Redemption Song

Abby Clutario

Won’t you help to sing these songs of freedom?

I stumbled on this lovely recording when browsing the facebook group ‘The Hippies Were Right’ – but that’s another story …

Let’s hear it for the Chapman Stick, an unusual 12 (or 10 or 8) string guitar-like instrument. Learn all about them at No, I’m not on commission, but I did the searching so you don’t have to. I first heard a stick played live by the excellent Jim Lampi in about 1992 at the Rolls-Royce guitar club in Derby. Everyone was astonished at the sound and the musicianship.

And let’s hear it for Abby Clutario. She is a featured artist for Nord instruments, and from their web site we read

Abby Clutario is a Filipino multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger, best known as the vocalist, keyboardist, and Chapman Stick player of the progressive band fuseboxx, and world-fusion group, Humanfolk.
Her interest in music began at age 4. Throughout her formative years, she honed her musical talent in singing and playing the piano as a choir and music ministry member. To further discover her talents, she pursued a music degree in college, developing her musical abilities and immersing herself with a fusion of influences in classical music, pop, jazz and new age.

This song speaks for itself. You don’t need me to draw out some spiritual message. But maybe you can meditate on some scripture while you are listening – I’ve picked John 1:1-14.

Boys Don’t Cry

The Cure

Don’t they look so young in this video ? Oh, wait a minute …

Boys don’t cry? Sung ironically, of course, because, yes boys DO cry. This one does, anyway. So here is a song with an almost timeless message of lost romance and yearning “I would do ‘most anything to get you back by my side”- followed by the stoic response that has traditionally been expected of men , at least in the England of 1979: “I try to laugh about it, hiding the tears in my eyes.”

Slight aside – it’s worth mentioning the award-winning 1999 film ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, which makes use of this song. It dramatises the real-life story of a trans-man in America who was looking for love but was brutally raped and murdered.

There are only a few primary human emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, anger and surprise. Four out of six are ‘negative’ – too bad – your fault for being a human! Some lists add other emotions such as shame and pride. Part of being human and being alive is feeling and expressing emotions. We write love letters, sing songs, tweet in anger, shout in the streets. Our faces usually show our emotions and sometimes our bodies just give the game away for us, and then we cry.

So crying in the Bible? Actually there’s plenty of it, all over. But there is an account of Jesus crying – not because of some cosmic disaster or over the plight of humankind. He cried because his friend had died. So you can cry too, if you want to.