Robbie Fulks

On this date in 1963, "Insurgent country" artist Robbie Fulks was born in Pennsylvania. He grew up in North Carolina and Virginia. Fulks took up the banjo at age 7. He dropped out of Columbia University, working as a paralegal, proofreader and actor. In 1983 he moved to Chicago, where he eventually joined Chicago's premiere bluegrass band, Special Consensus. He also taught at Old Town School of Folk Music. In 1993, he formed Robbie Fulks and the Trailer Trash. "Insurgent Country: Vol. 1: For a Life of Sin" came out in 1994, followed by volume II of "Insurgent Country" in 1995. Other albums include "Let's Kill Saturday Night" (1998), "Couples in Trouble" (2001) and "13 Hillbilly Giants." The singer, guitarist and songwriter tours with industry names. In an interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Oct. 23, 1998), Fulks said: "Religion is one of the important questions in life, I think. Or the disposition of our mortal souls and what happens to us after we die, and whether there is or isn't a God. I definitely think about it every day of my life. Given that it's that important a topic, it just makes sense to deal with it in music. I just took my own views and slightly radicalized them for the song ["God Isn't Real"]. I'm not really a confirmed atheist. But I am kind of a reluctant disbeliever. And I thought that (type of song) hadn't been done in country music before."

God Isn't Real

A world filled with wonder, a cold, fathomless sky
A man's life so meager, he can but wonder why
He cries out to Heaven its truth to reveal
The answer: only silence, for God isn't real.

Go ask the starving millions under Stalin's cruel reign
Go ask the child with cancer who eases her pain
Then go to your churches, if that's how you feel
But don't ask me to follow, for God isn't real.

He forms in his image a weak and foolish man
Speaks to him in symbols that few understand
For a life of devotion, the death blow he deals
We'd owe Him only hatred, but God isn't real.

Go tell the executioner of the power he can't defy
Go tell his shackled victim of the mercy on high. . .
Then go to your churches, go beg, pray, and kneel,
But don't ask me to follow, for God isn't real.

No, no matter how He should be, God isn't real.

—Robbie Fulks, "God Isn't Real"

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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