"40"

When I heard this song for the first time more than thirty years ago, I was just getting into U2’s music. It hadn’t really spoken to me up until that time (mid-80’s) — I’d been more rooted in heavy metal, heavier rock music.

And then this one came along. I was hooked pretty quick. The simple riff and especially the words, they grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. The lyrics are modified slightly, but pretty well directly from Psalm 40. My faith had been well established around this same time, as I struggled through adolescence.

To this day, this very minute, this song bouyes me, lifts me up, urges me to persevere, and find strength in faith.

Yes sir, it sure does. This is…

“40”

I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry
He brought me up out of the pit
Out of the miry clay

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song
How long to sing this song
How long…how long…how long…
How long…to sing this song

He set my feet upon a rock
And made my footsteps firm
Many will see
Many will see and fear

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song
How long to sing this song
How long…how long…how long…
How long…to sing this song

Writer(s): Clayton Adam, Mullen Laurence, Evans David, Hewson Paul David

Lyrics Post: “Territories” by RUSH

A bonus second lyrics post today, another from RUSH, another tribute to Drummer and Lyricist, Neil Peart, who passed away last week.

These lyrics are from the sam period, same album that “The Big Money” was recorded. The words spoke to me in a special way at the time, when my sense of local and global was still forming. And the words still speak to me today.

Territories”

I see the Middle Kingdom between Heaven and Earth
Like the Chinese call the country of their birth
We all figure that our homes are set above
Other people than the ones we know and love
In every place with a name
They play the same territorial game
Hiding behind the lines
Sending up warning signs

The whole wide world
An endless universe
Yet we keep looking through
The eyeglass in reverse
Don’t feed the people
But we feed the machines
Can’t really feel
What international means
In different circles, we keep holding our ground
Indifferent circles, we keep spinning round and round

We see so many tribes overrun and undermined
While their invaders dream of lands they’ve left behind
Better people… better food… and better beer…
Why move around the world when Eden was so near?
The bosses get talking so tough
And if that wasn’t evil enough
We get the drunken and passionate pride
Of the citizens along for the ride

They shoot without shame
In the name of a piece of dirt
For a change of accent
Or the color of your shirt
Better the pride that resides
In a citizen of the world
Than the pride that divides
When a colorful rag is unfurled

The Big Money

Sometimes you wake up with a song in your head and you gotta share it.

This one from RUSH. What I think of as the third chapter in their musical canon. GOOD.

“The Big Money”

Big money goes around the world
Big money underground
Big money got a mighty voice
Big money make no sound
Big money pull a million strings
Big money hold the prize
Big money weave a mighty web
Big money draw the flies

Sometimes pushing people around
Sometimes pulling out the rug
Sometimes pushing all the buttons
Sometimes pulling out the plug
It’s the power and the glory
It’s a war in paradise
It’s a Cinderella story
On a tumble of the dice

Big money goes around the world
Big money take a cruise
Big money leave a mighty wake
Big money leave a bruise
Big money make a million dreams
Big money spin big deals
Big money make a mighty head
Big money spin big wheels

Sometimes building ivory towers
Sometimes knocking castles down
Sometimes building you a stairway
Lock you underground
It’s that old time religion
It’s the kingdom they would rule
It’s the fool on television
Getting paid to play the fool

It’s the power and the glory
It’s a war in paradise
It’s a Cinderella story
On a tumble of the dice

Big money goes around the world
Big money give and take
Big money done a power of good
Big money make mistakes
Big money got a heavy hand
Big money take control
Big money got a mean streak
Big money got no soul…

By Peart, Lee Weinrib, Lifeson

“The Birth of the New Negro”

Who was this man?  What was his time?  I didn’t know.

I didn’t know until I listed to this particular Code Switch podcast recently.  I didn’t even finish it.  But I knew I had to share it, capture it, finish it later. And then listen again.  And again.

Three voices tell the story:  the first two, regulars hosting Code Switch:  SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI, and GENE DEMBY.  And then a special guest to provide the lead narrative, BILAL QURESHI.

So much to learn!

one.npr.org/i/790381948:790766364

Lyrics Post: “Curbside Prophet”, Jason Mraz

Heard this one originally back in 2005, from one of my oldest friends and true music lover, Scott Murph.

Still grateful for that lead-in, all these years later. Funky sound, fun lyrics, GOOD.

“I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket to come

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket

You see it started way back in NYC

When I stole my first rhyme from the M.I.C.

At a west end avenue at 63

The beginning of a leap year, February, ’96

With a guitar picked up in the mix

I committed to the licks like a nickel back of tricks

Well look at me now

Look at me now

Look at me now, now, now, now

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket to come

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket

Well you’re never gonna guess

Where I’ve been been been

And I have no regrets

That I bet my whole checking account

Because it all amounts to nothing up in the end

Well you can only count on the road again

We’ll soon be on the radio dial

And I been payin’ close attention to the Willie Nelson style

Like a band of gypsies on the highway while

I’m one man pushin’ on the California skyline drive

Up the coast mc brag the most

I’m pickin up my pace and makin’ time like space ghost

Raising a toast to the highway patrol with the most

Put my cruise control on coast

’cause I’m tourin’ around the nation on extended vacation see

I got Elsa the dog who exceeds my limitation

I say, “I like your style, crazy pound pup!

You need a ride?

Well come on, girl, hop in the truck!”

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket to come

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket to come on

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket

See I’m a down home brother, redneck undercover

With my guitar here

I’m ready to play

And I’m s a sucker for a filly

Got a natural ability to give the freestyle

Look at my flexibility

Dangerous at the mike

My ghetto hat’s cocked right

The ladies say, “yo, that kid is crazy”

The backstage betties taking more than they can get

They say, “what’s up with m-are-a-z?”

Hey, hey, something’s different in my world today

Well they changed my traffic sign to a brighter yellow

Hey, hey, something’s different in my world today

They changed my traffic sign to a brighter yellow

I’m just a curbside prophet

Curbside prophet now

Curbside prophet now

Curbside

Come on, now

Curbside prophet

Waiting for my rocket to come

Songwriters: Christina Ruffalo / Jason Mraz / William Galewood

Curbside Prophet lyrics © Fintage House Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Goo-Eyed Music, 2002.