CaPC Playlist: Kacey Musgraves, Sho Baraka, Woodkid, Page CXVI, Jamie N. Commons and Deer Tick

Brief thoughts on songs that are on CaPC writer’s playlists. You can check out this week’s playlist on Spotify here: http://open.spotify.com/user/121240373/playlist/7vjl0ednXeOdzcTUzyBedO

http://youtu.be/iJjeWDvh6J0

“Merry Go ‘Round” – Kacey Musgraves

Amy Lepine Peterson had these thoughts on this catchy song: “I like the idea of ‘same hurt in every heart… same trailer, different park’ and the way the song explores all the ways we seek to ‘buy a little more distraction’ from the hurt. I like the wordplay or mary/merry/marry too, and the ‘just like dust we settle in this town.’ I guess I think it does a good job of portraying the ache of life without the redemptive hope that Christ offers.”

If you ain’t got two kids by 21,
You’re probably gonna die alone.
Least that’s what tradition told you.
And it don’t matter if you don’t believe,
Come Sunday morning, you best be there in the front row like you’re supposed to.

Same hurt in every heart.
Same trailer, different park.

Mama’s hooked on Mary Kay.
Brother’s hooked on Mary Jane.
Daddy’s hooked on Mary two doors down.
Mary, Mary quite contrary.
We get bored, so, we get married
Just like dust, we settle in this town.
On this broken merry go ’round and ’round and ’round we go

Where it stops nobody knows and it ain’t slowin’ down.
This merry go ’round.

We think the first time’s good enough.
So, we hold on to high school love.
Sayin’ we won’t end up like our parents.
Tiny little boxes in a row.
Ain’t what you want, it’s what you know.
Just happy in the shoes you’re wearin’.
Same checks we’re always cashin’ to buy a little more distraction.

‘Cause mama’s hooked on Mary Kay.
Brother’s hooked on Mary Jane.
Daddy’s hooked on Mary two doors down.
Mary, Mary, quite contrary.
We get bored, so, we get married.
Just like dust, we settle in this town.
On this broken merry go ’round and ’round and ’round we go
Where it stops nobody knows and it ain’t slowin’ down.
This merry go ’round.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary.
We’re so bored until we’re buried.
Just like dust, we settle in this town.
On this broken merry go ’round.
Merry go ’round.

Jack and Jill went up the hill.
Jack burned out on booze and pills.
And Mary had a little lamb.
Mary just don’t give a damn no more.

“Iron” – Woodkid

A mixture of symphonic brass, minimalist-inspired flute and taiko drums create a cinematic soundscape and an eclectic take on dance music. Notably, the song contains no bass, reimagining what dance music can be without having to rely on a heavy beat, fitting for the war motifs littered throughout. And this is the war that is life as he continually pushes forward in the manner of 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Deep in the ocean, dead and cast away
Where innocence is burned, in flames
A million mile from home, I’m walking ahead
I’m frozen to the bones, I am…

A soldier on my own, I don’t know the way
I’m riding up the heights of shame
I’m waiting for the call, the hand on the chest
I’m ready for the fight, and fate

The sound of iron shocks is stuck in my head,
The thunder of the drums dictates
The rhythm of the falls, the number of dead
The rising of the horns, ahead

From the dawn of time to the end of days
I will have to run, away
I want to feel the pain and the bitter taste
Of the blood on my lips, again

This deadly burst of snow is burning my hands,
I’m frozen to the bones, I am
A million mile from home, I’m walking away
I can’t remind your eyes, your face

“Jim Crow” – Sho Baraka

Sho Baraka’s most controversial song from his latest album Talented 10th because of his use of the n-word. Ralph Watkins at Christianity Today explored its use in the song and within the conceptual framework of the album, coming to the conclusion that use of the word by Sho Baraka was not only appropriate but necessary. Sho has provided us with a scathing critique of race, hip-hop culture and white privilege, which should not be undermined by our own mixed feelings about the use of the n-word in a Christian context.

I feel I’m trapped in a crazy place.
Asking the Lord for amazing grace.
I see the masses wanna change me.
I’m waiting for someone to save me.
Until then, until then.

I guess I’m stuck here on n**** island.
Yeah, when n**** be wildin’.
Yeah, and color is violence.
Yeah, moment of silence.

I am the invisible man, though I have a soul
I am from an invisible land
They gave me a slave pen for my freedom of speech
Yeah, I’m tryin’ a leave the island, but swimming through bleach

Come on son, why you always ruin the move
Race talks happens every time you enter the room
Cause, there’s ignorance in the masses
Too many people think racism is past tense
We fight for blackness, but we don’t know what black is
I know it ain’t the zero sum of white men
There wanna know how to reach the hood like there’s magic
Like we’re all the same, huh, like we’re not dynamic
Hollywood wants to pimp us to get dough
Exploit us but give us money, somebody say “Hoe”

Yeah, let’s take those movies and them TV shows
Be a token or a player, Uncle Tom row
Or be a magic negro, until the day I’m gone
Help the white man reach his goal, but never reach my own
Or an oversexed male, even a coon
A young male who loves ignorance, prays in his doom

Until then

Say hello to the great cultural brainwash
Washing my brain through some of the thangs the race talk
Miseducate, colonize, divide, teach beauty is straight hair
And the bluest of eyes, and because of lies
I’m debating Five Percenters
How a Mid East movement is gonna be a white man’s religion
How the privileged man says it’s time to move forward

And say the game’s fair when he monopolize the board
And corporate greed just manipulates the poor
Outside the hood I don’t see liquor stores
I know God’s Sovereign and I should pray about it
But a man won’t stop it, if it increases its profits
And most, they realistic with the flow, they make music for the streets
But I don’t see em at the show
So, instead the truth, they rather be duped
I guess they want me to do more songs for youth groups
Until then

Yeah, I got a double consciousness, but I’m still in touch
Cops got my hands in the air so I ain’t feeling much
Looking for protection, all I can see is tyrants
I’m fighting them coons and thugs, racists and Don Imus
That lady you call hope, that’s my lover
That woman you call b****, that’s my mother
Them boys that you kill, them my brothers
Send the ship to the island, we can rescue some others
Did they fight for civil rights so we can sit on gold
I can’t walk in your shoes, you keep selling your soul
No, ain’t much Booker T. when you look at me
But a whole lot of Du Bois making noise
, but until then

Here we are, put on a show
Dance the jig, go Jim Crow
Here we are, put on a show
Dance the jig, go monkey go
Here we are, put on a show
Dance the jig, go Jim Crow
Go Jim Crow, say go Jim Crow
Go Jim Crow, say go monkey go
Yeah, it’s what you want me to do, right?
It’s what you want me to do, right?
Are you entertained?
It’s what you want me to do, right?
Are you entertained?
It’s what you want me to do.

“The Battle Hymn of the Republic”/”O Sacred Head” - Page CXVI

Two wonderful hymn retunings from Page CXVI. The first pays homage to the original hymn with its militaristic drum rolls and bugle call guitar. The second opens with a piano line reminiscent of Gary Jules’ cover of “Mad World”. Exquisitely crafted songs befitting their rich lyrics.

“Lead Me Home” – Jamie N. Commons

An original song written for the AMC series The Walking Dead but unabashedly religious. Begins with an invitation to let the Holy Spirit dwell inside us, moves into an moment of “after darkness… light” and ends with a plea to open up the door of heaven, leading us home.

Oh lord live inside me, lead me on my way
Oh lord live inside me, lead me on my way
Lead me home
Lead me home

Oh lord in the darkness, lead me on my way
Oh lord in the darkness, lead me on my way
Lead me home
Lead me home

Hmmmmm
Hmmmmm

Oh lord heaven’s waiting, open up your door
Oh lord heaven’s waiting, open up your door
Lead me home
Lead me home

Lead me home
Lead me home

Lead me home
Lead me home

“Ashamed” – Deer Tick

With a touch of biblical allegory, Deer Tick’s “Ashamed” is tale of brokenness and humility. The song ends as quickly as it began, with a false sense of continuation as the drums enter but that lasts only a breath as death suddenly ends everything. A life cut short when there was still more to the story.

I am the boy your mother wanted you to meet
But I am broken and torn with heels at my feet
And with your purest light why don’t you shine on me
Well I should have been an angel
But I’m too dumb to speak
Now as she gets nearer, the visions get clearer
I’m kneeling, weeping
I will hold her dear
Oh, If your eyes water, you’ve got your favorite number to spin

And oh, what a crying shame, a crying shame
What we became

Murdered my throat, screaming bloody all night
Hit him with a book and how he crumbles
Oh you should have seen the arches tumble
Their golden no more
Now I’m smiling in my blood

I’m caught in a whirlwind
I’m going to heaven
I’m standing on trial and it’s painted on canvas
An eternal testament to how we are so animalistic

And oh, what a crying shame, what a crying shame
What we became

I bow my head in the morning light and say goodnight
I held her hand and I, I kissed her eyes
Stumbled down the stairs and hang myself on high
And I started for the town got to the front yard
And died

About Matthew Linder

Matthew Linder is a music professor at National University, married and father of a 2-year-old daughter. He loves Jesus, the Church, biblical theology, and of course, music but despises ketchup. While he appreciates a wide variety of musical styles, he prefers hip-hop, metal, and classical but could live without 90s Christian music. Follow Matthew on Twitter @TheRetuned.


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