Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Song about Venerable Matt Talbot by Paul Lisney

Paul Lisney, a Catholic singer/songwriter/guitarist for nearly 40 years and a mental health crisis interventionist by profession, “stumbled” across Matt Talbot through the internet in the summer of 2013 and later read biographies. He stated in an email that ”I was really impressed [with Matt] as soon as I started reading and knew that a song would come from it. It took longer than usual to write because of the "research" involved. I went to various sites on the internet for other details I needed for the song.”

The lyrics of his song about Matt Talbot are posted below and the link to his recording is available free at http://alonetone.com/plisney/tracks/matt-talbot.
Paul Lisney’s website is http://imagesofheaven.org/Index/Lisney.html.  

                                 Matt Talbot

On the corner Matt Talbot stood waiting, waiting
With his pockets empty and thirst raging, raging
Hoping for a friend to pass by
And invite him inside O’Meara’s for drink or two

It was Dublin, Ireland, 1884
He’d been drinking 15 years, maybe more
Spend his wages, pawn his clothing or his shoes
Just enough to buy another drink or two

Matt was home before noon that day, sober, sober
Told his mum my drinking days are over, over
Confessed before a priest, then took the pledge
And in those first days doubted that he could keep his word

And later Matt was heard to say
It cut him to the heart that day
When none of his friends said “Come inside,
have a drink on me”

5:00 a.m. Matt’s day began with daily Mass
After work he’d kneel in church, for hours on end
Anything to keep his promise, change his ways
And struggling through those 90 days he took the pledge again

Gave himself to Jesus through Mary, Mary
Read the saints and the Holy Scriptures daily, daily
Prayer, fasting, and service like the monks of old
He lived a life of solitude amidst a troubled world 

He never drank another drop
And made amends where he could
And nourished by the bread of life,
In virtue he grew

Matt would discipline himself any way he could
His bed was two rough planks, his pillow a block of wood
He lived on dry bread and cold cocoa with a pinch of tea
Would pray for hours on his knees, deprive himself of sleep

Matt worked most of his life in Martin’s timber yard
A quiet man with a ready smile, he was known for working hard
Touch his hat each time he heard the Lord’s
Name said in vain, and by example taught

He gave to those most in need
To missions and to families
And kept his pledge for 41 years
For the rest of his life

Sunday morning, June 7th, 1925
On his way to Mass Matt Talbot collapsed and died
Word spread about the holy man who died on Granby Lane
His chains of love giving him away
Reminding us all are born to be saints 

We all are born to be saints