The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2009: Doug Burr's "The Righteous Will Rejoice" Restores Our Faith at No. 19

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[Editor's Note: Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be presenting my favorite local songs of the year, counting down from No. 25 to No. 1, one track a day. Today, we take an in-depth look at song No. 19 on the list--and click after the jump for a free download of the track. Lastly, keep checking back to see how the list pans out, and, also after the jump, check out songs No. 40-26 in the Top 40 list that will update as it grows...]

No. 19: Doug Burr -- "The Righteous Will Rejoice"

In early 2009, Doug Burr released The Shawl, a ten-track release in which he offered up his musical interpretations of the Psalms. And though the disc wasn't quite the fare audiences expected from the revered local singer-songwriter, it sure grabbed them as easily--none more so than the chilling "The Righteous Will Rejoice."

Bonus mp3:

Doug Burr -- "The Righteous Will Rejoice"

It's not exactly a secret to say that this song (and along with it the entirety of The Shawl) is faith-based--that much is revealed in the album's premise alone. And yet, even so, the song remains compelling to those not of Burr's shared beliefs. Indeed, "The Righteous Will Rejoice" compels not because of the conviction with which Burr shares his faith, but rather via the pause his beliefs give him.

Listen closely: Ever so slightly, Burr's voice seems to quiver each time he returns to the song's repeated line of "Surely, there is a God." It's almost as if, in repeating the line over and over, he will eventually convince himself of as much. Such is an incredibly powerful device; certainly, if faith isn't a universal theme, the questioning of one's faith is. And as Burr nears the end of this song and a chorus of singers joins him on the suddenly a capella refrain--accompanying him as a congregation would, offering one another a reassuring strength in numbers--it's as if they're appearing just to promise Burr and his listeners that, at the very least, we aren't alone in our positions.

The Shawl may differ from other Burr releases in inspiration, but in presenting that message, it remains comfortingly familiar.

The Top 40 Local Songs of 2009 (Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
40. The Wax Museums -- "Safety in Numbers"
39. Macon Greyson -- "Pushing Strings"
38. The Burning Hotels -- "Austin's Birthday" (video)
37. The Riverboat Gamblers -- "DissDissDissKissKissKiss" (video)
36. Salim Nourallah -- "Endless Dream Days"
35. The Phuss -- "Preacher, Preacher"
34. The Southern Sea -- "These Things Always End Badly"
33. Fungi Girls -- "Pacifica Nostalgia"
32. Giggle Party -- "Jason Bought a Hatchet" (video)
31. Carter Albrecht -- "Country Living" (stream)
30. This Old House -- "At Risk"
29. Occult Detective Club -- "You'll Follow Me" 
28. Bad Sports -- "Nothing But Agitation"
27. Darktown Strutters -- "Quakertown"
26. The Crash That Took Me -- "Patricia Lynn" (stream)
25. Red Monroe -- "Pat Mayse Lake"
24. Danny Balis -- "Tethered"
23. Sleep Whale -- "Cotton Curls"
22. PVC Street Gang -- "Cutlass" (video)
21. Air Review -- "Jura"
20. Xrabit & Damaged Good$ -- "Follow the Leader" (video)
19. Doug Burr -- "The Righteous Will Rejoice"
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...and be sure to keep checking back, as this list will update daily

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