Is That So?

from by Exebelle

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This song is based on an old story about the Zen master named Hakuin. I dressed it up and filled in some details here or there, but the basic plot is unchanged from the original legend.


A thousand years ago in a Japanese town
a girl dreamed up a lie.
She was eight days late so she knew what grew
inside her was her child.
And she never had a wedding band,
and her daddy had a fist for a hand,
so she pointed to the loneliest man in the town and said, "Hakuin raped me last night."

About four or five guards took a hatchet to his door,
and knocked the cups and bowls from his shelf.
They said, "You're wanted for the carnal knowledge of a girl,
now what do you say for yourself?"
He said, "Is that so?
Well, I guess I'll go."
And he never said a word about the girl or her lies as they chained him down in the jail.

Now weaker men fall on their knees and beg
when they're breakin' rocks all day,
but you'd never catch Hakuin restin' even once
though they sure weren't his dues to pay.
Nine months later the sheriff came to visit.
He said, "Hakuin, you've paid for what you did,
but the Emperor's law dictates that you've gotta skip town and take care of this kid."
He said, "Is that so?
Well, I guess we'll go."
He took the baby on his back in a soft little sack
and carried him on over the hills.

And the boy grew up so fast,
And his mother's heart burst at last,
And her lips couldn't hold the secret so she told that the father was a sailor on a silk-tradin' vessel
and he lived somewhere in Siam.

Her parents climbed the cliffs to Hakuin's home,
and begged forgiveness on their knees.
They said, "Please give us back our dear grandson,
he's more precious than the skies or the seas."
He said, "Is that so?
Well, I'll let him go,"
and Hakuin smiled as he slept in the shade underneath the branches of a tree.


from V, released February 9, 2011
Philip Heesen, III: Harmony vocals, electric guitar, percussion
Kerry Hutcherson: Lead and harmony vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica, pedal steel guitar
Ryan Owenby: Bass guitar, harmony vocals
Ben Willson: Nord keyboard, harmony vocals, "Sounds pretty good"
Travis Tucker: harmony vocals



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