This morning, for some random, horrible reason, I got the Bette Midler song “From a Distance” stuck in my head. I use the word “horrible” because, to me, the song is only slightly more enjoyable than being beaten over the head with a frying pan. I’ll admit that in a pinch I’d take the song over the frying pan, but it wouldn’t be an easy decision.
Why do I oppose the song so much, you might ask? Thanks for asking. Two reasons, actually. First, musically, the song is one of Bette Midler’s worse moments (and this says a lot). I actually really enjoy exactly one song of hers; her duet with Barry Manilow singing “On a Slow Boat to China” is wonderful. However, I don’t particularly care for anything else that either of them sing. Not “Copacabana,” not “Wind Beneath My Wings,” and definitely not “From a Distance.” It just makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit. This is why I frantically scrambled to hear another song and get it out of my head this morning. Anyway, enough about that. The second reason I’m not a fan of the song is the lyrical content. Think about the chorus (if you can stand to do so):
God is watching us / God is watching us / God is watching us / From a distance
If the song is now stuck in your head, I sincerely apologize. But think about the message of those words: is all God does sit up in heaven and watch? I don’t think so. I’ll elaborate on this in the future.
I mention this because the more I think about it, the more I realize that many songs about God that make it to secular radio misrepresent God. Another example that comes to mind is “You Found Me” by The Fray. While I’ll openly admit that I enjoy this song musically, I don’t agree with the idea behind some of the words. Specifically, “Just a little late / You found me, You found me” bothers me. What do you mean, “just a little late?” Can God be late?
What I want to do is spend my next few blog posts analyzing the message that different songs portray about God and compare them what the Bible says about God. I’ll write one about “From a Distance” (and then immediately listen to something else), one about “You Found Me,” and I’ll write one about other songs that come to mind too. I’m sure there plenty are other songs out there that do the same thing. Can you think of any?
Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky
Kansas – Carry On Wayward Son
Lifehouse – Breathing
Some might also say: Lifehouse – Hanging By A Moment
Numerous U2 songs have religious themes to them, as I’m sure you are aware with your wife being the fan she is (Hi Lindsay!)
I believe a number of “Creed” songs also have religious overtones. Hope it helps give you a few more options G-man.
Very interesting post and I’m so sorry for just now reading it! I can think of quite a few but since I’m at work I’ll only list a few right now. These songs don’t necessarily misrepresent God, but they are secular. Would love to know what you think!
“Yahweh” – U2
“Where the Streets Have No Name”- U2
“Gloria” – U2
“Crumbs From Your Table”- U2
Whaddya know? They’re all by U2…. hehe 🙂
That terrible song by Natalie Grant: better than a hallelujah