Lyrical Confession, Concerns

As usual longtime friend John J. Thompson sent yet another thoughtful piece into cyberspace, ripe for contemplation. See the link below please.

My own reality over decades is that personally, I do enjoy reading, hearing and wrestling and losing with God via strong messages. I don’t mean dumbed-down, purely shouting-in-your-face delivery but actual truth-of-God’s-Word-let-us-apply-it-in-His-love-GLENN! stuff. Note, I did not say “Tell me off and I’ll happily agree with you that I robbed a bank on Venus”. We all agree and disagree on a host of things, all humans do, got that.

What I’m saying is that sometimes lyrics are so flippin’ vague, fuzzy, nebulous that although the conviction of truth is in this way at times gutted, the “d.i.y.” of “truth” leaks like a sieve over not-much-more than wordplay and commerce.

I suppose you can at times make more loot by purposeful ambiguity, but I doubt the integrity, even morality of such an approach to lyricism, certainly if done intentionally.

John comments on Alan Light’s recent book including a discussion of  L. Cohen’s song “Hallelujah”, stating “‘Hallelujah’ as the book describes it, functions as a sort of spiritual Rorschach test. Listeners tend to hear the theology they bring to it more than what is, or isn’t, really there.”

Of course that’s often the case… but the issue brings to light (pun intended) this: pop acceptance of such as a common thing.

At some point the juxtaposition in lyricism which can at core, rightly include anything may indeed say nothing much at all -and yet performed brilliantly ala Jeff Buckley make major impact in both culture and one’s bank balance.

This is where artists -musicians in particular, and various songs may foster more  pulp than life REGARDLESS how brilliantly the song is constructed, performed and/or emotionally moving.

It’s like comparing prostitution to authentic life-long marriage commitment. Do we ascribe almost god-like soul to sound waves and on occasion, wrongly toward those who serve them up to us?

In a word, that old Bible word rarely quoted, “idolatry” comes to mind. Have you considered idolatry is a prime ingredient in any cement walling us off from God? I’m convinced this is largely why He speaks against it in His Word.

Full disclosure, like all of us I can also easily love the echo chamber of “He/she AGREES WITH ME!!” and therefore revel in comments which share a view I’ve already maintained for years. Still, John stirs deep thought in me in phrases such as:

“…with elements of faith serving the role of dim lighting in a dark room.”

That in context is his assessment re. Light’s writing on music culture and lyrics that indeed connect everyday life, pain and desire with… “elements of faith”… but notice what role faith is given!

When spirituality is relegated to one of any possible backdrops I’d posit gaining the world while losing one’s soul is in progress.

And- “We can sing the tune, feel something emotional and then move along our own path as if there is no God and no instructions for living and loving in His world.”

Thank you John, point-blank-range, this shot.

Jesus said “Take heed how you hear”…

And worse, Jesus continued “For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.” Yow! Pay attention Glenn… and all reading Jesus’ statement here!!

John J. Thompson’s Article:

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn


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