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Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.

~Job 34:4

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”

~Philippians 1:9-11

Instructions

Your task today is to answer these questions for each song:

  1. What is the song title?
  2. Who is the artist or group?
  3. What is the message of the lyrics?
  4. Is it Biblical? If so, why?
  5. Is it a worldly message? If so, is it a good or bad message?

Don’t look ahead; just turn the pages when the music starts. We will stop after each song for discussion time.

Lyrics may not exactly match songs. The lyrics were pulled from the web and not the specific cut of music that will be played. All songs are pre-1980.

Song Number One

On the first part of the journey I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And the sky with no clouds
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

After two days in the desert sun my skin began to turn red
After three days in the desert fun I was looking at a river bed
And the story it told of a river that flowed
Made me sad to think it was dead

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

After nine days I let the horse run free ’cause the desert had turned to sea
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The ocean is a desert with it’s life underground
And a perfect disguise above
Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
But the humans will give no love

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

Song Number Two

REFRAIN
Put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the water
Put your hand in the hand of the Man who calmed the sea
Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently
By putting your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee

Every time I look into the Holy Book I want to tremble (tremble)
When I read about the part where the Carpenter cleared the temple
(temple)
For the guys in the Bible were no different fellows than what I profess
to be
And it causes me shame to know we’re not the people we should be
So

REFRAIN

My momma taught me how to pray before I reached the age of seven
She said “There’ll come a time when I’ll probably see you in heaven”
But I’m feeling kind of giddy about the number of times to do what we
must do
We forget what he said when (??-unclear)
So you gotta

REFRAIN

Everybody come along
Put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the water
(who stilled the water)
Put you hand in the hand of the Man who calmed the sea
(who calmed the sea)

Song Number Three

What would you do if I sang out of tune
would what would you do if I sang out of tune
would you stand up and walk out on me
lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
I will try not to sing out of key
I get by with a little help from my friends
I just keep trying with a little help from my friends
I want to get high with my friends
I just hold on with my friends
What do I do when my love is away
(does it worry you to be all alone)
how do I feel by the end of the day
(are you sad because your on your own)
Chorus
(do you need any body)
I need some body to love
(do you need any body)
all I need is someone to love
Chorus
(would you believe in a love at first sight)
I’m certain it happens all the time
(what do you see when you turn off the lights)
I don’t see much
Chorus
(do you need anybody)
I need somebody to love)
all I need is somebody to love
Chorus
You stand up and walk out on me
lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
I will try not to sing out of key
I get by with a little help from my friends
I just keep trying with a little help from my friends
I want to get high with my friends
I just hold on with my friends
What do I do when my love is away
(does it worry you to be all alone)
how do I feel by the end of the day
(are you sad because your on your own)
Chorus
(do you need any body)
I need some body to love
(do you need any body)
all I need is someone to love
Chorus
(would you believe in a love at first sight)
I’m certain it happens all the time
(what do you see when you turn off the lights)
I don’t see much
Chorus
(do you need anybody)
I need somebody

Song Number Four

Mississippi Queen, If you know what I mean
Mississippi Queen, She taught me everything
Way down around Vicksburg, Around Louisiana way
Lived a cajun lady, Aboard the Mississippi Queen
You know she was a dancer
She moved better on wine

While the rest of them dudes were’a gettin’ their kicks,
Boy I beg your pardon, I was getting mine

Mississippi Queen, If you know what I mean
Mississippi Queen, She taught me everything
This lady she asked me, If I would be her man
You know that I told her, I’d do what I can
To keep her looking pretty
Buy her dresses that shine

While the rest of them dudes were making their bread
Boy I beg your pardon, I was losing mine!

Song Number Five

Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
Susanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can’t remember who to send it to

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again

Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus
You’ve got to help me make a stand
You’ve just got to see me through another day
My body’s aching and my time is at hand
And I won’t make it any other way

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again

Been walking my mind to an easy time my back turned towards the sun
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it’ll turn your head around
Well, there’s hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things to come
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you, baby, one more time again, now

Thought I’d see you one more time again
There’s just a few things coming my way this time around, now
Thought I’d see you, thought I’d see you fire and rain, now

Song Number Six

When I die and they lay me to rest
Gonna go to the place that’s the best
When I lay me down to die
Goin’ up to the spirit in the sky
Goin’ up to the spirit in the sky
That’s where I’m gonna go when I die
When I die and they lay me to rest
Gonna go to the place that’s the best

Prepare yourself you know it’s a must
Gotta have a friend in Jesus
So you know that when you die
He’s gonna recommend you
To the spirit in the sky
Gonna recommend you
To the spirit in the sky
That’s where you’re gonna go when you die
When you die and they lay you to rest
You’re gonna go to the place that’s the best

Never been a sinner I never sinned
I got a friend in Jesus
So you know that when I die
He’s gonna set me up with
The spirit in the sky
Oh set me up with the spirit in the sky
That’s where I’m gonna go when I die
When I die and they lay me to rest
I’m gonna go to the place that’s the best
Go to the place that’s the best

Song Number Seven

Been forty days since I don’t know when
I just saw her with my best friend
Do you know what I mean?
Do you know, know what I mean?
I just saw her yesterday
I just saw her, asked her to stay
Do you know what I mean?
Lord, Do you know what I mean?
Her and Bobby were steppin out
Her and Bobby didn’t know I found out
Do you know what I mean?
Do you know, know what I mean?
So I asked her if she still cared
She didn’t hear me, she just stared
Do you know what I mean?
Lord, Do you know what I mean?
And then she said
Lee you haven’t loved me in nearly four years
You haven’t noticed that I held back my tears
And now you have, but it’s really too late
Better find yourself another girl
Better find another girl
Better find uh, another place
She just left me yesterday
She just left me, had nothing to say
Do you know what I mean?
Oh, do you know what I mean?
She’s a dandy, yes indeed
She’s a dandy, but now she’s free
Do you know what I mean?
Lord, do you know what I mean?
Been forty days since I don’t know when

Do you know what I mean?
Lord, do you know what I mean?
I just saw her yesterday
I just saw her, learn how to stay
Do you know what I mean?
Lord, Do you know what I mean?
Yeah, here comes it now.
Hoooo, help me

Song Number Eight

They took the whole Cherokee Nation
And put us on this reservation
Took away our ways of life
The tomahawk and the bow and knife

They took away our native tongue
And taught their English to our young
And all the beads we made by hand
Are nowadays made in Japan

Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die

They took the whole Indian Nation
And locked us on this reservation
And though I wear a shirt and tie
I’m still a red man deep inside

Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die

But maybe someday when they learn
Cherokee Nation will return
Will return
Will return
Will return
Will return

Song Number Nine

When I was a little boy
And the Devil would call my name
I’d say “now who do . . .
Who do you think you’re fooling?”
I’m a consecrated boy
Singer in a Sunday choir
My mama loves, she loves me
She gets down on her knees and hugs me
She loves me like a rock
She rocks me like the rock of ages
And she loves me

When I was grown to be a man
And the Devil would call my name
I’d say “now who do . . .
Who do you think you’re fooling?”
I’m a consummated man
I can snatch a little purity
My mama loves me, she loves me
She gets down on her knees and hugs me
She loves me like a rock
She rocks me like the rock of ages
And she loves me

If I was President
And the Congress call my name
I’d say “who do . . .
Who do you think you’re fooling?”
I’ve got the Presidential Seal
I’m up on the Presidential Podium
My mama loves me
She loves me
She gets down on her knees and hugs me
And she loves me like a rock
She rocks me like the rock of ages
And she loves me
She loves me, loves me, loves me, loves me

Song Number Ten

I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment’s gone
All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind.
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

[Now] Don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy.

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind
Dust in the wind; everything is dust in the wind.
Song Number Eleven

When the sun comes up on a sleepy little town
down around San Antone
and the folks are risin’ for another day
’round about their homes.
The people of the town are strange
and they’re proud of where they came.

Well, you’re talkin’ ’bout China Grove, wo, oh, oh,
oh, China Grove.

Well, the preacher and the teacher,
Lord, they’re a caution, they are the talk of the town.
When the gossip gets to flyin’ and they ain’t lyin’;
when the sun goes fallin’ down.
They say that the father’s insane
and dear Missus Perkin’s a game.

We’re talkin’ ’bout the China Grove, wo, oh, oh,
oh, China Grove.

But ev’ryday there’s a new thing comin’,
the ways of an oriental view.
The sheriff and his buddies
with their samurai swords,
you can even hear the music at night.
And though it’s part of the Lone Star State
people don’t seem to care,
they just keep on lookin’ to the East.

Talkin’ ’bout the China Grove, oh, China Grove.

Answers

Song Number One: America’s “A Horse With No Name”

“A Horse With No Name” was a song meant to compare the similarities and the beauty of the ocean to the desert. It gives a sense of a peaceful state of mind and was written to describe the artist’s passion for xenophobic landscapes (as one of the members liked to visit the area around Vandenburg Air Force Base, California). America Sang, “The ocean is a desert with its life underground and a perfect disguise above”, to explain that the ocean was much like a desert in the sense that both are barren, exposed to the sun, and uninhibited by (drinkable) water. The artist explicitly describes what he had seen on his “journey”, to convey the idea of wide-open peacefulness, “A sky with no clouds.”

Worldly, peaceful but not Biblical

Song Number Two: Ocean’s “Put Your Hand In The Hand”

Biblical message about placing your faith in Jesus. Strikes the comparative note between sinful man and Jesus as a great gap. Song re-enforces the importance of parents’ attitudes on faith and God upon their children’s beliefs. A great old rock number.

Song Number Three: Joe Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends”

The lament of a broken hearted lover who, with the help of his friends, survives the sadness and loss. Worldly message but a good one, going to friends for help. It demonstrates the importance of friendship and the opportunities we have when reaching out to someone in emotional stress and pain. What could Joe’s friends really done to help him? In the song’s example, his friends lead him to drugs. Not very helpful were they?

Song Number Four: Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen”

Classic song of wine, women and song portrayed as the goal of life. Singer is having a great time drinking, carousing and gambling. A worldly message but the last verse adds the reality of living this life style; he is losing all his money.

Song Number Five: James Taylor’s “Fire And Rain”

Another broken hearted lover’s lament. It’s long been established and confirmed by James Taylor that the song was about his fight to free himself from heroin addiction! “sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground” is the key lyric. Yes, he was bi-polar and fought that, but his career was nearly destroyed by his addiction (as was his relationship with Carly Simon). This time, tries to turn to Jesus for help. It is the pattern of human existence that when we are down and hurting, we think of Jesus. This is a worldly topic with a Biblical ending. Jesus cares for each of us, even if we are disappointing Him with our behavior.

Song Number Six: Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit In The Sky”

Starts off sounding like a great Biblical message but when the singer says he is going to heaven because “he never sinned,” it can take one of two possible interpretations: (a) We are all sinners. We go to heaven because of God’s grace and Christ’s work on the cross. Therefore, the Biblical message is not quite correct; or (b) Because of Christ’s work, we have no sins, none from the past, none now and none in the future. We are forgiven, therefore, the song is completely correct.

Song Number Seven: Lee Michaels’ “Do you know what I mean”

No Biblical message here, just a worldly message that when we have our priorities wrong, we can destroy relationships. Once destroyed, they are often impossible to repair.

Song Number Eight: Paul Revere and the Raiders’ “Indian Reservation”

This song could be written about the Middle East conflict or any other nation’s struggle against superior forces. It represents the hope of a fallen nation to regain their position in the world. Twelve million Indians were killed in America’s quest for expansion out west. The tragedy dwarfs even the Holocaust. A worldly example of why we need Jesus.

Song Number Nine: Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like A Rock”

Mother’s influence established faith through early patterning in church. Supported by mother’s continued support of his faith walk, Paul Simon ties his faith to that of his mother. It is no different today. As adults, we can have an “eternal” impact upon the lives of our children. Very Biblical.

Song Number Ten: Kansas’ “Dust in the wind”

Adapted out of Ecclesiastes’ 2:17 “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Solomon’s words and attitudes are spoken again. Remember that Solomon tried to answer the question, “What’s life?” through reasoning, experimentation and observation. He missed God’s point. Life is about faith in a better world to come. Based on Scripture but with a worldly twist.

Song Number Eleven: Doobie Brothers’ “China Grove”

A typical entertaining song about the screwed up world we live in. The song offers no answers, just recants problems in a little Texas town. It could be any city in America. Again, the only part of the message that is Biblical is that it shows we need Jesus in our lives.

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