Hallelujah…by Leonard Cohen

It’s a song that’s been done by everyone from Bono to Justin Timberlake to your neighbor down the street. But who sings your favorite version of Hallelujah? Leonard Cohen wrote the song in 1984. Let’s see, that would make me around 6 years old. But I’d have to wait almost 20 years to have my first memory of anyone performing the song. It was a small show in the upstairs venue of Bongo Java in Nashville when I heard Kevin Max sing it with just his iconic voice and a piano. How lucky am I that the first time I heard the song was by this great singer?

Since that fateful night in Bongo Java, many great singers have recorded the song, including Justin Timberlake.


Brandi Carlile.

Carlton from Fresh Prince… eh, not so much.

But probably the most well known version, and from what I’ve read the performance that made the song most popular, is Jeff Buckley’s amazing and haunting take on the classic.


-Out of the Wilderness

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Relationships As Found In Music

Relationships. All of us have been through up’s and down’s, I’m sure. Do you relate to any of these songs?

I”ve been here…

 

And I’ve also been here…

Of course, I’m often here…

 

Bitterness has brought me here…

 

And here…

 

I’ve also been here…

 

And here…

 

Most of the time, I end up here…

 

And here…

 

And I hope to, one day, be here…

 

Here…

 

And here…

 

Anyway, have a great weekend!

What Faith Is

It just takes some time,
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything, everything will be just fine.
Everything, everything will be alright, alright.
“The Middle” -Jimmy Eat World

During a discussion a few days ago this question arose, “What is faith?” The answers varied but most included the themes of trust, belief, and God. It’s true, when the word “faith” is spoken, it’s most often in the context of spiritual behavior. But in it’s simplest form, the word means confidence or trust in a person or thing. You have faith in the chair you sit in at work. You have faith when someone calls you that your phone will ring. Those are examples rooted in proven results. You believe your phone will ring because that’s what it’s done in the past when someone called. That’s a learned faith. There’s a second kind, blind faith. I like to think of blind faith this way: trust without experimentation. Without any testing or experiences to rely on, you still choose to believe.

During the conversation, the word “unnatural” kept coming to my mind. People that accomplish big things do so by having faith in the work they put in, faith in the operating system, faith in their ability, faith in something. But to have faith in anything is counter-intuitive. It’s not natural because we, as humans, typically don’t trust first. We experiment first. We stick our toes in to weigh if the experience will hurt us or help us. We want the best for ourselves, and having faith in something else means giving up our own comfort, or more accurately, giving up the control over our own comfort. Faith is self-denying, or else it’s not faith. And to deny yourself is not natural.

As a child, you have faith your parents will feed you because why? They’ve fed you before. In religion, whether you’re raised to believe in God, that there is no God, or anywhere in between, it could be said that all belief systems have this in common: faith is trusting something you can’t prove. When a person is asked to prove God is real, they could very easily turn the question around and ask you to prove He’s not. I’m sure both sides of that argument could produce strong evidence on why God is or isn’t real and it takes faith to believe either side. I believe God created the earth, the universe, and everything in it. I can’t prove it. But it’s easier for me to believe that than to believe little tiny particles crashed together millions of years ago and now as a result mankind (products of that crash) created something as mysteriously wonderful and technically advanced as the Motorola Drrrroooooiiiiiid. Let’s face it, Droid phones are phenoms like we’ve never seen. iPhones don’t even have a physical keyboard or free built-in navigation. I’m just saying.

People claim the earth is millions of years old. I have no doubt that carbon dating and various tests are probably accurate. But could it be true that God created the earth to look like it was millions of years old? Afterall, He created Adam as an adult male. Any test you did on him would tell you he’s an adult who’d been alive for decades, yet it may have been only days since God created him.

Adam and Eve in the garden

Those with faith in what the Bible says believe that while they are sinners, they are saved from Hell. Martin Luther expressed this quite well in his phrase: Simul justus et peccator. At the same time just and sinner. The faith that they are forgiven and justified even though they are sinners. To turn around and live that as if you’re life depended on it, that’s faith. And that’s really what faith is all about. Putting action behind what you believe.

Afterall, what good is faith in anything if it doesn’t change everything you are about? An unnatural choice to trust first.

Have you ever stared into a starry sky?
Lying on your back you’re asking, “Why?”
“What’s the purpose?” I wonder, “Who am I?”
If you’ve ever stared into a starry sky.
“Have You Ever” -Brandi Carlile

Music Roulette: 50 Songs in 1 Paragraph

How many songs can you identify? The first hint is that there are fifty songs listed, and each song lyric connects to the next through one or more overlapping words. Good luck! (you can look at the key words listed on this post for some help!)

I miss those blue eyes. How you kiss me at night, I miss the way we sleeps tonight. Aweemba wop, aweemba wop, a weemba wopbobaloobop a wop bam boom shake, shake, shake the room. She was struck down, it was her doom. Annie, are you ok? So, Annie are you still mine? I need your love. Godspeed your love to me, wanna talk about I, wanna talk about number one, oh my me my, what I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see, by the dawn’s early light? What so proudly we hailed at the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart breaks, no, it don’t break even if he promised me the world. Just remember I’m forever your girl you know it’s true. Ooo ooo oooo, I love you every step of the way and I will always love you so, promise I’ll never let you go, in the still of the night. In the still of the Britney song was on, and the Britney song was on, and the Britney song was on a white, sandy beach of Hawai’i. The sound of the ocean soothes my name and it’s probably ’cause you think you’re cooler than me burn, but that’s alright because I like the way it hurts, I like the end. And you could have it all, my empire of dirt. I will let you down, I will make you wanna be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife. Take it on the run, baby. If that’s the way you want it, baby, then I don’t want you around ’cause you know where I’ll be found, when I come around. And when you smile that smile the whole world turns upside down. Whenever you come around the corner when she comes. She’ll be coming around the corner. That’s me in the spotlight losing my song. It is my song. Now I live every day like there will never be a last one till they’re gone, like Frank Sinatra. Like Elvis and his mom. Like Al Pacino’s cash, nothing lasts in this life, back to reality. Back to life, back to me, will you? Baby, just come to my window, crawl inside, wait by the light of the moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart for the first time, and I was like baby, baby, baby. Oh, baby you, you got what I need. But you say he’s just a friend. But you say I only hear what I want to: I don’t listen hard, don’t pay attention to the distance that you’re running down a dream that never would come from, rain is a good thing. Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey. Whiskey makes my girl. Talking ’bout my girl. My chick bad, my chick hood. My chick do stuff that yo’ chick wish she could be the one. He’s lightning. Spark’s are flyin’. Everywhere I go he’s always on my mind. You were always on my minds. And we can’t build our dreams on suspicious minds eye, I see your face, you smile as you show me grace. In my woody I would take you everywhere I go. So I say from me to you, I will make your dreams come true. Do you still love me tomorrow? Tonight with words unspoken, you said I’m the only one life, but we’re not the same. We get to carry each other. Carrying your love with me. West Virginia down to Tennessee. Take me to another place. Take me to another land, this land is my land, from California, to the New York Islands in the stream, that is what we are. No one in between, how can we be wrong? Sail away with me, to be on the ground. Your head is there to move your around. So stand.