Call Me

Blondie

“Blondie’s Back” Live Concert at The Town Hall 1999, New York City

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.

I Peter 5.7

No Roots

Alice Merton

Ask me where I come from, I’ll say a different land

‘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

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.