(Cross-posted at inadaptation)
Cross-posted at Inadaptation.
Cross-posted at Inadaptation (new blog; figured if I’m continuing to stick up art, I might as well make a blog of my own for such matters, and I have access problems with my seldom-updated old blog.)
A (late) Lenten posting, that’s been on my computer awhile: some scattered thoughts on the Book of Job. (This’ll be the last substantial posting; the blog’s been dead for a while anyway. Though I plan on putting up sketches occasionally, as I like the look and feel.)
(“Blessed be the Name of the Lord”, by Beth Redman)
This song used to puzzle me. Praising God in good times and bad: understandable. But why do the Redmans sing “You give and take away” with something almost like ecstasy? You can exult in praising God, but how do you exult in God both giving and taking away? I did not even recognise the source of the song, because when Job famously says “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the Name of the Lord” (Job 1:20-21), I imagined a tone of dull despair or controlled stoicism, rather than rapture. He doesn’t seem impassioned until he begins to rail at Heaven.
This is something that can’t be fully explained, although I came to understand by having something of a bad day myself (not approaching Job-level misfortune, however); and being unable to react in any other way I played this song and sang and finally understood. Job doesn’t stop praising God; he can’t say anything without agony in his voice so he offers pain and praise together. You give and take away. It’s the heart of the song, and sometimes it’s the only thing you can say.
A suitable song for the season: Nick Cave, “Get Ready for Love”
Alas, he screws up the lyrics (getting the lines mixed up, and deciding just to wing it). The album version contains the notable lines:
well most of all nothing ever really happens
and God rides high in the ordinary sky
then when we find ourselves at our most distracted
the miracle that was promised creeps quietly by
I managed to cobble together some artwork for the latest round of Song Fight!, titled “The Last Afternoon of a Woman He Only Thought He Knew”. My submission was this:
Alas, as you can see by clicking through to the site, someone submitted something even better, so this didn’t get used.
I haven’t listened to all of the songs from this round yet, though sportswriters’ is excellent. Apropos of which, the sportswriters peep submitted an excellent song recently for the “Has Been For Years” round, which may interest Nick in particular for its martial theme.
Last week’s title, Occupy My Heart, mercifully failed to attract many political songs (I’m not keen on what passes for protest songs these days), instead inspiring quite a few love songs pushing military invasion or protest as a romantic metaphor: Paco del Stinko’s starts off screaming “Occupy my heart like the Nazis held Poland!” which is an auspicious start to any work. I’d also recommend checking out State Shirt, sonofsupercar, Sportswriters (again), c.layne, Tony & Juan & Adam, and Noah McLaughlin.