I’ve been pondering this song for a while, first hearing it on the radio as I headed to work. What would I do if the world was ending? Where would I go? Who would I contact? Who would be first in my mind? The singer seems to be filled with insecurity, “you would come over, right?” He seems prepared to throw all caution to the wind, but he’s not quite sure she feels the same way.
This Covid 19 Lockdown has caused many of us to reflect on life and how we spend our days. I have certainly gone from being on the road meeting and speaking to new people daily, to staying at home and talking to a very limited number of people. We know that the world isn’t ending, but there is a sense that life has changed and so have priorities. When disaster strikes, in times of crisis, will someone be there for me and with me? How will I choose to prioritise things that want my attention?
If the world was ending….what? There is a common phrase “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” which crops up a few times in the Bible. The one story comes to mind of a rich landowner who stored up immense riches intending to just sit back and enjoy himself having more than enough for years to come. That night he died…it was the end and he would never enjoy all the wealth he had gathered. (Luke 12 v 19)
If the world was ending…what? Would I just eat, drink and be merry? In Covid-19 am I just eating, drinking and being merry or is there another response?
In the 1970s Blondie had a string of hits and although the publicity made them look like a manufactured pop product, they were in fact a ‘proper’ rock band as you can see here.
This song was a big hit in the 1980s, having been written as the main theme for the film ‘American Gigolo’ in which Richard Gere plays a male prostitute who is framed for murder. ‘Call me’ is being sung from the point of view of his character, clearly an advertisement and invitation to make use of his personal services. I’d like to re-purpose the refrain of the song as a message from God to us all:
Call me on the line Call me, call me anytime Call me, oh my love When you’re ready we can share the wine
These corona virus days are troubled times and this is an invitation to pray. Pray for those suffering the disease and its after-effects, pray for grieving families and friends, pray for stressed and lonely people, poor and frightened people. Pray for God to guide our leaders, pray for the medical staff and all the key workers. Pray that some good will come from this for our society, our economy and our environment. And if you’re reading this in the future when this particular crisis is over, I’m sure there will be something else to pray about – just read the news.
God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.
‘Roots’ has so many meanings – family history, the place where you grew up, the community you are in now, or the culture you were once part of – which might not be the same as your current beliefs and lifestyle.
Can you ever really go back to your roots? Your childhood friends have moved on, your parents will pass away, your home town looks small, and your own ideas about life develop while the whole the world keeps changing. Even if you had some roots once, you can’t ever really find them again.
We are all lost in the universe and the universe doesn’t care. That’s existential angst for you. Alice Moreton is singing about the way we all want those roots, and our sadness at not having them. But I think she has the answer too.
There are many stories in the Bible of people who left home, migrated, sometimes as refugees or captives. The collective yearnings (spread over centuries) are summarised in this passage, Hebrews 11.13-16 where the writer says people “agreed that they were only strangers and foreigners on this earth … but they were looking forward to a better home in heaven”.
I’ve got no roots, but my home was never on the ground