I was prompted to include this song by the Easter Bible readings about the resurrection, in particular Mark 16:1-8. The women visiting Jesus’ grave in the hope of tending to his body are asking themselves ‘Who will roll away the stone from the entrance for us?’
You can’t get too analytical about the lyrics; on a plain reading they seem to be about some kind of relationship blockage – the ‘stone’. So I just go with the swell of emotion in the anthem style of the music and think about those few minutes as the women approached a grave, and met an angel. Maybe they sang about it for the rest of their lives.
It’s great fun for me researching the songs for this blog. I get to see the videos that I missed first time round – there was no You Tube in 1989 – the year this song was published and the year that the World Wide Web was born.
I played this song in a Derby-based gospel outreach band called the A52s in the early 1990s and because it is such a strong song, I still sometimes sing it solo today. It expresses a resolution to stand firm against some unidentified problem. Because it is not specific, it does not get outdated, so the meaning can be re-applied to a current situation. For me singing it as a Christian, it is a kind of prayer, a reaffirmation of intent to keep on following the Lord. The idea of ‘standing firm’ crops up several places in the Bible, but here is a famous passage from Ephesians 6.10-13.
“You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down.”
A couple of years ago I was studying on a course when the students were asked to collaborate and produce ‘a presentation’ for the class around the theme of Advent. Well I was a bit vague on the liturgical calendar and it was all Christmas as far as I was concerned, so I wrote this song which covers Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. It’s about the visit of the Wise Men to the baby Jesus and his parents. The story is mysterious, because the Magi do not appear again in the Bible after this. For me it is a message about how people come into our lives, give us gifts and then disappear. It carries an undercurrent about bereavement, which is why the chorus reiterates “Looking forward, moving on | What’s next, ’cause we’re gone …”.