Joan in the Fires Lyrics – Tribute to Joan of Arc

Joan in the Fires

Joan of Arc was also the only person in history ever canonized as a saint of the Catholic church who had once been executed as a heretic by the very same church. This song is a tribute to her.

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Joan in the Fires Lyrics

(Doyle/Kelley 2015)

 

Verse 1

Your judges always questioned your ability to lie,

as though this isn’t a common human inclination,

but all of us who strive on earth were born into a lie,

only you absorbed lies, changing them to absolution.

 

Chorus

Your face holds the fire,

your tears drop balm and agony,

then you accept the pyre,

forgiving century

after century.

 

Verse 2

Now you learn fire can sometimes separate lies from truth,

and searing pain brings a threshold, twists pain to ecstasy.

God’s voice is rarely helpful, unless heard by all as proof,

hearing it alone brings only a private sympathy.

 

Chorus

Your face holds the fire,

your tears drop balm and agony,

then you accept the pyre,

forgiving century

after century.

 

Bridge

You are an illustration of fire and chilling courage,

you are an indictment of a race who would think to burn

its benefactor, a race so befuddled by pure rage,

a maid must bear these resplendent pains, taking her turn.

 

Play Joan in the Fires

Chorus

Your face holds the fire,

your tears drop balm and agony,

then you accept the pyre,

forgiving century

after century.

 

Verse 3

You speak forgiveness to any generation who hears,

for all of us are thrown into the fires of our lives,

we all burn on top the kindling of our foibles and fears,

for we are all human, all of us saints, all of us strives.

 

Chorus

Your face holds the fire,

your tears drop balm and agony,

then you accept the pyre,

forgiving century

after century.

 

Play Joan in the Fires

 

Artist’s note:

Joan of Arc (1412-1431) earned, in the words of Louis Kossuth, an imposing distinction: since the writing of human history began, she is the only person, of either sex, who has ever held supreme command of the military forces of a nation at the age of seventeen.  Although she achieved many victories for her beloved Dauphin, by age nineteen she had been tried for heresy, then burned at the stake.  She was also the only person in history ever canonized as a saint of the Catholic church who had once been executed as a heretic by the very same church.

 

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