Monday, March 27, 2006

The House You Live In

As I was driving to St. Louis from Nashville last week, I was listening to some music that I had not listened to in a long time. One of the songs really spoke to me that morning and related to the simplicity of Christian discipleship. It is the simple things about discipleship that we gloss over that have the greatest impact. Much too often we gloss over them and tackle the theologically tough issues because it is actually easier to debate unclear points than to execute the simple and clear points. I hope you find the song as refreshing as I did.

The House You Live In
Go first in the world, go forth with your fears
Remember a price must be paid
Be always too soon, be never too fast
At the time when all bets must be laid
Beware of the darkness, be kind to your children
Remember the woman who waits
And the house you live in will never fall down
If you pity the stranger who stands at your gate

When you're caught by the gale and you're full under sail
Beware of the dangers below
And the song that you sing should not be too sad
And be sure not to sing it too slow
Be calm in the face of all common disgraces
And know what they're doing it for
And the house you live in will never fall down
If you pity the stranger who stands at your door

When you're out on the road and feeling quite lost
Consider the burden of fame
And he who is wise will not criticize
When other men fail at the game
Beware of strange faces and dark dingy places
Be careful while bending the law
And the house you live in will never fall down
If you pity the stranger who stands at your door

When you're down in the dumps and not ready to deal
Decide what it is that you need
Is it money or love, is it learning to live
Or is it the mouth you must feed
Be known as a man who will always be candid
On questions that do not relate
And the house you live in will never fall down
If you pity the stranger who stands at your gate
And the house you live in will never fall down
If you pity the stranger who stands at your gate
Gordon Lightfoot from Summertime Dream 1976


JMG said...

Good lyrics.

jettybetty said...

I was thinking about your driving and not flying recently--guess you are trying to put your time to good use!

I don't remember that Gordon Lightfoot song--and I remember 1976 very well. The lyrics are sooo good. I may need to go to I-tunes and download it!

erinlo said...

Is this guy a Christian writer?? I've not heard of him (it's a little before my time) but I would love to find out more about him! I think I'll google him. Thanks for sharing those lyrics- they really spoke to me today.

Malia said...

I'm with JB, I think I need to download the song and actually "hear" it. The words are wonderful, the message is poignant, I'm sure the song is too.

Tony Arnold said...

Gordon Lightfoot was a cross-over artist (pop, rock, country) whose peak was in the early '70's. He is a Canadian troubador and much acclaimed song writer.

Most people know him from his hit song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".

Other big hits: Sundown (Sundown you better take care if I find you been creeping round my back stair..)

Early Morning Rain; If You Could Read My Mind; Carefree Highway; Rainy Day People;

JMG said...

I'm glad you listed those song titles, Tony. I've been racking my brain trying to think of some of his songs that I've heard--it's been driving me crazy. I could hear his voice because it's very distinctive, but I couldn't hear any of the songs. Now it's driving me crazy that one line from "Rainy Day People" keeps playing over and over in my head.

Purgatory Penman said...

Awaaaa, nostalgia! It is hard to believe that there are people who don't remember Gordon Lightfoot. That was just yesterday, and he was so popular, well-respected, and he spoke to the spirit of the times.
We must not be doing a good enough job educating this generation about the musical treasures of the past.

JMG said...

You'd be surprised, Penman, at the things college students have never heard of. They make me feel old, and I'm only 36!

Tony Arnold said...

I, for one, am doing my part. My 5-yr old daughter likes classic rock and counts the Beatles as one of her favorite bands.

She thought it was cool when I played two songs from Ella Enchanted on CD's (which were bought years ago to replace the actual phono album) and told her they were 30 years old. [Find Me Somebody To Love--Queen and Strange Magic--ELO).

I also have her listen to classical, jazz, and some of the good rock from the 90's and 2000's, although this last group is very small.


JMG said...

Hmmm Tony. I see you skipped from 30 years ago straight to the 90's. Nothing good came out of the 80's?

Tony Arnold said...

The 80's were certainly a mixed bag weighing in on the weak side.
The good stuff was mostly from groups established in the 70's but still making music.

However, in my context, classic rock was ~1960 to ~1988.


JMG said...

OMG! I graduated high school in '88. It hurts to know the music from that era is now "classic."

Imagine that. Duran Duran is classic.

Tony Arnold said...

Well it is on VH1 Classic you know.

How do you think I feel when I listen to music that feels like I heard just yesterday and it is from the early 70's!

I'm only 43, but alas 13 was thirty years ago. Ouch!