March 14 2021

It’s the hour of Dogs a-barking

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Songwriter Thomas George Russell’s music is a masterly incorporation of Americana, and a sound of the American West. Every song he writes paints a picture of a particular place and time. Tom has mastered the art of painting a picture with his words. It doesn’t matter how many times that I hear the same old song I get the feelings through his music that it is the first time I have ever heard the song. Not many artists can do that for me, Tom Russell is one of the few.

This morning I heard “Guadalupe” again. AND once again it felt like the first time. To me, a Tom Russell song is like a fine wine. It gets better with age. Whatever I may happen to be going through in my life at any given moment I can find my trouble in a TR song. His lyrics are so rich and deep.

The feeling I get when listening to “Guadalupe.” It is like the hairs all stand up on my arms and on the back of my neck. Perfect thought-provoking lyrics, in this the tale of mystery cured through centuries of blood and candle smoke.

My personal favorite verse of the song is when Tom sings:

Now it’s the hour of dogs a-barking

That’s what the old ones used to say

It’s first light or it’s sundown

Before the children cease their play

In an oldTexas Monthly Magazine, dated October 2009, I found an interesting article about Tom Russell and on the song “Guadalupe.”

In the reading I learned that Tom wrote the song after spending a lonely Christmas in Mexico. Drowning in his own self pity he found himself at a midnight mass. At the mass he was surrounded by hundreds of struggling natives. These peoples of Mexican and Indian descent all seemed to still carry hope. A hope that was generated because of their faith and beliefs.

“I saw two or three hundred poor Indians and Mexicans, their faces shining, being led past the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe.”

Tom Russell Texas Monthly October 2009.

The final verse of the song explains it all from Tom’s point of view:

I am the least of all your pilgrims here

But I am most in need of hope

I am the least of all your pilgrims here

But I am most in need of hope

We were all born with a system of faith in place. It was left for us to decide what to do with it. My hope today is that my God has something bigger planned for my life. I choose to do his will and not my own. I ask for his shining light on my life today. I seek divine guidance and direction. Whenever something good happens I can give credit to God. When something negative happens I also give that up to God as my faith ensures me that all things happen for a reason. Today I am able to construct hope even in the worst trials of my life. I can always learn from my mistakes when I look inward instead of out.

My face is shining this day.


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Posted March 14, 2021 by Cody Watson in category "Pancho Palace


  1. By Sandra Ans on

    I have never heard about Songwriter Thomas George Russell, but it’s always nice to learn something new! And here I need to say – to make something old sound like something new, I think is a real talent! And yeah, this song has beautiful lyrics!


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