“Somewhere When Your Heart Glowed the Hope” – Gold

This song is a nice reprieve from the last three heavy songs we have discussed. The tempo is upbeat and the spirit is light. The muted guitar chords in line with the bass in the verse allow the lead guitar to grab your attention and it gives the wall of sound guitars that come in on the chorus more impact. You can tell that JM is becoming more confident in his songwriting. I think part of the intent of the overload of sound that is characteristic of Silver is that it allows the songwriter plenty of places to hide. There is no hiding here. You can hear this particularly in the extended outro. There is an idea in pop music circles that music without lyrics to prop it up is gratuitous and should be avoided unless stoners are your customer base. The outro defies this logic and makes no attempts to justify itself with lyrics or flashy guitar tricks. It’s a solid, contemplative, repetitive melody that doesn’t have to prove itself to you, dammit.

The lyrics make me think that this might be the reply of the person the singer addressed in “When You Feel the Mess”; you know, the one that just couldn’t understand the singer because they didn’t feel “the mess” too. In this song, the singer is compassionate, patient and reminds us that there is more to life than “the mess”. There is hope. Maybe it is JM singing to soothe himself. No one understands hope quite as well as someone who struggles with darkness. Yet another option is that it is the voice of the Holy Spirit, calming you (as she always is) and coaxing you out of the small deaths you have chosen for yourself.

This reminds me of my outfit for church yesterday. It was Pentecost Sunday and I wanted to wear something appropriately thematic. I chose a bright red t-shirt which has a line drawing of the face of the Christian theologian Kierkegaard and above his head it says “DREAD”. The picture of Kierkegaard looks like Hans Christian Anderson as played by Danny Kaye in the Disney movie. I keep hoping that someone will think that’s who it is and will ask me why “DREAD” is above his head so that I can describe to them the inherent dread in The Little Mermaid story, which he wrote (if you do not know what the elements of dread are in that story, just ask your local LGBT person).

But back to the matter at hand. I chose that shirt first of all because the bright red was, I thought, symbolic of the fire of the Holy Spirit. It occurred to me as I was standing in front of the church serving communion that the people coming up to be served might feel a bit of cognitive dissonance that they were faced with a message of dread as they took their Pentecost communion. But it was too late for a wardrobe change at that point.

I stood there contemplating why that had not occurred to me before I showed up at church. I think it is this. I cannot be aware of the light of the Holy Spirit unless I am aware of the darkness within me. I cannot be aware of the darkness within me without the light of the Holy Spirit which comes in so many forms both within and without me. Both elements are required for me to perceive and make sense of either. For me, there is no dissonance in recognizing that the darkness and the light coexist.

I feel it is the same with sf59 songs. For every three songs about mopey, sad boy stuff, there is a song like this that cuts through all the muck and reminds you that there is more than the loneliness and pain. There is hope. That’s what the fire of the Holy Spirit is about. Fire not only consumes, it also purifies. It burns out what is old so that new may grow in its place.

Back in the day, I know that some Christian music listeners had issues with sf59 because the songs weren’t all “woohoo Jesus!” all the time. They dove into the darkness and allowed the shadow to be heard and known. And for that, sf59’s way of writing Christian music is more impacting to me than anything the CCM music industry ever pushed out into the market.