I must begin with a shout out to my friends.
Y’all are something … yesterday I confess that the lyrics don’t click for me, and you all make an effort to help me get it. You explain on Facebook, and you even email the composer herself to get her take on it (and to introduce me to her). It’s so sweet, y’all. Once I secure permission, I’ll update yesterday’s blog with Mary’s words, but know right now that while the metaphor still doesn’t move me, I understand where it comes from and what it means to others a bit more.
And it’s got me thinking a lot about music and metaphor. I mean, music is the ultimate metaphor for our spirits; it’s why we turn to music to set a mood or express ourselves. And a gorgeous lyric can add to that mood or expression. For some reason, Cris Williamson’s lyric “filling up and spilling over / it’s an endless waterfall” as a metaphor for the ups and downs of life, or emma’s revolution’s lyric “we’re all swimming to the other side” as a metaphor for our collective journeys are coming to mind as song metaphors that I find meaningful and delightful (and surely has nothing to do with the deluge of rain we experienced overnight, right?).
And that metaphor doesn’t work for everyone, as beautiful as those lyrics are, as beautiful as those songs are. If we all got everything, if we all drew meaning from everything, then nothing would be special. And if this spiritual practice has taught me anything, it’s that we need many different songs with many different melodies, metaphors, and moods – especially in our congregations. We don’t know who will be ministered to by the song we despise, or who will need the comfort offered in a song we find insipid, or will feel their spirits lift by lyrics we don’t quite get.
So when I said yesterday I’m okay with not understanding yesterday’s lyrics, I meant that not just as resignation or defeat but as being really okay, knowing a gorgeous melody carries with it, for some, a deeply moving metaphor.
Unlike today, where there is really no metaphor to distill.
Morning has come. Night is away.
Rise with the sun and welcome the day.
It’s a great little morning round, one I’ve known for a long time but don’t know how. Sung well, it rings out like bells. Sung annoyingly, it’s the song that makes you want to pull the covers over your head.
But I like this anonymously offered round and would consider using it (and others) as a call to worship as well as a prelude. And then you should sing Jason Shelton’s hymn Morning Has Come. And then maybe Morning Has Broken and Morning Hangs a Signal…
Okay, maybe enough with the morning.
But y’all are really sweet. Thanks.