This is what swagger sounds like! The lyrics read suspiciously like a replay of the well publicized antagonism between the Gallagher brothers. The video certainly seems to be a message of accusation, retribution and finality – burning things down.
Here is Liam – on a journey, striding through the rust belt, the ghost towns and the civil unrest. Is this how he sees his inner life, or is it a message for society at large, or for us all as individuals? The words seem to warn of old-style Catholic purgatory:
You’re gonna burn until you behave
Maybe the shame will open your eyes
Perhaps he is being prophetic and warning of the inevitable consequences of the betrayal of relationships and of truth, whether personal or in society. Here’s a positive message in the Bible:
All hail the Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll! Sister Rosetta Tharpe developed her guitar playing style for use in gospel ministry and evangelism and had a recording and performing career from the 1930s to the 1960s. She is credited with influencing most of the early (male) rock ‘n’ roll stars . She also laid foundations for electric blues by using an overdriven, distorted guitar sound – here she is playing a very beefy-looking Gibson SG Custom.
‘Up Above My Head’ says that the ‘music’ of God is all around – if you can just listen out for it, you can sense God working and even speaking to you. But if you are having a hard time, it can feel like you are drowning and everything is getting on top of you. Many people in the Bible were all too familiar with that experience – as you can read in Psalm 69. Plenty of material for the Blues there.
I’m about to drown
Sinking deep in the mud
Getting swept under
by a mighty flood
So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, here is a principal piece of evidence that indeed “God gave rock ‘n’ roll to you”. I hope you can hear that ‘music in the air’.
In the YouTube discussions on this song someone has said “If God had a ringtone, it would be this”.
Sung here by Dave Gilmour, the lyrics were written mainly by Roger Waters and made famous originally by Pink Floyd with their album of the same name. This performance is from the Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall, London in 2001.
I heard this song recently at a pub open mic night and it reminded me of how powerful and emotionally relevant it is for so many people. And it shows how a strong song can be performed successfully with minimal accompaniment, which is why I chose an ‘unplugged’ version to share.
The main theme is lament – an expression of grief for a lost person, a lost relationship or maybe a lost future, if only life had taken a different turn.
I find the words “did you exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?” a personal challenge, as I try to live a worthwhile life, and think about whether I take enough risks – or in religious language, whether I have enough faith.
In the Bible there is a song written by David (of David and Goliath fame) after he hears that his very close friend Jonathan has been killed in battle. 2 Samuel 1:17-27. Wish you were here.