Secret of the Easy Yoke

The title of this blog post mirrors the title of its subject, namely a song by David Bazan, as performed by his ‘band’ Pedro The Lion. The lyrics are below, and you can hear it here:

I could hear the church bells ringing
They pealed aloud Your praise
The member’s faces were smiling
With their hands outstretched to shake
It’s true they did not move me
My heart was hard and tired
Their perfect fire annoyed me
I could not find You anywhere

Could someone please tell me the story
Of sinners ransomed from the fall
I still have never seen You
And some days I don’t love You at all

The devoted were wearing bracelets
To remind them why they came
Some concrete motivation
When the abstract could not do the same
But if all that’s left is duty
I’m falling on my sword
At least then I would not serve
An unseen, distant Lord

Could someone please tell me the story
Of sinners ransomed from the fall
I still have never seen You
And some days I don’t love You at all

If this is only a test
I hope that I’m passing
‘Cause I’m losing steam
But I still want to trust You

Peace, be still
Peace, be still
Peace, be still

 

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20 Responses to Secret of the Easy Yoke

  1. Tricia says:

    Hi Craig. I do hope these lyrics aren’t what you are going through right now. I think a lot of Christians are being pressured and are suffering…. anyway, I pray you are okay. Drop me a line if you want to chat.

  2. Craig says:

    Thanks for the thought. I think most Christians go through this at times. But, the lyrics do resolve in a sense (“But, I still want to trust You; Peace, be still…”).

  3. Craig says:

    David Bazan renounced his faith not too soon after this and some of his other early works were released. (Yes, I was aware of that fact before releasing this blog post.). Here’s a live rendition from 2007 in which he states his disbelief–though a bit tentatively–before he begins (“…I don’t even believe this dude exists, mostly, now, but…”):

    I appreciate his struggle and his honesty both when it was first written/recorded and in his performance here. I’ve witnessed so much hypocrisy in the “church” (which he alludes to in this song). But, of course, we’re all hypocrites to some extent. Those who claim they aren’t are liars as well.

  4. Jim says:

    This has been speaking to me recently:

    “Dig Down”
    When hope and love has been lost and you fall to the ground
    You must find a way
    When the darkness descends and you’re told it’s the end
    You must find a way
    When God decides to look the other way
    and a clown takes the throne
    We must find a way
    Face the firing squad,
    against the odds
    You will find a way
    Dig Down Dig Down Dig Down
    and find faith
    When you’re close to the edge
    With a gun to your head
    You must find a way
    When friends are thin on the ground
    and they try to divide us
    We must find a way
    We have entered the fray
    and we will not obey
    We must find a way, yeah
    Dig Down Dig Down Dig Down
    and find faith
    When they’ve left you for dead
    and you can only see red
    You must find a way
    Dig Down Dig Down Dig Down,
    find faith
    We won’t let them divide,
    We will never abide
    We will find a way

  5. Jim says:

    And this

  6. Craig says:

    I fixed the link. There was extra code tacked onto the end (look for ampersands “&”, as these usually redirect).

  7. Jim says:

    I also have Joy Division – Dead Souls and Led Zep’s When the Levee Breaks on repeat at the moment. A bit gloomy and dark at times but so rich in their depth of connecting with humanity at its most earthy.

  8. Craig says:

    “Dead Souls” has been one of my favorites, but the lyrics are actually occult. Do you know that the lead singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide on the eve before the band’s first US tour?

  9. Craig says:

    Look at the lyrics to “Disorder”, their first track from their first album Unknown Pleasures. What “spirit” does he have?

    I’ve been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand,
    Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?
    These sensations barely interest me for another day,
    I’ve got the spirit, lose the feeling, take the shock away.

    It’s getting faster, moving faster now, it’s getting out of hand,
    On the tenth floor, down the back stairs, it’s a no man’s land,
    Lights are flashing, cars are crashing, getting frequent now,
    I’ve got the spirit, lose the feeling, let it out somehow.

    What means to you, what means to me, and we will meet again,
    I’m watching you, I’m watching her, I’ll take no pity from your friends,
    Who is right, who can tell, and who gives a damn right now,
    Until the spirit new sensation takes hold, then you know,
    Until the spirit new sensation takes hold, then you know,
    Until the spirit new sensation takes hold, then you know,
    I’ve got the spirit, but lose the feeling,
    I’ve got the spirit, but lose the feeling.
    Feeling, feeling, feeling, feeling, feeling, feeling, feeling.

  10. Jim says:

    Ian Curtis was certainly a very depressed and mentally tortured man. His singing and lyrics are clear indicators of what would ultimately happen. He also seemed very anti-religion but as with these themes in secular music, I think that they more often rail against the spirit of religiosity, or the often seen Pharisaical heart of religion, than God himself.

  11. Jim says:

    Where figures from the past stand tall,
    And mocking voices ring the halls.
    Imperialistic house of prayer,
    Conquistadors who took their share.

    This verse from Dead Souls could easily be an anti-Catholic rant.

  12. Craig says:

    Jim,

    I hadn’t thought of those verses that way. To be fair, though, the Crusades were a reaction to Islamic encroachment.

    Though I think he goes much further than he ought, I can appreciate John Lydon’s (formerly “Johnny Rotten”) lyrics in the virulently anti-Catholic “Religion” (I’m a free speech absolutest):

    Stained glass windows keep the cold outside
    While the hypocrites hide inside
    With the lies of statues in their minds
    Where the Christian religion made them blind
    Where they hide
    And prey to the God of a bitch spelled backwards is dog
    Not for one race, one creed, one world
    But for money
    Effective
    Absurd

    Do you pray to the Holy Ghost when you suck your host
    Do you read who’s dead in the Irish Post
    Do you give away the cash you can’t afford
    On bended knees and pray to the lord

    Fat pig priest
    Sanctimonious smiles
    He takes the money
    You take the lies
    This is religion and Jesus Christ
    This is religion cheaply priced
    This is bibles full of libel
    This is sin in eternal hymn
    This is what they’ve done
    This is your religion
    The apostles were eleven
    Now there’s a sod in Heaven

    This is religion
    There’s a liar on the altar
    The sermon never falter
    This is religion
    Your religion
    and it’s all falling to bits
    gloriously

  13. Jim says:

    I was thinking the conquistadors were more the Catholic invasion of central and south America.

    Mr Lydon makes the case well that perceived hypocrisy in religious circles will always be pilloried by whoever has the wit, anger and means to express it.

  14. Craig says:

    And this one, from probably my all-time favorite Rock record (though not my fav from the record) is the anti-Catholic New Nails:

    New Nails
    Roger Miller

    There was once a special book
    It got changed by fascist crooks
    (Save me please for I am weak)
    There were once some great ideas
    Now they’re watered down too thin
    (Save me please for I am weak)
    (Save me please for I’m a sheep)
    Well I suppose it’s human nature
    But when He said
    “Don’t make an idol of me…” x3

    The Roman Empire never died
    (Save me I am not a goat)
    Just changed in to the Catholic Church
    (Dionysius has cloven hooves)
    The Roman Empire never died
    (Nevermore – trod not on me)
    (Save me I am not a goat)

    (laughing)

    But when He said
    “Don’t make an idol of Me” x3
    Plastic idols of Me
    Plaster idols of Me
    “Don’t make an idol of Me”

    Well when I walk the shores of Galilee
    Where only the Spirit can talk to Me
    Well I walk the shores of Galilee
    …..[unintelligible] desert sand, no one can touch Me
    Don’t touch Me!
    No!
    Oh no! x4

    Oh no!
    What’s this?
    All these crimes, committed in My name.
    Oh well…

  15. Jim says:

    You have a very catholic taste in music, Craig! 🙂

  16. Craig says:

    I like all different kinds of music, from the most loud and abrasive, to the softest (think some of Arvo Part’s output).

    I think RCC-ism is rotten to the core–though there are probably millions of well-meaning Christians under her sway.

  17. Craig says:

    Jim,

    I’m wholly unfamiliar with the band Muse. Are the lyrics an implicit attack on President Trump? I hope not. Trump might be a jerk at times, and he sure does say things that make me cringe and wince, however, the media has been unfairly maligning him by misquoting him, and taking things out of context. This whole bogus notion of ‘white nationalism has increased since Trump’s election and it’s all Trump’s fault’ is sickening. The fiery and well-spoken (and black) Candace Owens straightens this out in front of the House Judiciary Committee meeting yesterday. She even timed her opening perfectly (she’s a former Democrat, she misspoke at the beginning):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1H7CL5K4Go

    A Republican gives her the chance to speak some more:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoWzQLO_UuY

    And Democrat Lieu tried to malign her by taking her out of context and without giving her a chance to respond. Thankfully a Republican gives her that opportunity, which provided the opportunity to implicitly show up the jerk Nadler as a bonus:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC6ZkM79Vao

  18. Jim says:

    Craig, I’m unsure whether Dig Down is a ‘dig’ at Trump. I just recognise that God uses all things to get a message through and, in my case, so it was with the lyrics here.

    I first thought that the line ‘When God decides to look the other way’ was an unfair portrayal but then was reading Ps 42, 43 and 142 and saw David asking God not to abandon him, as if he too was feeling that line.

    The clown on the throne could be most presidents or Prime Ministers these days, although I tend to agree with you regarding the way Trump is tactically quoted or misquoted to make him appear like a buffoon.

  19. Jim says:

    Muse tend to come across as anti-establishment and anti-deep state.

  20. Craig says:

    I like to watch this guy’s (Scotty Kilmer’s) videos on car repair, not least for entertainment value via the memes. “A little maintenance goes a long way”:

    And he doesn’t like Mercedes Benz or Fiat cars. I don’t think Scotty will be able to talk with his hands bound.

    As an added bonus here, you can see the code I added to the end of the video to make the time stamp: &t=6m57s (Hover over this: Doing This Will Make Your Car’s Suspension Last Forever). This indicates ‘time equals 6 minutes, 57 seconds’.

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