My Church is in the Mountains…

fiddle

Since I needed something to do to keep myself occupied while waiting to search for the treasure, I decided to write a country song about Forrest’s story. It is based on the original plan where he dies at the end! Sorry Forrest, but in the interest of producing a good country ballad, I had to have you die on top of the treasure.

It is longer than the typical song, but I think it would make a good ballad if someone is willing to put it to music. I don’t know how to write music for this, but I can hear the song in my head, so I made a recording of me singing it. However, I’m not very good, so I’m not prepared to release that at this time. If anyone happens to know a good country singer who could do justice to it, please forward it on. Preferably someone who is already acquainted with the Forrest Fenn story. Maybe it will generate a few bucks to help fund my next boots on the ground!

David Thalheimer

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Lyrics to “My Church is in the Mountains”
Copyright 2019, by David Thalheimer (Country music played with guitar and fiddle)

I was just a boy from Texas try’n to do my momma proud,
But I’m not one to follow rules and get lost in the crowd.
My teachers tried to school me but I barely made the grade,
You’d find me shootin’ marbles or just sitting in the shade.

My father taught me everything I’d really need to know,
Wyoming and Montana were the places we would go.
We’d hike and camp and fish and hunt and spend our days together,
Exploring all the wonders there, no matter what the weather.

He set me on a path of new discovery and growth,
Where did we all come from and where do we want to go?

My church is in the mountains where the air is cold and pure,
My church is in the valleys where the water’s clear for sure,
My church is in the forest where the critters jump and play,
Yeah my church is in the mountains where I’m coming home to stay.

I served my country in the war, the one called Vietnam,
We all drank down the Cool Aid as they loaded up the bombs.
I flew real good, they knew I could, hit targets on the nose,
But who I put beneath my wings, only heaven knows.

One day I saw a waterfall so beautiful and clear,
Between the bullets and the bombs, what was it doin’ here?
I had to go back down there to get a closer look,
Found graves of unknown soldiers — that time almost forsook.

Why do we keep on fighting, why can’t we get it right?
Let’s leave our fellow man alone, when will they see the light?

My church is in the mountains where the air is cold and pure,
My church is in the valleys where the water’s clear for sure,
My church is in the forest where the critters jump and play,
Oh my church is in the mountains where I’m coming home to stay.

Went home to the good ol’ USA to start again anew,
Found a place in Santa Fe and somehow made it through.
I hustled high and hustled low and made it on my own,
Dug for ancient treasures that were hidden in the stone.

The wife and kids were happy and for more I could not pray,
Finally, it looked like it was all goin’ my way.

Then the doctors told me — it was likely I would die,
The cancer, it had taken hold, I’d better say goodbye.
But I’m not one to follow rules and do just what they say,
If I’m gonna have to go, I’m doin’ it my way.

My church is in the mountains where the air is cold and pure,
My church is in the valleys where the water’s clear for sure,
My church is in the forest where the critters jump and play,
Yeah my church is in the mountains where I’m coming home to stay.

I got myself a chest of old and filled it up with gold,
And jewels like you have never seen, my story on a scroll.
I took it to the mountains to my favorite secret place,
To lay my old bones on it, which forever they would grace.

They say to leave it all behind, you just can’t take it with you,
But I’m not one to follow rules, to me I must be true.

So hear me all and listen good, this promise I will make,
If you can find my treasure trove, it’s here for you to take.
Just leave my bones to rest here in the rain and in the snow,
Where did we all come from and where do we want to go?

My church is in the mountains where the air is cold and pure,
My church is in the valleys where the water’s clear for sure,
My church is in the forest where the critters jump and play,
Now my church is in the mountains — where I’ve come home to stay.

 

 

 

 

 

44 thoughts on “My Church is in the Mountains…

  1. Kinda sad but that’s what makes a great county song. Put music to it. Well done. Send it to toby Keith or Blake Shelton.

  2. Nice job David. Perhaps my comment belongs in Legal Ponderings, which I haven’t read in years. I don’t think it has been discussed, but if Forrest’s bones were indeed hidden with the treasure, then upon discovering and recovering the treasure, wouldn’t this then result in grave robbing? It seems that human bones and treasure brings together a host of ethical, religious, legal and other issues for the finder. Any thoughts?

    • Homebrew…The last line of the original poem is reputed to have read something like:
      Take the chest and go in peace
      But leave my bones alone…

      So it sounds like Forrest was giving his permission to remove the chest…

  3. That was really good. I’m very impressed and sure Forrest would like it. You should email it to him. He knows country stars.

  4. Those words are pretty darn good. I’d encourage you to seek out a local musician or band to help you work the music out. There are a surprising number of good musicians out there that can play by ear and repeat your sung melody on guitar or piano. I might take my own advice because I do some writing like that myself. Blaze a trail for me will ya?

  5. Great song, David. Before I read the lyrics, I thought of Barry Manilow, because FF mentioned that BM had an interest in this chase. But I think a country singer would be a better choice.
    I “second the motion” for Toby Keith, but think that Trace Adkins could also do a good job with the singing. Good luck.

  6. David,

    Words of Grace, and Praise for a man who, for the good of fellow men shows his love of this land, yes somewhere in the beauty of God’s Rockies there is/are many places where Truth and Love and a real Treasure waits, a place I am proud to call HOME. Perhaps that is the word that is key when all is said and done. Is that a co ordinate or just a number only the Oracle knows for sure.

    Like the flow of this river below, you are good with words and the feelings show.

    “My church is in the mountains where the air is cold and pure,
    My church is in the valleys where the water’s clear for sure,
    My church is in the forest where the critters jump and play,
    Now my church is in the mountains — where I’ve come home to stay.”

    I makes me proud to hear someone who gets the real reason we live here.
    John Denver was from New Mexico and only his spirit could ignite this right.
    So John could do one last number about our home?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOB4VdlkzO4

    TT

    • John Denver was a man who really “got it”. Coincidentally, he was born in my late wife’s hometown of Roswell and on my sister’s birthday (albeit about 3 decades earlier).

  7. Hey, Dal,
    It was originally Forrest’s plan when he had cancer to take 52 sleeping pills and go die by the treasure. “At least they’ll find my bones and know who I am,” he said – because he also hada Kinko- reduced copy of his autobiography seale in a glass jar inside the treasure box.

  8. David

    Try adding a Banjo and Spoons, that’ll Really have a Country Feel to it.
    And maybe a Washboard too.

    How about a duet with Garth Brooks and Chris Stapleton.
    The video could be Garth and Chris walking thru the wilderness playin their guitars with beautiful scenery and animals frolicking and waterfalls, and then they stumble across Forrest’s remains and they remove their cowboy hats and take a knee and break into the chorus, when their finished they could fill their pockets with the loot and walk off into the sunset playin the harmony.
    Just an idea.

    • Now that’s an idea Pauley – Gotta’ have a setting sun in the background fade-out 🙂 – Oh yes, and they gotta’ wear white hats right? 🙂 JDA

      • JDA

        Yes, white hats indeed!
        Maybe they could lay down some Blue Columbine, Bitterroot, Yucca and Indian Paintbrushes to honor Mr Forrest Fenn and the Treasured Four States that the hunt has been narrowed down to.

        Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
        And to the earth they shall be blessed to inherit.
        Sunday School Wisdom.

        “When the blood in your veins returns to the sea, and the earth in your bones returns to the ground, perhaps then you will remember that this land does not belong to you, it is you who belong to this land.”
        Native American Wisdom.

  9. Great job, David. But I think you should share the recording so we can all hear the tune that goes along with the lyrics!

  10. David,

    Love this. Have you recorded it and posted anywhere? Youtube? While my mind filled in some melody as I read, I sure would like to hear it performed.

  11. Nicely word smithed, Dal. It tells the story well, at least as far as someone can tell that’s not FF.

    Loved the verse about the waterfall from TTOTC.

    Joel

  12. Well done, I like it a lot, now marry the lyrics to music and that music married with a Banjo, Guitar and a Fiddle along with a base type voice. What fun, YEE HA, lets dance to it as well.

  13. I sent it to Forrest, along with the audio file, but alas, no reply! Perhaps he does not want to toot his own horn.

  14. Happy Fathers day Forrest.

    Great song! I image we have someone lurking this chase that can put this to music.
    Sure to be a hit.

    HDD

  15. Great ballad….bound for glory like other ballads were. Two in particular….Ballad Of The Green Beret, and Wildwood Weed.
    -guy-

  16. Wow – I love this. Sure Forrest does, too. Contact R. W. Hampton. He is a cowboy, poet, singer, songwriter tgat lives in Cimarron, NM. I am sure he would do this proud. Kiddos, Deborah

  17. @Joel Belmont: It would be great if you want to try and write some music, but I also need someone to sing it. I don’t want to post my email online, but you can ask Dal for it.

  18. @ Deborah Tackett: I sent a copy to R. W. Hampton about a week ago, but received no reply. Maybe he is too busy or not interested.

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