rock and roll prayerbook... emerging

Three killer songs re: hearing God's prophetic voice in popular culture music would HAVE to include:

1. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - the Beatles
2. Sign O the Times - Prince
3. All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix

To my mind, each lament expresses the heart of God breaking as human beings find ever new and diabolic ways to wound one another.

Harrison/Clapton/Beatles create a truly modern lament: how can we sing the Lord's song by the waters of Babylon? This Clapton tribute to his old buddy, George Harrison, with Paul and Ringo joining a MASSIVE band is the best ever - you can feel both God's heart break as well as the anguish of friendship lost in grief. A masterpiece...

Prince (there are no clips of this tune available) is a contemporary blues that takes the old Barth line about preachers needing to hold the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other to new depths. He not only lets the headlines weep and moan in all their brokenness, but he gives us the sound of the city, too.

This first clip is a pretty spot on cover that gives you the feel of Prince's groove - much gritty than even Stevie Wonder's genius on "Livin' in the City" to my mind. This second clip is just witty and creative and lets you grasp the angst of the lyric...

And then there is Hendrix... the way he transforms Dylan's rambling folk song - making it sound like "Waiting for Godot" on acid or TV's "Lost" with electric guitars - speaks to our collective sense that "... there MUST be some kind of way outta here!" It is chilling, challenging and compassionate all at the same time and simply has to be experienced over and over again... you can hear the origins of "Machine Gun" and so much more brewing here.

As I work on this rock and roll prayerbook, I would love to know what you think makes sense re: social justice/prophetic laments, ok? Hit me, man... and take another journey down weeping guitar lane as Prince (along with Tom Petty and Dhanni Harrison) rock the crap out of that song in another way.


SGF said…
I have been getting these thoughts about Brian Wilson..the Beach Boys...and SMILE....The Rhino issue of "Brian Wilson and The Story of Smile" is an unbelieveable human story of struggle, pain, courage and in the end triumph. God Only Knows? Also the interplay between the Beatles and the Beach Boys and the impact on Rock is profound! If you haven't seen this is a must see!
RJ said…
I think this is an inspired idea... i have not seen the movie but love the music. let's explore this more...

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