Time at home has allowed me to dig out some old CDs and take a musical ride through time. With the holiday season and all of the festivities associated with it all but over, we have cleared away the torn wrapping paper, empty boxes and some of the Christmas decorations. Today I’ve managed a few minutes to simply sit in the living room and listen to music. I would normally listen to satellite radio or an iTunes play list, but today I’ve dusted off some of the CDs stacked about the room and found an array of music that I haven’t heard for some time. Right now, it’s Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung.”
With this music comes a specific memory. This album takes me back to 1975, Myrtle Beach, SC where I grew up. I remember one very specific day in May, an afternoon after my birthday but before the summer break in between my junior and senior year of high school. I was still driving the hand-me-down family car, a 1966 Chevrolet Bellaire, and at that particular moment was cruising north on Highway 17 between Murrells Inlet and Myrtle Beach headed into town to join friends for pizza and some night time fun. The car stereo was blasting, powered by an 8-Track tape player as I listened for the first time to “My God.” What I remember today, is somehow in that drive I felt very free, and I knew that even though I didn’t fully understand what Tull was saying – I knew two things: There was more about God to learn than my parents had taught me and I liked this crazy, in-your-face, music.
I still know those two things.
People -- what have you done --
locked Him in His golden cage.
Made Him bend to your religion --
Him resurrected from the grave.
He is the god of nothing --
if that's all that you can see.
You are the god of everything --
He's inside you and me.
So lean upon Him gently
and don't call on Him to save you
from your social graces
and the sins you used to waive.
The bloody Church of England --
in chains of history --
requests your earthly presence at
the vicarage for tea.
And the graven image you-know-who --
with His plastic crucifix --
he's got him fixed --
confuses me as to who and where and why --
as to how he gets his kicks.
Confessing to the endless sin --
the endless whining sounds.
You'll be praying till next Thursday to
all the gods that you can count.