Thursday, May 03, 2007

psalm 137 (in babylon)

(click here to download this or other original songs)

Standing here
Water's near
We've lost our song

The days of old
have long since gone
So far from home...here in Babylon

Our captors say
that we must play
our joyful songs

But our harps are hung
Our melody is gone
They can't be sung...here in Babylon

Can a heart tuned to mourning
sound a song in major key?
Songs meant for temple gates and rejoicing
May my tongue forget how to sing...here in Babylon


In my opinion, Psalm 137 is one of the most haunting passages in all of Scripture. Maybe its because it is so vivid and packed with imagery. It does end with the heartwarming line "...seizing infants and dashing them against the rocks".

But that image isn't the one that sticks out in my mind. Rather, its the picture of God's people hanging up their harps along side the river. Like a boxer hanging up his gloves...the Israelites retired their songs of praise while in Babylonian captivity.

Despite its somber tone, this psalm has always been one of my favorites. I've tried time and again to pen a "worship-y" tune that incorporated some of that imagery. But it has never panned out. It would feel out of place, like I was stretching to get it in there, and so it always ended up on the cutting room floor.

A week ago or so, I sat down with my guitar and this song kinda just came out. Its not "worship-y" but that's okay with me. Anyhoo, here you go:

5 comments:

greg said...

I love it.

The Anonymous Human said...

I love when you do different things like this and "fireflies".

Another one to add to the ipod.

Tim said...

Love the song.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the gang. This is one of my favorites of yours.

bill said...

gee whiz, guys. you are making me blush.

actually, i really do appreciate it. its simple and a little different for me, so i never know. usually, if it can't be sung congregationally than i consider it somewhat of a failure. i call that the matt redman effect. ha ha.

anyhoo, thanks so much for the feedback.