It Starts with a Square

The Raven and the Dove

BY Regan Hewitt

I was barely paying attention. Just chatting with my son as we looked for our seats at Snowden Grove, when the opening act paused his song and yelled, “Now listen!” Picking back up with his lyrics, he and maybe 200 fans, all emphatically sang “No, I don’t give a d*** how much money you make. If your last shirt has pockets take all you can take, I’m… well, I’m going out with nothing − like I caaaame in!” Cody Jinks now had my attention. 

Cody Jinks playing to a sold out crowd at Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain, NC on October 7, 2018.

Who was this guy and how do these people know his music? It was time to dig in. A quick Spotify search turned up a song “Cast No Stones” by Cody Jinks. Here’s some lyrics: 

I don’t talk with Jesus as much as I should

I don’t read that good book everyday like I could

But I like to stop at the end of the day

and I pray that I hurt nobody

and somebody new found their way

Cody Jinks playing to a sold out crowd at Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain, NC on October 7, 2018.

Ok, I have a confession to make. I don’t much like praise music. I mean, I know some seriously talented people killing it with praise music every Sunday, but I don’t listen to it any other place. That said, I dig it when “secular” music addresses Christianity. I think this is because, much of the time, it’s in the context of struggles that real folks face every day – and it usually has some edge to it. One of my favorites, and the first time I remember experiencing the Christian/Secular tie as a teen, was a Tesla cover of a song originally written by Les Emmerson, called  “Signs”…

And the sign says “Everybody welcome Come in Kneel down and pray

But then they passed around a plate at the end of it all

And I didn’t have a penny to pay

So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign

I said Thank you Lord for thinking about me I’m alive and doing fine

Cody Jinks consistently sits at the top of my playlist partly because many of his songs speak to this Christian struggle – and some are just downright Christian songs. 

Cody Jinks playing to a sold out crowd at Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain, NC on October 7, 2018.

In a recent song, “Think Like You Think,” Cody speaks of a struggle with alcohol. The song begins… “the Good Book holds the reasons I believe the way I do” and builds up to a chorus of, presumably, his wife asking: “How can you think like you think, and drink like you drink? You can barely stand up when you kneel down to pray.” 

“Same Kind of Crazy as Me” grabs attention by opening with “I don’t go to Church on Sunday and I don’t go to work on Monday.” Mr. Jinks then goes on to acknowledge that he, and his friends, are a little crazy. Here’s the chorus: 

There ain’t a single thing we own

We’ll take with us when we’re gone

So I’ll just walk the earth a while

Lend a hand and leave a smile

And who knows how the whole thing ends

You can’t tell me where or when

So I’ll just pray that when I’m done

I meet the Father and the Son, and

If I’m right they’ll be

The same kind of crazy as me

There’s also just some good old-fashioned, feel-good songs, like “Mamma Song” where Cody thanks his mom with words like “I know the late-night talks with Jesus have helped me on my way.”

Cody Jinks playing to a sold out crowd at Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain, NC on October 7, 2018.

Let me remind you at this point that this is not a Christian artist by genre. Further, his style and lyrics may not be suitable for younger listeners and not all of his songs nod to Christianity. Often though, Cody seems to be pouring his heart out about the struggles he faces in life as a hard-edged-musician on the road, all that entails, balanced with his fundamental faith. This is probably most exemplified in some of his deeper lyrics, like “The Raven and The Dove”: 

Some days a raven, some days a dove

Some days the dark cloud hanging round

Others from the light above

I’m scuffed by the devil, but I’m washed up in the blood

Some days a raven, some days a dove

There’s a scene in the movie “A Star Is Born” where Bradley Cooper turns to Lady Gaga and earnestly says “Look, talent comes everywhere. Everybody’s talented, everyone in this bar is talented at one thing or another. But having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag.” With more than 1.3 million followers on Spotify and individual songs reaching nearly 50 million plays, Cody Jinks has found a way to communicate what he has to say with his style of country music. 

If you want to listen, you probably won’t find him on the radio. As Cody himself explains in “Hippies and Cowboys,” he’s not really accepted as part of the typical country music scene. So, you’ll have to seek him out – ‘till then “Say a prayer for me brother, and I’ll see you on down the line” – Cody Jinks (Cast No Stones).

story | Keith Essary

photos | DavidSimchock.com

“Give All You Can”

 

The dark places I go, ain’t just on the road

‘Tween the lines, ‘tween the views

It’s the same

Never did understand, to much younger men

Why I felt such a need to go

But I learned that it’s all in my head

Can’t stop whatever’s turnin’

With that being said

I got a bad tortured soul

For reasons I don’t know

Guess for some it’s just meant to be

But I remember Mathew 5

I’m thankful to be alive

And I know there’s people on that mountain

Who are a lot like me

I’ve been down and not had a dollar to my name

But there’s angels there that got me through

And I can do the same

When you give all you can

When you give all you can

When you give all you can, give some more

Till you spend all your time

Till you spend your last dime

Tell me brother, what are you living for?

What are you loving for?

I’ve been down and not had a dollar to my name

But there’s angels there that got me through

Hell, I can do the same

When you give all you can

When you give all you can

When you give all you can, give some more

Till you spend all your time

Till you spend your last dime

Tell me brother, what are you living for?

What are you living for?

What are you living for?

What are you living for?

You living for

What are you living for?

When give all you can

What are you living for?

Give all you can

What are you living for?

What are you living for?

Give all you can

May/June 2020 Tour Collierville Magazine