Originally posted at www.plimtuna.com on 17 January 2010
I am a classic rocker. I grew up on AM radio and then Album Oriented Rock (AOR) on FM. Music has always been an important part of my life. I can only play one instrument – the radio. I did try the drums for a couple years, but that is another story.
My brother is six years older than I am. Often during his high school years he would play his records or 8 Tracks while I tried to sleep. Mostly I was successful in getting my beauty sleep. However, sometimes I stayed up listening to his records. He must have been going through a British Progressive Rock phase because I became a huge Yes and Emerson Lake and Palmer fan after he left the house.
As I found my own taste, in 1976 a new group Heart was launched and they had great success with their debut eponymously titled album. It included two FM radio hits “Magic Man” and “Crazy on you”. At that time I thought that I had a wide ranges of tastes. I listened to British prog rock (Yes, ELP, Pink Floyd), British hard rock (Led Zeppelin, Queen and The Who), to US arena rock (Styx, Bob Seger, Boston, Bruce Springsteen), to the southern California sound (Jackson Browne, Eagles, Joe Walsh) and even over to the South East US with (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, Molly Hatchet). In hindsight, I can see that my tastes weren’t that diverse. It was all what we now call classic rock.
Having not been a Christian those years or even a good church going boy, I did not think anything at all about the music lyrically. I never sat and deeply analyzed the lyrics for moral content. I just listened; a lot. When I became a Christian my first year of college I ended up having to make a decision on what to do with my vast collection of LPs. I made a decision that at that time I needed to disassociate myself from all that old music that was too closely tied to late night drinking binges and lonely depressions alone in my room. I got rid of all the LPs and started to listening to Christian music (The Imperials, Stryper, Amy Grant, Keith Green, Petra, Michael W. Smith and DC Talk).
Years later as I grew in my Christian faith and walk, I found I could listen to my old Classic Rock music and it no longer made me yearn for a beer or make me lonely and depressed. I chalk that up to the power of God in my life. I soon came to enjoy listening to music of my youth nostalgically. About 5 years ago, my then 10-year-old son picked up an electric guitar. I now had a chance to share music with him from my youth. But how was I going to share all that music, with it’s more often than not, questionable lyrics? There was creative music in Classic Rock that I wanted to share. How could I share the simple 4/4 rock rhythms of AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and still be a good Christian father? How could I share the classic rock opera anthem by Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”?
One day about 4 years ago, I stumbled across a website on the internet for “The Christian Parody Band” –ApologetiX (www.apologetix.com ). For more than 20 years, over 1000 live concerts and 17 albums, these guys have been taking popular secular music, making a parody of the song by changing the lyrics to one that is honoring to God. What has really drawn me to the band is not only their uncanny ability to perfectly mimic the original song styling’s, but also their ability to bring God’s Word into the song. They can take stories and verses from throughout the Bible and apply them to my old music. Take a look at what they did with “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, the ApologetiX version comes right out of I Samuel 17:
|Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen||Bethlehemian Rhapsody by ApologetiX|
|Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide No escape from reality
Open your eyes Look up to the skies and seeI’m just a poor boy (Poor boy) I need no sympathy
Because I’m easy come, easy go
Little high, little low
Any way the wind blows Doesn’t really matter to me, to meMama just killed a man Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooh Didn’t mean to make you cry
If I’m not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters
Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine Body’s aching all the time
Goodbye, everybody I’ve got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, oooooooh(Anyway the wind blows) I don’t want to die
Sometimes wish I’d never been born at allI see a little silhouette of a man
Scaramouch, Scaramouch, will you do the Fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me
(Galileo) Galileo (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo Figaro
I’m just a poor boy nobody loves me
He’s just a poor boy from a poor family
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
(Oooh yeah, Oooh yeah)
Nothing really matters Anyone can see
Any way the wind blows
|Is this a real guy? Is he just fantasy?
‘Cause of his grand size, no one’s safe from fatality
Open your eyes, look up at Goliath, and see:GOLIATH
I’m dressed for war, boys. I need no infantry
Because I’ll meet the one you propose
Israelites, pick my foe
Anyway, I’ll win, so it doesn’t really matter to meDAVID
Mama, there’s still no man who can come against this threat
You might figure now we’re dead
Mama, Goliath is testing us
And know he’s gonna know they’re all afraid
Mama, ooh ooh ooh, he’s a mean and crazy guy
He’ll come right back again this time tomorrow
Scaring us, scaring us — cause he wants to meet in battle
Hooray! My time has come
Been a shepherd all my life — but I’m taking on this giant
Goodbye, everybody — but not for long
God will lead me all the while I face this brute
C’mon! Ooh ooh ooh!
(David you’re a wimp though) I’m not gonna die
The One who wins my battles is Lord of all
I see a little silly shepherd — not a man
What are you tryin’ to prove? You’ll be chewed up and mangled!
Send a boy to fight me? Very, very tiny flea!
Gol-la-liath! Gol-la-liath! Gonna die you big galoot!
I’ll kick your butt!
I trust the Lord but nobody trusts me
He trusts the Lord, but suffers from insanity
Daring to fight ‘gainst this monstrosityDAVID
Evil comes, evil goes — You will get deposed
For the ApologetiX version – Click HERE
After listening to ApologetiX for four years, I finally had my first chance to see them live. When I was in the US with my daughter last Fall the band just happened to be playing at a church near my mother’s house on a night I had no plans. I went and really enjoyed the show. Unfortunately, they had some sound problems that night and the first few songs were hard to hear the voices. The music sounded OK (too much bass) but I missed the lyrics due to the poor acoustics. Thankfully after a few songs a solution was found and the show went on.
The real value of ApologetiX is not that they can mimic the music of so many artists so well; many cover bands do that every weekend in small bars across the world. What makes ApologetiX different is their ability to take God’s Word and put it in a familiar format of popular music. I think it is a great way to create opportunities to share God’s Word with others. Does your best friend love the Beatles, Beach Boys, Led Zep, The Who, Eminem, Ozzy Osbourne, Linkin Park, Charlie Daniels Band, Doobie Brothers or any of the other 100 artists that ApologetiX parody? If so, then here is a way to share God’s Word with them.
As my goal for 2010 is to help men spend more time in God’s Word, then I see talking about ApologetiX as a means to that end. Listen to how God can use their creativity to bring God’s Word forth. Visit their website www.apologetix.com , they have sample songs for you to try out, always with lyrics. One nice feature of their website is that if you buy a CD from them, they immediately allow you to download the MP3s. That is a nice feature for those of us in Europe.
I Peter 3:15
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer* to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”
* In the original Greek the word is apologia from where we get the word Apologetics and Apology