Dancing

Kylie Minogue

When I go out, I want to go out dancing

Well, what a star – literally glittering! Kylie Minogue OBE – singer, songwriter and actress also known as ‘the Princess of Pop’ has won every music award there is. She started her career acting in the Australian soap opera Neighbours and since the 1980s has performed around the globe and sold over 70 million records worldwide, becoming the highest-selling Australian artist of all time.

Over the years she has kept audiences excited as she developed her image from girl-next-door through Japanese geisha and disco diva to an all round performer whose elaborate stage shows incorporate vivid burlesque fashion styles. The joyous escapism and camp humour has also attracted an appreciative gay following.

In terms of artistic and commercial success she had it all. Then a personal tragedy struck. In 2005 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have surgery and chemotherapy. She survived and went on to work again after a break, although she is reported to have described the treatment as “like experiencing a nuclear bomb.”

This is why this song means so much to me. My dear late wife went through similar trauma. She had breast cancer, the full treatment, recovered and lived normally for years, but then there was a final recurrence. The illness made us both realise that we are all living on borrowed time and how we need to make the most of life while we can.

Everybody’s got a story

Let it be your blaze of glory

Burning bright, never fade away

And when the final curtain falls, we could say we did it all

The never ending of a perfect day

The lyrics of the hook line can be read in two ways. “When I go out, I want to go out dancing” can just mean “when I leave the house for entertainment, I like to go dancing”. But I think there is a much more poignant way to understand it. “When I die, I want to know that I have lived my life as fully as I could, until the very end.”

But what does it really mean, to have lived life to the full? Is it to get rich and to have been a successful consumer of life’s pleasures? Perhaps these words will help us find an answer.

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

Jess Glynne

learn to forgive, learn to let go | everyone trips, everyone falls
don’t be so hard on yourself, no

In this competitive world of performance appraisals, credit ratings and social media ‘likes’ we need a better way to maintain our human dignity. It is too easy to internalise the message that we must be better, must do more – essentially that we are not good enough. Hence the message of this song which I think is from God and which I need to hear too.

The Bible tends to look at the world through a lens of morality rather than self-esteem and mental health. There is a story of Jesus healing a man of his blindness, after the disciples had helpfully enquired “whose fault is it that he’s blind – his own or his parents?” Perhaps the poor man had been asking himself the same question all his life.

Here’s mud in your eye!

Dance The Night Away

The Mavericks

… with seƱoritas who can sway

I love this song because it is so cheerful – it gets your feet tapping and your body moving (or is that just me?). It’s a song I play sometimes and it works on several levels. On the surface it is just a good time dance song – although if you listen to the lyrics there is a story of a broken romance and someone who is ‘moving on’, determined to forget the previous partner and have a good time.

Then as I sing there is a layer of my own longing for love and an embrace in a dance of life. Somehow I feel it for myself, but I am also singing it on behalf of everyone else who needs that too, so you could say it’s a kind of prayer.

There’s a whole theology around the idea of dance. Some Christians are down on it as being too ‘carnal’ – but that’s exactly what it is – being physical, being in the moment, being with another person, it’s all good.

People dance when they are happy and there is a famous occasion in the Bible where people are dancing in celebration. The Israelites have been saved by a miraculous crossing of the Red Sea and now it’s time to party! Read about it here in Exodus 14:19-21. And let’s hear it for Miriam – in those patriarchal times, a woman, a prophet, a musician, singer and a leader. Go Miriam!