Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thom's Journal -- Don't Try

Some people are pleasers, bound by a sense of duty to make everybody around them happy, thus sacrificing themselves in the process. The pursuit of perfection in the eyes of a disparate circle of friends, family, employers, employees, clients etc. must be a very daunting prospect. I was looking for a metaphor, ostensibly to help a friend/lover, but ultimately self-serving. I imagined Jesus, the man, and the enormous pressure he must have been under in his latter days. I thought about what advice deposed gods might have for him. I thought about how he might translate that to his hopes for his disciples' futures. I thought about how he might have viewed the predicament Pilate faced in sentencing him. The chorus just flowed naturally from those musings. It seems somewhat incongruent with at least what we're taught about Jesus' actions and philosophy, but I imagine his actual life was much more complicated and subject to internal conflict as all of our lives are in trying to balance duty and commitment with happiness and personal fulfillment.

Interestingly, I wrote this song as an exercise for a songwriting group in Ottawa. The group was really critical of it. Some didn't like the way it doesn't deviate from its basic patterns. One guy said it needed a bridge. Others were offended by the license I took with the Jesus story. One woman didn't get the use of terms like preacher, colleagues and lawyer. I was pretty headstrong in those days and dismissed all the criticism. Good thing too, because the general listening public has been much more accepting of the tune.

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