Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Right Here"

Music is power.

Last summer, my friend, Mikey Cunningham wrote a new song he titled "Right Here."

The sensitive and moving lyrics speak to hunger, urban poverty, homelessness and despair. Even more, the music begs several questions about our inability, our unwillingness to make meaningful human connections to impoverished people in our communities.

Mikey is a member of the Stefano Elliott Band, a local group of Christian musicians from the Southlake Boulevard Church in suburban Southlake, Texas. That may seem like a strange place for the incubation of such music, but then you likely don't know Mikey or his buds!

You can give it a listen by going to this link and then playing track 2:

I'd love to hear your thoughts and feelings after you hear it.


chris said...

I think they are trying to make a political statement which is out of place in a worship service. This is just my opinion of course. I have never cared for bands of this type, guess it's my age. Now a full orchestra...different story.

Larry James said...

chris, trust me on this one. This group is not trying to make any political statement. Rather, they are making a clear linkage between their faith and the poor. If anything, this group is strongly apolitical, if not non-political. Surely, songs about the poor, compassion, God's commitment to justice and the needs of our world are not out of place when people of faith gather for worship.

Anonymous said...

Chris, have you ever read Amos? Or passages such as "I was hungry, and you fed me...? I guess not -- because in your church world, such passages would be too political, thus you would never be exposed to them. The lyrics of this song certainly could be described as a meditation on the simple phrase, "I was hungry..."

But, Larry, in another sense, this song is political. Because if faith does not imform our political agendas, then what should it inform? What we believe creates the agenda for life -- our personal life, our public life, our political life...

But, Larry, you are also correct. I doubt that they sing from a political agenda. I suspect these young men are writing and singing out of something close to simple purity. They sing about what they care about. Not a bad approach...

(By the way, the style of music doesn't do much for me either. But, if its not Elvis or Neil Diamond, it's really not worth listening to. Chalk it up to my age. )

Anonymous said...

For some reson, I was not able to listen to the song. However, your description of it (and Chris's reaction) reminded me of this one by Derek Webb, on his album Mockingbird:

Rich Young Ruler

(vs. 1)
poverty is so hard to see
when it’s only on your tv and twenty miles across town
where we’re all living so good
that we moved out of Jesus’ neighborhood
where he’s hungry and not feeling so good
from going through our trash
he says, more than just your cash and coin
i want your time, i want your voice
i want the things you just can’t give me

(vs. 2)
so what must we do
here in the west we want to follow you
we speak the language and we keep all the rules
even a few we made up
come on and follow me
but sell your house, sell your suv
sell your stocks, sell your security
and give it to the poor
what is this, hey what’s the deal
i don’t sleep around and i don’t steal
i want the things you just can’t give me

because what you do to the least of these
my brother’s, you have done it to me
because i want the things you just can’t give me