Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday's Lyric: Work to be Done, Stephen Delopoulos (feat Katie Herzig)

"I've been meaning to tell you something."
"mmm?" I was unpacking a box of art supplies onto a sturdy wooden table on Luz's back porch.
"You're like, my Straightjacket." 
"What?" I wasn't offended, just confused. Luz usually has a reason for saying the things she says, so I was willing to go with it.
"My Straightjacket." She laughed this time. "My human Straightjacket. Do you know that album?"
Aha. I should have known it was a pop culture reference I was missing. Luz and I were both homeschooled, but Seattlelite designer Luz who has played piano since she was small and her composer husband know more great music than I do. We kind of fill in the pop culture blanks for each other with music and movies and television shows. "Nope, I don't think so."
"Steven Delopoulos?"
"Right, from Burlap to Cashmere?" Because, who forgets that name, once you learn it.
"Right! He has an album called Straightjacket, and it's just, you know, that one I keep coming back to. I don't listen to it for a long time, and then one day...nothing else will do. Except Straightjacket. And it's always good...I always take something from it."
I grinned, because...what a great compliment, really.  "Let's listen to it while we paint."
"I've got it queued up."
"Perfect."


I loved this conversation because learning about those landmark moments where art meets circumstances opens up so much about a person. It's not just about likes and dislikes for people who talk like Luz and me; it's a kind of transparency. Ginny Owens' 'Without Condition' during my first fall in college. Bebo Norman's 'Big Blue Sky' that first year I was at summer camp. Mat Kearney's 'Bullet' over that crazy year of youth ministry and trying to find my way home. Those pieces of art associated with those times in my life are especially powerful.Though they might not hold up artistically, they still remind me of the dreams and joys and fears I had then.


It turned out I had heard a few songs from Straightjacket before from Paste Magazine samplers and so on. But this song was new to me. I think lyric writing is a very difficult thing to do; I certainly can't do it. But I love seeing the words of a song I like written out. While incomplete without the music, the lyrics have grace of their own. 


Work to Be Done

She was older 

Lost connection 
Lost that light above her head in all directions
But she climbed that mountain
And cried aloud like a marching drum
Sound your horns and heed your calling


There is work to be done
There is work to be done
We’re all just dust to glory
There is work to be done
There is work to be done
Bow your head to the mission story


He couldn’t see it
But he heard it
She saw him struggling with the symbols
So she wrote it down
She looked right through him
And saw the shadows of the risen Son
Cast your nets unto the ocean


There is work to be done
There is work to be done
We’re all just dust to glory
There is work to be done
There is work to be done
Bow your heads to the mission story


I remember when I borrowed all my healing from a stranger
And I recall when I reached into the ocean like a soldier
And the burning sun just made me colder
And the hollow moon just made me older
So I reached out of my body and the stars became a story
And I bowed my head in glory
As the story ends in One

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