Song Meanings: Truth and Oil
"This is probably the most interesting song on the record to talk about. I wrote this totally on acoustic guitar. At the time we had the music, but I didn't have the lyric or melody done. Then one day I was driving in Newport, Rhode Island, and I saw a lit-up sign outside of a church that said, 'The truth and God's love are two things that will always surface, like truth and oil.' It was one of those moments where I pulled to the side of the road and went, 'Oh, man! That could be a great title for this song!' I wrote it down, forgot about it. A couple of weeks later, I opened up my notebook, because I was listening to the work tape of the song É and I literally wrote the lyric in fifteen minutes. I think that came from a mix of seeing that sign and the fact that I was reading Dharma Bums. I was really into Kerouac's streamed thinking, writing without editing. Really, I didn't know what I was writing about; I just wrote. I always looked up to songs like 'Imagine' or the U2 song 'One,' and this was my first attempt to write a song at that same level of emotion."
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