I wrote a song about death which we use in our pub witness. But I have found that complaints and horror at the lyrical content comes mostly from a Christian direction. Why should this be as surely we know that there is life,  beyond our death. We talk/live about/through God's grace and what Jesus did at Easter, so why is this an issue? Has anyone else had a similar experience?

 

We have found this song a great tool to start conversations about our faith in pubs and at festivals

Here's a you tube link to us performing the song:

Death is Waiting

The lyrics are:

Verse 1

If you’re young or if you’re old

The time you have, you’ll never know

Have you years or only hours

Is it a car crash or a slip in the showers

 

Chorus

La, La, La, La, La__ Death is Waiting

La, La, La, La, La__ Death is Waiting

La, La, La, La, La__ It’s the only thing that Sure

La, La, La, La, La__ Death is Waiting

La, La, La, La, La__ Death is Waiting

La, La, La, La, La__ Death is Waiting for you

 

Verse 2

Actors want eternal reruns

Films repeated til the kingdom comes

Stars dying to be remembered

With needles, gun shots, or stomach distended

 

Verse 3

Though the destination’s final

People still gaze at their navel

About God arguments are blazing

Experts will find the truth amazing

 

Bridge

Would you rather ignore it,

Do you fear it

I’m sorry that I mentioned that ……

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The first thoughts that came into my head as I listened to the song were, it would be better if the words were  'Life' or 'Eternal Life' is waiting. However, that comes from my Christian perspective of leaving the earthly life. Maybe that's why you get a bit of agro from fellow Christians.

 

To be honest I have mixed feelings about the content, I think the first verse especially could be painful to some who have lost people in circumstances such as these. I can see though, how the song could be used as an opener for conversations in pubs, which could of course lead to witnessing. I feel the upbeat style of the song leaves me questioning how serious the song is meant to be taken. It sort of gives out mixed messages like, one minute you are singing la la la.......... and the next you are talking about needles and gun shots..........

I felt I had to hold a mirror up to the celebrated way the news etc deal with the way famous  (and trouble) people  died.    I saw a joke about Amy Winehouse on facebook within an hour or so of her death.

As I said it is Black homour used for a reason.

Hello Vic,

 

"Black humor?"  Dark humor?"  I wouldn't use the term humor, but the author owns the terminology. 

 

Personally, I agree with your thoughts -- living & dying are merely a part of life.  Especially as Christians, we should not be overwhelmed by fear at the prospect of dying.  It may not be a pleasant thing -- but then there are many events in life that are not pleasant.  Heck, I really really hate being sick with just a simple cold!  Perhaps the lyrical content is a little graphic, but life is graphic.  I guess some might find it offensive ... but that is the way people are.  Each has there own "buttons."

 

The whole question you pose kinda falls in line with a lot of sermons today ... Let's always speak of God's love for us ... or ... what joy & happiness there is with Christ in us.  These are all such very true and wonderful aspects of God's love and mercy to us.  But speaking about death, damnation, and fire & brimstone?  No way!  I might hurt someones feelings!  Accck!  But this other aspect of God is nonetheless a very real aspect.  His law and His righteousness and His justice.  Sometimes we need to be reminded of our sin and its consequences.  Read the book of Ezekiel for example ... not pleasant and happy at all!  But in the end, it brought back His chosen people to the place where God wanted them to be!  We should not omit any of the aspects of our God if we truly want to walk with Him and come to be more and more like Him -- in His image. 

 

I'm not saying we need to dwell on death and sin and damnation all the time ... but to ignore it could be very dangerous indeed!

 

Just some of my thoughts ...

 

God Bless You and Your Praise to Him!

 

Carl

 

It's dark alright, should wake a few people up.

 

I don't know what offends Christians here, it's very much like a lot of scripture.

 

Lyrics are a bit wonky, but I think that's perhaps the point? 

Thanks for the kind comments.

Wonky lyrics yes a bit of  old punk attitude.  I think the wrong rhyme in the second verse is one of best I've managed.  The song was inspired by a hearing someone on the radio quoting Beniamin Franklin "Death and Taxes"  and the thought I had that many people are too poor to pay tax.   Around same time I went with the youth group to see the  local christian band called Bosch who have a song called Windscreen which is about the fact if you have heard about Christ don't put off your decission to follow him as in a car crash you may not have time.

 

We are careful not to do the song were we feel it is inappropriate such as a fund raiser we did  for MacMillian nurses .(cancer charity) which was organise by a publician who had a brain tumor.

 

Has anyone else played or said something in undertaking great commission or for teaching purposes that our brothers and sisters in Christ are not happy with.   

Some church people get too PC, in my opinion. They want to shield their kids from anything unpleasant, when in truth there is a long tradition of "Black" humor, from the Medieval Dance of Death to childrens' own sick-humor rhymes and Stephen King-style horror stories. After all, it's death and the child molesters who lurk on the edge of their play dates (Anybody want to write a song about THAT!?)

As for the positive-thinkers, they would have to throw out half the Bible, and probably 2/3 of the OT, with all that doom and gloom and blood and gore...

I appreciate your comment, "inspired by hearing...".  It's how I write songs!

You had me at Gracious G.  Ha!  Let me wipe the tears of laughter off my face...

 

I do like myself some good dark humor, and this song did get my funny bone.  

 

Here is the truth about humor: most people have a very narrow sense of humor.  They have very rigid rules for what they find "funny" and if they are Christian, and you're outside their perception of funny, chances are they consider your humor sinful.  

 

Rick Warren once said something like "the opposite of funny isn't serious, it is unfunny."  

 

You have a gift for a darker sort of humor, use it and don't let people tell you otherwise.  Your music does open doors that happy bouncy "yea for our bubbly Jesus friend" music wont.

 

We spent a bit of time trying to find a group name. initially we were going with The Bald Truth but a quick search proved that there were a lot of people using that name  

I teach in a college and I had students asking me if I liked Tenacious D.  As I thought the D stood for Devil,  I wanted a name that referenced God.   I since seen an article that said that Jack Black chose his name from the description of a basketball defence.

 

Thanks again for the positive comments through in worldly terms we don't tick any boxes for a group (age, looks, height) we feel that God is going to use us a lot next year.  

Two thumbs up!  As Believers, we are dying daily, carrying our crosses daily, and preparing to die, yet we have this pernicious habit of distancing ourselves from what is going to happen.  We put the Good Friday service at noon on Friday, so the pastors and a few retirees hear the death part of the Gospel; but everybody else goes from Palm Sunday to Easter in one swoosh (unless you do an Easter drama that tells the whole story).  

Some of the older hymns sound like they are written by mortal humans (perhaps why there's a revival of interest in them among younger people).  "Softly and Tenderly", in the older hymnals, has a verse that goes "shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, coming for you and for me" (D.L.Moody, on his own deathbed, told the composer/poet Will Thompson that he would have rather written this song than all of his other ministerial output!).  Today's hymnals have sanitized the deathbed verse out of there.  

Dark humor, in general, is perhaps more easily misunderstood than light humor, which can be a drawback.  But Jesus used it; and a little more humor in the Kingdom, I think, wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

Good hymnals would remove the whole thing...just my opinion...(not because of the deathbed phrase either).
Your comment gave me pause to reexamine this hymn, which I first encountered as a youngish adult, and was enamored of its powerful melodic rhythms and compelling drama chromatically climaxing in "You who are weary, come home!", the call of Matthew 11:28.  It's the turnabout portion of the parable of the Prodigal Son.  Four verses of watching and pleading on the portals is pretty heavy, from the standpoint of sentimentality; this song is strongest to me in certain choral versions whose variety colors the endless 6/8.

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