Wild Truth

from The Talking Animals

you never said it was a bed of roses

but you never said it was a bed of nails

you never told me ’bout the rubber hoses

or how unsteady were the justice scales

i need the wild truth

on the street there are a billion people

they got no love, they got no hope

they got no youth, they got no beauty

they’re looking backwards through a telescope

they need the wild truth


whatever happened to the man walking down the street

with his hands in his pockets whistling a tune?

science fiction and nostalgia have become the same thing

i don’t know how to make any choices anymore i mean,

who do i vote for? i get the feeling that as soon as

something appears in the paper it ceases to be true

i have to meet the man who can crack this world of justice

like a safe. someone with the courage to allow room for

good things to run wild

into the wild truth

we don’t need no voodoo stories

from no magic president

who tries to make a dream a fait accompli

by using phantoms for his evidence

we need the wild truth

i tell a hundred thousand lies that twist me

into the noise where i hide my sin

my shame and scandal pull me down and kiss me

i can’t live a life that might have been

i need the wild truth


are we supposed to take all this greed and fear and hatred

seriously? it’s like watching dust settle it never changes

it’s too consistent

mercy is not consistent it’s like the wind

it goes where it will. mercy is comic, and its the only

thing worth taking seriously

i need the wild truth

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading I Need the Wild Truth? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.

About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

View all posts

Join the conversation