Monday, November 14, 2005

Wailing And Gnashing Of Teeth

This is one of those “Saturday night and Sunday morning” stories.

On this particular Saturday night, I was playing a show at the One Way Café in Gates. To call it “a slow night” would be like saying that Johnny Cash “sang kinda low”—true enough as it goes, but entirely inadequate. It was late: I’d played well past my nominal curtain time of ten o’clock, because there’d been literally no one in the place until 9:30 or so.

(Yeah, I know this really belongs over at the gig log—which I will reactivate, and soon—but stick with me, okay? This is another kind of story.)

So I’m playing “God Bless’ the Child” in C—my throat’s a little scratchy, so I’m singing kinda low myself—and maybe it’s because I’ve got a big-ass Passion Of the Christ poster staring at me from the back wall, or maybe it’s the stack of King Jimmys on the end-table, but: I’m singing the first verse...

Them that’s got shall get,
Them that’s not shall lose:
So the Bible says,
and it still is news...
...and I find myself wondering, Where the hell does the Bible say that? I mean, it’s not exactly the old the-last-shall-be-first-and-vice-versa-likewise stuff that I remember. I probably shouldn’t be looking to pop songs for Scriptural accuracy, but in this place, with this crowd... Before the show we’d been listening to a CCM station, and most of those tunes could’ve come with a concordance. If Billie Holiday was misrepresenting the Good Book here, I was going to feel bad about it.

Now, a man has a lot of thoughts running through his brain when he’s up there playing guitar, and I might have forgotten this thread entirely. But the very next morning, the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, we’re reading Matthew 25, and what do you know: it's the Parable of the Talents.

So onto “God Bless’ the Child” we can add a little tag that says Matthew 25:29, just like in a hymnal. From him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

When we returned from church, I found that my PA—two speakers and a mixer, which together cost me $400, used—had been stolen out of my car some time during the night.

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