It was a day off for the Rev. And not being inclined to listen to yet more drivel from the Reverend Display, he decided to attend an altogether different church, The Inner Soul Spirit Filled Church. The church was definitely spirit filled. What kind of spirit it was however was up for debate. The 3 hour service, 3 hours you say, yes 3 hours, consisted of 2.462 hours of singing, a few notices about the fact that they were going to do this all over again in a couple of hours and an upbeat message about bringing a positive attitude and a nice personality in everything you do.
Considering 82.1% of the service was dedicated to singing, the Rev will dedicate the same percentage of time to singing in this article. If the Rev took the advice of one song, he could talk about how he will write about signing forever. But he won’t.
One of the main things that struck the Rev was the propensity for the congregation to sing about what they are going to do. And he wasn’t alone.
“I could sing of your love forever” is an uplifting, sentiment inducing, affirmation of what “I” will do in response to … a confusing bunch of metaphors …. that was not defined in the song, but presumably the speaker will point it out and not let anyone go out of the service ignorant, will he/she? Yet the song itself speaks about an undefined “You”, some abstract things that this “You” gives, just as long as I am willing to accept them and how I will respond, namely by singing about the fact that I could sing about it forever, just as long as I am not dancing, which will start as soon as the sun comes up, unless someone somewhere just flips a switch.
After 22.138 minutes of this 2ish minute song (which was repeated 10ish times, the Rev stopped counting after 4 so 10 is a calculated guess), the Rev was still none the wiser as to why the people were so keen to sing about the fact that they could sing about a love like a river with a light making them dance.
If the Rev was a complete dimwit, he would be lost. But while the Rev had the ability to read between the lines and translate the pseudo religious metaphors and add a post-modern interpretation to the song to make it mean for him whatever he wanted it to, he did feel sorry for the Martian next to him, with his confused look and slight discomfort when the girl on his other side kept pulling his arm up to wave at the band on the stage.
The clarity of meaning in the songs did not improve. “You’re worthy of my praise” was a rip roaring ditty about what I will do, not just could, but will. And “Breathe“, the climax. (To be discussed later)
The Martian explained over a very nice coffee and Bourbon biscuit that he was on a sociological study of earth and he was required to document each human experience.
From his time on earth the Martian had noted how a lot of modern culture can be seen in popular song lyrics and had observed with regularity people acting out the words such as going through bad relationships and break ups, falling in love, feeling rejected, killing each other, suffering from depression or teenage angst, hating the government or any sense of authority, being in touch with ones emotions and having lots of sex.
He didn’t know what a Church was but he was surprised that it was effectively a concert. His conclusion on the service (another term for gig) was that the band were very famous, the entire audience clearly liked the unnamed band because they knew all the words and that the songs were filled with affirmations about things that they will do. He didn’t really know who this “You” was. He was also a little puzzled when the girls told him they were off shopping and the boys to the pub to watch Arsenal v Tottenham. Being such staples of our culture, he already knew what they were. He assumed that these Christians may just sing and dance at the shops and in the pub.
He thinks that these people are being genuine about singing and dancing and worshipping this love river, light, air and bread given by “You”, just as long as they want it. He will follow them further to see if they do what the rest of the culture does as they live out the lyrics of their songs. The Rev thinks that he may have some difficulty explaining this one to his superiors.