March 14th, 2011 | Published in Blog
There’s only a few songwriters about whom I’m a little evangelical, and these days Josh T. Pearson doesn’t really need anyone to sing his praises. But I’m going to anyway. Let’s all enjoy Last of the Country Gentlemen until the adulation drives this bearded Texan back into the wilderness for the next decade.
(Updated 17th March 2011: Been listening to this today with the lyric sheet. On Woman, When I’ve Raised Hell there’s this frankly flabbergasting lyric:
Woman, when I’ve raised hell there won’t be a star left untouched in your sky
When my lightning crashes across that night
No shadows of doubt or of turnin’ in that questioning little mind
Just a burnin’ rekindled truth and one single agonizin’ blinding white light
Pearson easily knows enough scripture to be aware of the God = male, Israel/Church/Bride of Christ = female theme that runs throughout the Bible. So this lyric seems to recast the God of the Old Testament – much more a personification of natural forces than the Jesus of the New Testament – as a drunken jealous tyrant terrorising His family and blaming them for the abuse.
Maybe it’s time to resurrect the Jesus-as-fictionsuit idea: that God, in a galaxy-shaking moment of cosmic self-awareness, realises that He’s a bastard, creates an entire universe and enters it as the main character so that He can be redeemed – it’s His sinful baggage that gets nailed up at Calvary, not ours. The Bible as narrative self-therapy experiment, onto which we’re supposed to identify with God rather than any of the bit-parts: as simultaneous authors and main characters in our own fabulous bullshit worlds, with whatever version of the myth of Individuation/Progress you’re comfortable with as the imposed story arc. Gnosticism made elegant, without the need for a separate demiurge or a hatred of the flesh.
Who’s with me? Let’s all convert.)