And that is all.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Like A Rolling Stone

Joshua set up at Gilgal
the twelve stones they had taken
out of the Jordan.
He said to the Israelites:

“In the future
when your descendants ask their parents,
‘What do these stones mean?’

Tell them:

‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’
~ Joshua 4

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kiddin' you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin' out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
And now you find out you're gonna have to get used to it
You said you'd never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He's not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And ask him do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You never turned around
to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things
But you'd better lift your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

How does it feel
~ Robert Zimmerman

I don't believe you. You're a LIAR!

Yes It Is

My face is red with weeping,
dark shadows ring my eyes...
yet my hands are free of violence
and my prayer is pure.
~ Job 16

Friday, January 27, 2012

Black Coffee

The LORD your GOD
is a consuming fire...
~ Deuteronomy 4

Woody Allen Jesus


Many will say to me in that day:

LORD! LORD! Have we not in prophesied in your name? And in your name cast out demons? And in your name done many mighty things?

And I will acknowledge to them, this:

I never knew you.
Depart from me, you who work lawlessness.
~ Matthew 7

This song was meant to air on the Jonathan Ross Show tomorrow night (23rd December 2011), but at the last minute ITV cut it

I really like Jonathan Ross. I think he's a funny, interesting, kind person, and an excellent interviewer. I also really like his wife... But let's not get back into that.

Jonathan and his wonderful producer, Suzi, have been incredibly supportive of me and so when they asked me to write a song for their pre-Christmas show, I didn't hesitate. It was the worst possible time to be writing a new song -- I've been overworked and ill, was on tour, and was really feeling the stress. But I wasn't going to say no... it's Jonathan Ross! And my fellow guests were to be Tom Cruise, the divine actors from Downton Abbey, and the ace In-Betweeners boys.

So I got to writing. Being Christmas, I thought it would be fun to do a song about Jesus, but being TV, I knew it would have to be gentle. The idea was to compare him to Woody Allen (short, Jewish, philosophical, a bit hesitant), and expand into redefining his other alleged attributes using modern, popular-culture terminology.

It's not a particularly original idea, I admit, but it's quite cute. It's certainly not very contentious, but even so, compliance people and producers and lawyers all checked my lyrics long before the cameras rolled. As always with these bespoke writing jobs, I was really stressed for about 3 days, and almost chucked it in the bin 5 times, and freaked out that it wasn't funny and all that boring shit that people like me go through when we're lucky enough to have with a big audience with high expectations. And if I'm honest, it ain't a world-changing bit of comedy. Regardless...

On Tuesday night last week, we taped the show. I met Tom (he's nice and quite laid-back off camera, and not very short) and the divine Downton ladies (swoon) and the lovely In-Betweeners chaps (yay) and I did my song and everyone laughed and Tom said it was great and when it was done I ran off set onto the back of a waiting motorbike, got from South Bank to the Hammersmith Apollo in 13 minutes, walked into the building, straight on to stage to sing White Wine in the Sun with Professor Brian Cox. Rock n roll.

Subsequently, Suzi and her team edited the show and everybody was happy. Suzi felt it had a nice balance of big-ticket celeb action, local talent, and a nice bit of that cheeky, iconoclastic spirit for which Jonathan is known and widely loved.

And then someone got nervous and sent the tape to ITV's director of television, Peter Fincham.

And Peter Fincham demanded that I be cut from the show.

He did this because he's scared of the ranty, shit-stirring, right-wing press, and of the small minority of Brits who believe they have a right to go through life protected from anything that challenges them in any way.

Yesterday I wrote a big rant about comedy and risk and conservatism; about the fact that my joke has no victim; about sacredness (oh God, not again!) and about the importance of laughing at dumb but pervasive ideas. But I trashed it because it's boring and takes it all too seriously. It's hardly the end of the world.

But I have to admit I'm really fucking disappointed.

It's 2011. The appropriate reaction to people who think Jesus is a supernatural being is mild embarrassment, sighing tolerance and patient education.

And anger when they're being bigots.

Oh, and satire. There's always satire.

Anywaaaaaaaaaay... the fun news is that I already had the footage of the song when they cut it. Yay. And so you can decide for yourself how offensive it is! Yippee.

I hope you enjoy my silly, harmless, accurate song of praise, "Woody Allen Jesus".

And I hope you all have wonderful Christmases.

~ Tim Minchin
Naturally I do not share his opinion here and probably elsewhere too:
It's 2011. The appropriate reaction to people who think Jesus is a supernatural being is mild embarrassment, sighing tolerance and patient education.
This for me does not preclude the thing or him from their absolute greatness. Those Christians who are made angry by this song should convert to Islam - they will fit right in - give them an outlet... HEY you can take it all the way if you like, go have a riot. And Tim Minchin's relationship with GOD or perceived lack thereof is between him and GOD, not him and YOU. None of your business.

iThink Jesus loves this clip.
And Tim Minchin.
iKnow iDo!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

We Didn't Start The Fire

When the people
cried out to Moses,
he prayed to the LORD
and the fire died down.
~ Numbers 11

... we didn't light it
but we have to fight it ...

Life On Mars

From the heavens
the stars fought,
from their courses
they fought against Sisera.
~ Judges 5

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sweet Leaf

Then the LORD GOD
provided a leafy plant
and made it grow up over Jonah
to give shade for his head
to ease his discomfort,
and Jonah was very happy
about the plant.
~ Jonah 4

Pearly Queen

The twelve gates were twelve pearls,
each gate made of a single pearl.
~ Revelation 21

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Man Of Great Promise

My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.
~ Psalm 119

I bought the paper yesterday
and I saw the obituary
And I read of how you died in pain -
Well I just couldn't understand it
If I could of changed that,
then Lord knows I'd do it now
But there is no going back -
And what's done is done forever

But you were always
chained and shackled by the dirt -
Of every small town institution
and every big town flirt

And I think of what you might have been,
a man of such great promise
Oh but, you seem to forget the dream -
And the more you saw you hated

But let's not talk of blame,
for what is only natural
Like a moth going to a flame -
You had a dangerous passion

But you were always
chained and shackled by the dirt -
Of every small town institution
and every big town flirt

All the things that you might have been -
but who am I to say?
Still I wonder -
If it's the cold earth you prefer to lay -
If it's the cold earth - you prefer to stay

Monday, January 23, 2012

Earth Angel

Now go,
lead the people
to the place I spoke of,
and my angel
will go before you.
when the time comes
for me to punish,
I will punish them for their sin..
~ Exodus 32

How Strange

We are foreigners
and strangers in your sight,
as were all our ancestors.
~ 1 Chronicles 29

"How Strange"
From the MGM movie
"Idiot's Delight"
Music based on
"Kak Stranno" by B.A. Prozorovsky

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's Only Love

Love the LORD
your GOD
with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your strength.
~ Deuteronomy 6

and that is all.

How Blue Can You Get?

My tears
have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me
all day long,
“Where is your GOD?”
~ Psalm 42

Live from the Cook County Jail