Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mid-Week Music #7 - Ways of a Fool



This week, I'll be introducing (some of) you to an artist by the name of Neal Morse. He's a very talented fellow: in fact, he and his band are practically on the same level of Kansas when it comes to skill. This song is from the album Similitude of a Dream, a concept album based on The Pilgrim's Progress. I'm pretty sure most of you have read it. Well, unless you've gone to public school or most colleges. They don't like that kind of masterpiece in there.

The reason I am posting this particular song is not actually what you might think. I have not encountered any worldly wise-men or fools lately. I have in the past, but not recently. Actually, I'm posting this because it's the song my younger sister picked: her birthday fell on a Wednesday, and I let her choose the song. So anyway, Abi, Happy 9th Birthday! May you never fall into the ways of a fool!

WARNING: song is very catchy. It WILL get stuck in your head.




Walking straight ahead
Wondering in the way I wander
My feet are feeling fine...

What's that up ahead?
Someone coming up the way...
Ay-ay

He is a worldly man
When I tell him my plans
He says:
What are you doing?
You're simple as pudding
It's not worth pursuing
I know the way out!

(chorus)
All the ways of a fool
They are right in his own eyes
Go on back, keep your cool
Don't you miss the city lights
And those worldly delights?
(Trust me...)
I know I'm right

Reason is the rule
Logic is a mighty Fortress
And life is nothing more

Perception is the truth
Why not make it what you want?

I'm a successful man
My offer is easy
Invent your reality
Made-up morality
Legal legality
Second to none!

(chorus)

***

(chorus)
All the ways of a fool
They are right in his own eyes
Go on back, keep your cool
Don't you miss the city lights
And those worldly delights
Trust me
I know... I'm...
Ri-i-ight...

***

I think I'll go the way
Walking with the worldly wise man

I'll just change it up a bit
And go the more logical way

Because it seems good to me
To live a life that's free from care
And my new reality
I will speak into the air...

And life is awaiting me
I'll learn what they're teaching me
And surely my destiny will follow

Forget all about that dream
I'll find a place in between
And just take a turn-about tomorrow...

**


Monday, August 14, 2017

A Song for Harry (And a Word or Two)



Two nights ago (maybe three), I finished it. I finished watching the Harry Potter series.

To say I have mixed feelings would be the understatement of the wizarding world. My mind went from "Awww, that's so sweet" to "You JERK!" to "Whoa, now I get it!" to "How could you do this to me, JK? Why?!" to "YESSS!!! Finally!" to "Whaaaaat? That makes zero sense!"

So... very strange experience, huh?

I liked it far better than Part One of Deathly Hallows, where Harry did nothing but camp out in the wilderness with angstyness. Sorry if I spoiled the movie for you. But I think it was a (mostly) great end to a series that comes up with ways to keep my attention. And I think Miss Rowling enjoys lobbing those surprises at the heads of us readers.

I have much to say on the matter of Harry Potter. But that, for the moment, must wait. I have limited time to write. So I'll briefly address one thing that has really been annoying me for awhile, but that was dealt with in the last movie: Harry's 'hero's journey'. He doesn't really undertake it.

To be sure, he defeats several enemies (particularly in the first five stories), but Harry doesn't really do much to become worthy of his title of Chosen One. What, you think it all comes to you just like that? Honestly though, one time he accomplished something literally by luck. I'm not joking: watch or read the stories. Of course, this being the last one, Harry has to finish this, or everyone shall die. I will talk more about Harry's progression, what there is of it, at length another time.


Back in... I think it was May... I had just watched the Half-Blood Prince for the first time. That night, newly-made memories and imagination met to create inspiration. That inspiration ensnared my mind and utterly refused to let me go. So I dashed into the library to write it down. The words I wrote turned into these lyrics. I had most of it written down that night, then finished it the next day.

It doesn't have a title yet. I also haven't worked out the tune yet. Someday, I'm going to do a Mid-Week Music post about it, once I make a video of it. This song is for those Christians who have adopted a worldview of quietism, who just pine away waiting for Jesus to come back and take them away. It's also about Harry Potter. It's a call to arms. You're a wizard, Harry: now act like it.


You're living in a war zone
And you're sitting on your hands
You're still just goofing off instead
Of making battle plans

You're snogging and you're shuffling
And not sticking to your guns
Come on!
You are the Chosen Ones

It's high time you get out there
And learn just what to do
It's time to fight
For what is right
Give You-Know-Who
His devil's due

Take up now your weapons
This is a war we're in
Why are you still sitting there?
You've got a world to win

If you're waiting for the End Times
You've got a while to go
If you're gonna live in this old world
You need to learn and grow

You're in the Master's Army
Don't you get it, son? You're on
Take up the Hero's Journey
Through darkness into dawn

Our enemies are dangerous
They don't mess around
Come on!
Now learn to stand your ground

It's high time you get out there
And learn just what to do
It's time to fight
For what is right
Give You-Know-Who
His devil's due

***

When our enemies steal a little more freedom every day
When ones we love are casualties and ones we trust betray
Know that you've a Mighty Fortress
And you'll never stand alone
A hope for us to cling to
In this world that's made of stone

***



Now make your spirits light up
Like a fireworks display
With a sword to slay the Serpent
And a map to show the way

Lumos in a dark world
Hope to all who truly hear
Come on!
Our destiny draws near

It's high time you get out there
It's the only thing to do
It's might for right
For truth and light
Beat You-Know-Who
His reign is through!

Learn from the Greatest Hero
The self-sacrifice He gave
Why are you still sitting there?
You've got a world to save

Why are you still sitting there?
You've got a world to save


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Mid-Week Music #6 - That's What Bilbo Baggins Hates!



Today, I've been quite busy, what with schoolwork, writing projects, and sundry other things. But I think I can manage a Mid-Week Music post.

If I really think about it, there could be lots of reasons to post this particular song: I've recently read that part of the Hobbit, I watched a TV show featuring Martin Freeman aka Bilbo Baggins last night, I know most of the lyrics by heart and it's a fun song. But honestly, the real reason is because I'm very busy, and feel like muttering 'confusticate and bebother' right about now. I'm beginning to realize how Bilbo felt, and--yep, there's Mommy calling me to come help with supper!

So, without further ado, here is "Blunt the Knives", alternatively known as "That's What Bilbo Baggins Hates!"






Bilbo:
And can you not do that? You'll blunt them!

Bofur:
Ooh! D'you hear that, lads? He says we'll blunt the knives!

Kili:
Blunt the knives, bend the forks

Fili:
Smash the bottles and burn the corks

All:
Chip the glasses and crack the plates...
That's what Bilbo Baggins hates!

(instruments join in)

Cut the cloth, tread on the fat
Leave the bones on the bedroom mat
Pour the milk on the pantry floor...
Splash the wine on every door!

Dump the crocks in a boiling bowl
Pound them up with a thumping pole
And when you've finished, if any are whole...
Send them down the hall to roll!

***

That's what Bilbo Baggins hates!


PS: My deepest and most profound apologies for the serious note on which the video ends. Thorin no longer has any conception of timing. Or being on time, for that matter.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mid-Week Music #5 - Byzantium



This week I present to you a song by a band called Kansas. You've probably heard of them. If not, they are a prog-rock sort of band, with almost classical sounding songs, sometimes. They're one of my favorite bands. You can be sure there will be more of their songs on Mid-Week Music in the future. This is a beautiful song: one of their best, and that's saying a lot.

It also happens to be a song I get in my head whenever I do my Western Civilization classes for the Ron Paul Curriculum. (You will get to read some of the things I've written for them sooner or later). Anyway, this song was particularly stuck in my mind today. It is called... Byzantium.




***

City resting on a hill
Can your walls repel the ti-ide of change?
Under Panticrater's rule
Did your golden domes reveal
The frailty of the consequence?
The conqueror was real

Where the emperor once reigned
Only shadows of the glories remain
No one sings your plaintive song
Of the Cantechian strain
Echoing through heaven's gate
Too lovely to sustain

(chorus)
We're looking back to see your frescoed walls
Where is the road that takes us to
Byzantium?

***

Once your borders had no end
And your dream was like a shi-ining light
To the nations you surround
Did your golden domes reveal
The frailty of the consequence?
The conqueror was real

We're looking back to see your frescoed walls
Where is the road that takes us to Byzantium?

(chorus)
We're looking back to see your frescoed walls
Where is the road that takes us to
Byzantium?

***