Sunday, January 27, 2013

"I Want to Sing that Rock and Roll" - Gillian Welch and David Rawlings

I’m thinking of making Sunday a day for gospel music; and while I’m thinking about it; I can think of no better representatives of the modern gospel scene than Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, whom I featured here last week singing “I’ll Fly Away”.

Gospel music is often mistaken as simply being songs about Christianity; but, as a Jewish kid from Brooklyn; I can tell you honestly that there is so much more to gospel music once you scratch the surface. Gospel music transcends not only the troubles of this world; promising something better beyond the present; it also bridges the differences between us all with its themes of sorrow, redemption and joy. It’s like listening to Hank Williams “singing” his pain. It lifts you up just hearing him get the pain out. Like the blues.

In this song the emphasis is on wanting what you don’t have, and feeling left out. It speaks of peer pressure, and reluctant change; “everybody’s been making a shout, so big and loud, drowning me out….” The singers want to lay down their old guitars and pick up new electrified instruments. They are weary of trying to be heard above the din. I think we have all felt this way at one time or another when confronted with change. Because sometimes change doesn't feel like progress at all. 

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