Weekend Musical Diversion: God’s Promise

April 18, 2010

Folk musician Ellis Paul wrote the music to Woody Guthrie’s lyrics and this amazing song is the result…

God’s Promise

I didn’t promise you
skies painted blue
all colored flowers all your days through
I didn’t promise you
sun with no rain
joys without sorrows
peace without pain

all that I promise
is strength for this day
rest for my worker and light on your way
I give you truth when you need it
my help from above
my undying friendship my unfailing love

I never did promise you
crowns without trials
food with no hard sweat your tears without smiles
hot sunny days
without cold wintry snows
no victory without fighting no laughs without woes


I sure didn’t say I’d give you
heaven on earth
a life with no labor no struggles no dearths
no earthquakes no dry spells
no fireflames no droughts
no slaving no hunger no blizzards no blights


I give you my power
this minute this hour
the power you need when you fall down to bleed
I give you my faith
my will to pull home

my love for my races
my colors all kinds
my love for my races
my creeds of all kinds
my dancers my prancers
my colors all kinds
my saviors my flavors
my creeds of all kinds

Words by Woody Guthrie, 1955

For a video interview with Ellis Paul explaining this song, click here.

1 Lance April 18, 2010 at 4:57 am

What a powerful song. The words and the music to go with it really are so, so good. In fact, I find these words touching my soul this morning. Thanks so much for sharing this.

2 Sara April 18, 2010 at 1:20 pm


Thank you so much for sharing the music and words for this song. It is a perfect musical poem for my Sunday:~)
.-= Sara´s last post…Life Lessons: Humbled by Simple Words =-.

3 Tim April 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Hi Lance: I’m glad this video moved you…I thought it would be the perfect Sunday song. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

Hi Sara: I’m glad you enjoyed…I would agree that its the perfect Sunday song with some really great lyrics. This song is the perfect blend of old (lyrics) and new (music). Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

4 Nadia - Happy Lotus April 19, 2010 at 9:34 am

Hi Tim,

Woody Gutherie is one of my favorite songwriters of all times. He was a huge influence on Bob Dylan and many other folk singers. Thank you so much for sharing this song and for putting the lyrics.

Isn’t it amazing how the message of the song stil rings true all these years later?

Hope all is awesome, my friend!

5 Lori April 19, 2010 at 11:54 am

Hi Tim,

I’m moved by this song — I’ve never heard it before today.
The combination of the words with acoustic guitar — quite beautiful, very powerful.

Thanks, Tim. This totally made my day.

6 Tim April 19, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Hi Nadia: Good to hear that you’re into Woody Guthrie. While I am aware of him, I probably don’t have the deep appreciation you have for him – yet. I know I have some musical exploring to do. In any case, you’re right how timeless this song is. BTW, if you really like Woody Guthrie you should check out Ellis Paul…he’s probably one of my favorite musical storytellers…simply amazing! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the song!

Hi Lori: Wow, good to hear you were moved by the tune…like you, I had not been aware of it until Friday when I was blown away and needed numerous repeat listens. BTW, I’m not sure if you clicked to the interview at the end of the post, but it gives a really great background on that song (and even a different version). As always, thanks for stopping by and for your support!

7 vikum April 22, 2010 at 7:16 am

Listened to the song for the first time. Wow.. Tim what a powerful song. Even after listening to the song, that words, that message ring in my mind. Woody must be a wonderful man. These words are coming from his heart I believe.
Salute to the song.
Thanks a lot Tim for sharing with us !

8 Tim April 24, 2010 at 9:25 am

Hi Vikum: I’m glad you enjoyed the song…and I agree that the lyrics are especially powerful. It’s also very timely as a lot of us are dealing with challenging times. Thanks for stopping by!

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