The Sunday shuffle

by the Night Writer

I can’t say how it is that my mental juke box goes about selecting a song to be in my head when I wake up in the morning, but invariably I have one. Sometimes it’s a song I heard the day before, so that’s easy to explain, but most of the time it seems pretty random. This morning, for example, I had a darkly humorous Warren Zevon song (yes, that’s redundant) running through my mind: “Mr. Bad Example”. In it the singer unrepentedly boasts of his many nefarious deeds. It’s a catchy enough tune and I couldn’t shake it as I went about my morning routine. It’s not, however, the kind of song I want running through my mind when I’m getting ready for church.

Since the words were approaching ear-worm status I docked my iTouch into it’s speaker pedestal in the bedroom and hit song shuffle. My Touch has nearly as many songs in it as I have in my head, as well as many snippets of movie dialogue that I once down-loaded for a blog post and were captured along with my iTunes library when I first synced the unit. As I pushed play I kind of wondered what random tune I’d be greeted with and if it would be more “redeeming” than “Mr. Bad Example.”

I had to smile as the opening bars of “Sleek White Schooner” by the Waterboys blasted through the speakers. It’s one of Mike Scott’s “mystical” (as the music critics refer to spiritual themes) songs:

I dreamed I saw you sailing in
upon a sleek white schooner
You were skimming over the shallow seas,
coming into harbour,
healing on your brow…

The cargo you were carrying
was richer than riches,
golder than gold and yet more real than real
and the light that came a-flashing
from the new born babe in your arms
was a pealing of thunder, a cannonball flying
a sun exploding, Dawn in the heart of me…

It really became amusing — or interesting — then, when the next thing in the shuffle was this little snip from the Clint Eastwood movie, “Unforgiven”:

Kid: “Yeah, well, I guess they had it coming.”
Munny (Eastwood): “We all got it coming, kid.”

Which was immediately followed by an instrumental from Flamenco guitarist Armik, “Pure Paradiso”.

Ah, yes. There are things in my past that I would not want to serve as an example to others and certainly weren’t that beneficial to me. But then the revelation and persona of grace came like a sleek white schooner, letting me know that what I had received was different from what I should have had coming to me. Yet sometimes, in the midst of life, I need that reminder and that reassurance.

And the next song was “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World, which includes:

Hey, don’t write yourself off yet.
It’s only in your head you feel left out or
looked down on.
Just do your best, do everything you can.
And don’t you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say.

[Chorus x2]
It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).

And with that I checked myself in the mirror, slid the Touch out of the dock, and I was off to church.

My favorite Waterboys song, and one that I see as being a spiritual allegory in my life, is “This is the Sea”. Here’s a cool video that uses this song as a soundtrack: