Every hit song that ever topped the charts, if it wasn't one of the funny songs, had some deep truth to it, set perfectly to some chords of music. At least, in country and Christian radio. I don't listen to pop or rock or rap, so I don't know. But for those two genres, it's a sure thing, or it always seemed so.
I think back to some overplayed songs. "I Can Only Imagine." "Who Am I." "Grace Like Rain." I feel a little bad I can't think of more. At any rate, I couldn't stand the first two. I still don't care for "I Can Only Imagine." I'm also not a big fan of MercyMe or Casting Crowns. I love Todd Agnew's music though.
I don't know why I always liked Rich Mullins, but I know why I appreciate his music now. First of all, the compositions--the music itself--is beautiful. The blend of instruments and the rhythms. I'm pretty sure I could just listen to the instrumental versions of those songs. And then you add these lyrics of the reckless raging fury that they call the love of God.
Enter in the Ragamuffin Band. Rick Elias sings of the Man who loved the weak with relentless affection. Mark Robertson sings of this man who the whores loved and the drunks proposed a toast to.
As I've said in my last post, I've lived a pretty good life. I think a reason I don't like a lot of singers/songs is that I can't relate to it. I've never been hurt so hard I've held a grudge for years. I had a happy childhood. I grew up in church listening to Revelation sermons.
Overall, a pretty peaceful existence, in it's own chaotic, everyday way.
...and then I started reading and not caring what other people thought. When I was younger, it wasn't cool to read, so I didn't. Still not cool, but I do it anyway. Then my uncle got me three books for Christmas one year, seventh grade, late 2004, and then I just stopped caring what other people thought. Well, I don't think I ever did, but that was asking to get picked on, and I don't think I had friends that really approved of it. Anyway, I stopped giving a darn. I wanted to read about dragons and ghosts and fairies and all that fun stuff.
...and then I figured out I liked writing. I wrote stories before then, but sporadically. Something clicked through September-November of 2005. It probably had something to do with being bumped from baby of the family into middle child limbo.
That's when the unbalance started, or maybe I was always unbalanced, and I just didn't know it until I started reading and writing. There's still a debate on whether writing makes you unbalanced, or your unbalance makes you write. For the record, crazy runs in my family.
Anyway, I like songs about people who have lived through struggles, but they don't speak to me on a level that they would someone who had lived through it. And as far as country music...I've never been in a relationship and a lot of country music is love songs, and I have my fair share of favorites. There used to be a time where I didn't care. They are beautiful sentiments. Now it just bugs me because I have no one to think about. I don't even crush anymore. Thus, I don't listen to it nearly as much as I used to. (Which is funny, because I still read romances.)
With Rich Mullins, it's not something you have to relate to. Or you can, but it's universal. It's Everyman. My friends don't care for him. He puts them to sleep, he's too slow, you know.
Rich Mullins [and the Ragamuffin Band] is probably the only singer I can really write to. (I can write to instrumental music. There's something about trying to keep up with a tune by one of the masters that gets the words out.) Rich Mullins was my first foray into Christian music, and you never forget your first. I've listened to country my entire life. I've known the words to "Should've Been A Cowboy" and "Ten Thousand Angels" for as long as I can remember. I've been listening to Rich Mullins since I'm six or seven, and this was after his death. That doesn't seem like a long time, and it's not, but that's still most of my short life.
At the beginning of Paul's letters in the New Testament, he says, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (HCSB) Those are some of my favorite verses. Rich Mullins has a song called, "Peace." It's a communion blessing. Sometimes I think the entire song was based upon those verses. The intro has a full minute of music. And the lyrics do what it should to a disturbed person: they calm.
And may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Little keepers of the promise
Falling on these souls
This drought has dried
In His Blood and in His Body
In the Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you