Wings of Desire: You Found Me – The Fray

You can read the song’s lyrics here.
http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7orza?width=560
The Fray – You Found Me (official video) von thefray

You wouldn’t believe it, but here’s another one looking for God – and finding him where you wouldn’t expect it either: ” I found God on the corner of First and Amistad… all alone smoking His last cigarette.” Isaac Slade, lead singer and pianist of the The Fray explains: “I just imagined running into God standing on a street corner like Bruce Springsteen, smoking a cigarette.” This wouldn’t lead to a friendly chat but rather to a row of accusations: „Where were you when everything was falling apart? All my days were spent by the telephone that never rang and all I needed was a call that never came”.

It is no secret that The Fray have a background in the Christian Church. They decided to go onto into the secular music business because they expected more listeners, more chances for their musical career and certainly more financial reimbursement, which is understandable. In many of their lyrics their connection to Christian faith is still visible, as it is in this song “You Found Me” from the year 2007. Slade explains in an interview:  “You Found Me is a tough song for me. It’s about the disappointment, the heart ache, the let down that comes with life. Sometimes you’re let down, sometimes you’re the one who lets someone else down. It gets hard to know who you can trust, who you can count on. This song came out of a tough time, and I’m still right in the thick of it. There’s some difficult circumstances my family and friends have been going through over the past year or so and can be overwhelming. It wears on me. It demands so much of my faith to keep believing, keep hoping in the unseen. Sometimes the tunnel has a light at the end, but usually they just look black as night. This song is about that feeling, and the hope that I still have, buried deep in my chest .”

In the song he obviously mourns the loss of a beloved person: “In the end everyone ends up alone. Losing her, the only one who’s ever known who I am, who I’m not, and who I want to be. You got some kind of nerve taking all I want.”
Yes, God was there, finally, but it was too late: „Lying on the floor surrounded, surrounded, why’d you have to wait? Where were you, where were you? Just a little late…
The question about the evil in the world, about suffering and the meaning behind all these experiences is as old as mankind. There are no answers, only some very careful attempts to approach the possible solution.

In this song I see one of these attempts: At the beginning the singer is in search of God. “I found you”, but still asking “Where were you?”. In the end it says: “YOU found ME” – the parts are turned around. God finds us.
The official video for the song is very impressive, too. It is supposed to be a tribute to the Wim Wenders film “Wings of Desire” from the year 1987. The band members are singing standing on bridges and high buildings, like the angels in the film who want to get to know the humans. The angel Damiel is even ready to sacrifice his immortality just to become a human. He learns that living as a human means not only love and colors, but also death and blood and suffering.

At the end of the video the night gives way to the dawn – maybe there IS light at the end of the tunnel? The victim of the car accident opens her eyes. Objects and people are being elevated from the ground. The viewing direction changes towards the sky, towards heaven?
This week we celebrate Good Friday and Easter. Christian faith tells us about someone who wanted to come down to Earth to be human, to be involved in our lives. He experienced live, love and death and at the end asked: My God, why have you forsaken me? There is no human life without the experience of death and loneliness.
Where were you? Well, maybe He was right there – when you were lying on the floor, waiting for His answer, facing death.
After all – after Good Friday comes Easter!

There won’t be no more …Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton

I have been practicing this song on my piano for weeks now – and I still can’t play it perfectly well. Some days ago the organist played it at the funeral service of a friend who died way too young. The song really got under the skin.

I’m not the only one who has experienced this. There are many testimonies on the internet telling people’s stories with Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven”. I guess it’s not only the melody and the lyrics which appeal to people suffering because they lost a loved one. It is a song written by Clapton after he had experienced exactly this : He had lost his 4-year-old son in an accident.

In this song he takes us on a journey to heaven: “Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven? Would it be the same if I saw you in heaven?” And in the second verse he asks again: “Would you hold my hand if I saw you in heaven? Would you help me stand if I saw you in heaven?

What happens with those who die? I mean, we know: ashes to ashes, dust to dust. But what about the idea of a heaven, everlasting life, living with God eternally that the Christian Church makes us belief in and hope for? Although this idea is not even clearly supported by the Bible for many it is the only consolation: it would be so comforting to know that we will see our beloved ones again and to believe that the separation is only a temporary one. On the other hand, these ideas raise many questions: What would we look like? The way and age we died or an ideal imagine of ourselves, bodiless souls or as Clapton puts it: “Would it be the same if I saw you in heaven?”

I don’t want to speculate about this. Eric Clapton doesn’t either. He comes back to earth very quickly and he knows: “„I must be strong and carry on, ’cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven. “ He knows he has to cope with the change of day and night and the hardship of the earthly existence: “Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees. Time can break your heart, have you begging please, begging please.” Losing someone you love certainly is one of those heartbreaking experiences.

We, the bereaved ones, stay back at the threshold of life and death. However, for Eric Clapton there is hope: “Beyond the door there’s peace I’m sure, and I know there’ll be no more tears in heaven.“ This is the verse which gave the song its name – which should actually be called “No more Tears in Heaven” rather than “Tears in Heaven”!  And there is a biblical reference indeed:  “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain”. (Rev 21,4)

If we could at least believe and hope this, it would help. We’ll see – one thing is for sure: At the end we’ll all go through this door…

For now we can at least try to wipe the tears from each other’s eyes. That would be something, wouldn’t it?!

Let’s talk about God: One of Us – Joan Osborne

http://www.myvideo.de/movie/6987665
Joan Osbourne – One Of Us – MyVideo

Just imagine: you are on your way home from work, sitting on the bus. There is this guy sitting next to you. Well, you don’t know whether to pity him or feel contempt. How can you let yourself go like this? I mean, you don’t have to be dressed up to the nines – but a bit more tidiness would be nice. He doesn’t have a briefcase with him. You suspect he is unemployed and living on welfare and whatever else you imagine in your head. We are quick with our assessment and evaluation of other people, aren’t we? Some people on the bus are busy making phone calls or chatting with their neighbor. This guy next to you is just staring out of the window. He seems to be lonely.

Joan Osborne’s song “One of Us” (click here for lyrics) is about such a guy. Many thanks to my fellow blogger colleague djbaroque and his inspiring blog “My 2011 Musical Diary”  for reminding me of this wonderful song from 1995. In this song Osborne suggests: “What if God was one of us, just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home”. Can you imagine God as such a slob, sitting next to you in the bus – someone who is lonely, whose contact list on the phone is rather short even if there might be some incoming calls from the Pope – well, that’s something, isn’t it? 😉 : “He’s trying to make his way home, back up to heaven all alone, nobody calling on the phone ‘cept for the Pope maybe in Rome.”

This is clearly not in accordance to the traditions of the big world religions, whereas “God is great” would certainly get the approval of Judaism, Christianity and Islam all together. This creed is repeated throughout the song very often as if to fight the doubts. Many people nowadays have their problems with the image of an almighty, omnipresent God.

So – what if God wasn’t like that? What if he was “a slob like one of us”? Could we put up with a God who is not able to intervene, to end our sufferings, to turn the world around? Do we really want God the Almighty if this meant “that you would have to believe in things like heaven and in Jesus and the Saints and all the prophets.

On the other hand – to have him sit next to us would give us the chance to ask those questions we always wanted to ask him.

What if…we would confine ourselves to seeing God in our fellow human beings? That would give everyone the dignity they deserve, regardless of age, gender, race, looks. The video coming with the song illustrates this idea perfectly well. The whole scenery is somehow surreal – kind of a funfair or kermess, a photo gag with people replacing God’s face: God’s many (human) faces.

I guess if religions would concentrate on seeing God in every human rather than finding “the truth” and fighting each other there would be more peace on earth, more tolerance and respect.

By the way, at the center of Christianity there is a guy who is, well, not a slob, but who was good for a scandal every now and then and who ended up on the cross sentenced as a criminal. Not everybody liked him. God – one of us. Have we really understood what this means? Are we capable of seeing God in the guy on the bus, in our neighbor, in our enemy?

Have you ever considered what YOU would ask God if you had the chance to talk to him?

Is this a cult? Closer to the edge – 30 Seconds To Mars

To look at the lyrics click here, for the official video here.

I like it when family members come together to make music, be it on Christmas Eve or other occasions. I think that’s a nice custom, it’s beautiful and moving.

I wouldn’t call it moving though, what brothers Shannon and Jared Leto are doing together with their band “30 Seconds To Mars”. Quite a creative and somehow cryptic name, isn’t it? Until not so long ago I would have assumed this to be a science-fiction novel rather than a band name.

With their song “Closer to the edge” they landed a major hit at the beginning of 2010. The lyrics of this song appear to be somewhat cryptic, too. Let’s have a look.

I don’t remember the moment, I tried to forget. I lost myself, it’s better not said, now I’m closer to the edge.” He doesn’t seem to know since when he has been feeling closer to the edge – and we don’t learn anything about the reason. “It was a thousand to one and a million to two. Time to go down in flames and I’m taking you closer to the edge”.  Is he talking about the chances of a relationship being as bad as 1000:1 or 2 Mio:2? Or is it about a game, a bet that has been lost – but who are the parties? It is all very mysterious.

There seems to be an accusation pending, the demand to say sorry for something. But no: “No I’m not saying I’m sorry.” At least there is a conciliatory hope: “One day, maybe we’ll meet again.” The introductory statement in the official video sets on the ideas that many fans certainly love about this song: “Don’t regret anything you do, ’cause in the end it makes you who you are“.

Even if until now one could have the impression that he is talking about an unhappy relationship, from the second verse on things get more and more enigmatic.

Can you imagine a time when the truth ran free, the birth of a sun, the death of a dream?“

This definitely reminds me of the biblical story of Creation and Fall. The endless story of human pride and eviction from paradise, the loss of the glory and the honour of being the summit of creation. Whereas Christian churches call to repent the sins and promise forgiveness by God and the church, this song protests loudly: “No, no, no, I’m not saying I’m sorry. I will never forget. No, no, I will never regret. No, no, I will live my life!“ I presume that this chorus and the immanent attitude towards life appeals very much to the band’s young fans: it’s about protest against the moral of the establishment and the control of the authorities. I can understand that very well.

There is also a very well made official video coming with this song, which brings something else up for discussion. “Closer to the edge” gets a much more political note. The video shows lead singer Leto carrying off his audience. At one point Leto, dressed in a long, dark coat, raises his right arm and greets the fans. The text: “Are you ready?” is displayed in this scene. A fool who doesn’t have annotations of political events in Germany’s and other countries’ past. It is amazing how he achieves to coordinate the audience’s singing and their movements. It is disturbing to watch how they follow him, deify him. “Yes, this is a cult” is being displayed while Leto seems to be “crucified” in a corona of gleaming light. The cult sites are mentioned as well: London, Tokio, Berlin, New York …and many other places around the world.

© PhotoXpress.com

This is all very well and professionally made. I assume the video has been done to actually create an awareness of this “edge” and the dangers coming with this sort of “cult”. Jared Leto brings his listeners to the edge, to the point where they are willing to sacrifice themselves for a greater idea, for another person.

Of course, all this has an obvious religious (not Christian!) annotation, which is clearly underlined by the statements of young people throughout the video: „Some people believe in God, I believe in music. Some people pray, I turn up the radio. Music is everything to me.”

Music, religion and power – an interesting combination. I can’t imagine a religious belief without any musical expression. Many people can’t imagine religion without power. And music certainly has got power over people. These three aspects all seem to come together in this song and the video. Is this just a statement or is also supposed to be a warning on the part of 30 Seconds To Mars regarding their fans’ attitude towards them? I don’t know if I am over-interpreting, but I take Jared Leto to be intelligent enough to have such a meaningful message. What do you think?