Higher the Hair

Higher-LacingThis was our very first “commissioned” piece of music. Em’s sister, Sue, along with her husband Tom and their business partner, had just opened a theater in Nashville, Indiana. Sue called to ask if we would consider writing the title song for that first original play, “The Higher the Hair, the Closer to Heaven.” We debated whether or not to do it, but finally decided that it would be both fun, and an important challenge for us. It was different than anything else we had written together, but turned out to be a really positive experience. It was especially fun to be there in the early days of the production as they worked out the harmonies, since they were an especially talented group full of excitement and enthusiasm. Then, we got to see the actual production—a fun-filled and memorable night for sure!

What a wonderful feeling it was for us to say “yes,” even though we didn’t know what we were getting into. Courage is contagious. It was actually much easier to accept the invitation knowing how much courage it took for Sue and Tom to launch the entire Nashville theater adventure. Surely, they had no idea what they were stepping into, but they met the challenge that brought joy and laughter to so many over the years.

To think that hair can get you closer to heaven is an outrageous thought. But, there’s a profound Truth hidden behind that seemingly light-hearted idea/play, making its debut in Nashville over a decade ago. The deeper Truth is in discovering the audacity needed to realize the dream. You could say “The bolder the courage, the closer to really living!”



My mamma told me, Heaven is just a hair away
Don’t you let your troubles get in the way

Wherever you go, Heaven is always there with you
Simply back-comb a halo, an angel-do

Along with prayer, a jumbo can of hair spray
Just tease and spray your way

The Higher the Hair, the Closer to Heaven
Don’t forget to take your brush and comb
The Higher the Hair, the Closer to Heaven
Paradise is worth the journey home

So now I’m sure that, Heaven is just a hair away
And in time I know I’ll get there someday

Wherever I go, Heaven is always there with me
In my crowning glory, reminding me

Don’t hesitate, open the gates of Heaven
I’ll brush and comb my way

The Higher the Hair, the Closer to Heaven
I’m awful glad to have my friends with me
The Higher the Hair, the Closer to Heaven
Goin’ home to Heaven’s family
Goin’ home to Heaven’s sweet family

Don’t you know Heaven is family


From By Invitation, track released August 1, 2009
Cheryl Martlage – Lyrics, vocals and production
Emerson Martlage – Music, guitar, vocals and production
Mr Toad’s San Francisco – Mastering
Inspiration – The Coachlight Musical Theatre, Nashville Indiana with Sue and Tom Christenberry