Garden of Allah: Don Henley

Garden of Allah: Don Henley

Don Henley
Garden of Allah

It was a pretty big year for fashion
A lousy year for rock and roll
The people gave their blessing to crimes of passion
It was a dark, dark night for the collective soul
I was somewhere out on Riverside
By the El Royale Hotel
When a stranger appeared in a cloud of smoke
I thought I knew him all too well

He said, “Now that I have your attention
I got somethin’ I wanna say
You may not wanna hear it
I’m gonna tell it to ya anyway
You know, I’ve always liked you, boy
‘Cause you were not afraid of me

But things are gonna get mighty rough
Here in Gomorrah-By-The-Sea”

He said, “It’s just like home
It’s so damned hot, I can’t stand it

My fine seersucker suit is all soakin’ wet”

And the hills are burning
The wind is raging
And the clock strikes midnight
In the Garden of Allah

“Nice car………
I love those Bavarians… meticulous
Y’know, I remember a time when things were a lot more fun around here
When good was good, and evil was evil
Before things got so…….fuzzy

Yeah, I was once a golden boy like you
I was summoned to the halls of power in the heavenly court
And I dined with the deities who looked upon me with favor
For my talents; my creativity
We sat beneath the palms in the warm afternoon
And drank the wine with Fitzgerald and Huxley

They pawned a biting phrase
From tongues hot with blood
And drained their pens of bitter ink
Vainly reaching for the bottle of empty Edens
Branded specially for the ones
Who had come with great expectations
To the perfumed halls of Allah
For their time in the sun

We were stokin’ the fires
And oilin’ up the machinery
Until the gods found out we had ideas of our own”

And the war was coming
The earth was shaking
And there was no more room
In the Garden of Allah

“Today I made and appearance downtown
I am an expert witness, because I say I am
And I said, ‘Gentleman….and I use that word loosely…I will testify for you
I’m a gun for hire, I’m a saint, I’m a liar
Because there are no facts, no truth, just data to be manipulated
I can get you any result you like….what’s it worth to ya?
Because there is no wrong, there is no right
And I sleep very well at night
No shame, no solution
No remorse, no retribution
Just people selling t-shirts
just opportunity t participate in this pathetic little circus
And winning, winning, winning’ ”

It was a pretty big year for predators
The marketplace was on a roll
And the land of opportunity
Spawned a whole new breed of men without souls
This year, notoriety got all confused with fame
And the devil is downhearted
Because there’s nothing left for him to claim

He said, “It’s just like home
It’s so low-down,
I can’t stand it
I guess my work around here has all been done

And the fruit is rotten
The serpent’s eyes shine
As he wraps around the vine
In the Garden of Allah

Posted in Music, Staublog in January 27, 2005 by | No Comments »

Mindy Smith Budding Star, Aspiring CSC

Mindy Smith Budding Star, Aspiring CSC

She’s a new young artist just making her way, but Mindy Smith is writing some incredible lyrics, singing with the luminaries and delivering an authentic sound and style on a major label.

Tough life, stepfather a pastor, she attended Bible College but left to pursue music, She has not left her wrestle with faith behind as evidenced by her lyrics. Check out the lyrics in one of my favorites and pray for this aspiring Culturally Savvy Christian (CSC) as she makes her way.

(Maybe you should rattle the cage)

Well, you should’ve heard the way
I’ve been talking to myself
Treating her like common trash
On the side of the road

And you should’ve seen the ride
I was taking straight to hell
Handing my soul
To the likes of the devil

Sometimes it’s hard to know
That you need to be saved
‘Til you hit the bottom
And rattle that cage
Sometimes you just gotta keep
Digging awy
Until you break through
To the light of day

I really didn’t care
‘Cause I was trying to hurt myself
A sticky situation
I’m still trying to work it out

And I didn’t want to know
That I was the one to blame
Pointing my finger
Tryin’ to push all the blame away

Sometimes it’s hard to know
That you need to be saved
‘Til you hit the bottom
And rattle that cage
Sometimes you just gotta keep
Digging awy
Until you break through
To the light of day

I don’t wanna die this way
I don’t wanna die this way
I don’t wanna die this way
I know Jesus is alive
And He’s saving me everyday
It just took a little while
To figure out I had to pray

Sometimes it’s hard to know
That you need to be saved
‘Til you hit the bottom
And rattle that cage
Sometimes you just gotta keep
Praying away
Until you break through
To the light of day
The light of day
The light of day

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    ‚©CRS Communications 2004

    Posted in Music, Staublog in November 4, 2004 by | No Comments »

    Theology of Sting¬â„s Sacred Love Album


    Central Theme
    Sting has a cure for post 911 humans and it all comes down to love; love of a man for his wife, love that walks with Jesus, love that binds us together where religion divides us.

    Sting said he did not know there was a thematic pattern when he wrote the songs for this album, but when he put them all together he realized he was writing about replacing our sense of dread with the hope, joy and love we can find in the sacred. The sacred can be found in many places with religion, as differentiated from the spiritual, being the least likely.

    Romantic love is a primary theme with positive examples (Whenever I Say Your Name, The Book of My Life, Sacred Love), as well as songs about lost and threatened love (Never Coming Home, Stolen Car, Forget About the Future).

    “Inside” explores our general fear of loving and being loved and “This War” reveals how much we have invested in war (military, religious, war between the sexes), which is one reason embracing love is so challenging.

    Religious language is pervasive in the album. (Sinners, there’s no religion, soul, praying, angels, Heaven, Hell, Jesus, God, grace, forgiveness, love, horoscopes, wolf, lamb, peace, Temple of Mammon, “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?” “There’s a war inside religion and what Jesus might have meant,” preacher on TV, church, “the spirit moves upon the water,” “prophecy in the Holy Book Thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not steal,” Bible, Adam and Eve, The Garden, tree of knowledge, tree of life, forbidden fruit, a man and his wife).

    Sting does not run from the Christianity, the tradition in which he was raised (Roman Catholicism). In “Dead Man’s Rope” we meet collective humanity trapped in emptiness and sorrow, and trying to escape from affliction. There seems no escape from this circle of addiction. The cause of this gloomy situation began when the world became black, and when STING looks at our situation closely he sees we are carrying a tombstone on our back.

    Here Sting dwells on classic Christianity; humans fall into sin, we are ¢â‚¬Ëœdead in our trespasses and sins (The Apostle Paul); the wages of sin is death, and there seems no way out of this inevitable outcome. It is as if we are already hanging from a dead man’s rope. (This piece was written in memory of two of STING’s dear friends who had recently died.) Then suspended between fear and hope, with Heaven above and Hell below, he has a distant memory of forgiveness, it was available through Jesus, from whom he has walked away. In walking away he entered a life of pain, anger, emptiness, sorrow and ultimately death. And now he sees that all the wandering has brought him back to the memory of forgiveness.

    And then, the hand of an angel brings him to the place of forgiveness, where he can again walk in Jesus’ grace. He is now walking in Jesus footsteps where he will spend the balance of his days walking, talking, sharing and ¢â‚¬Ëœbearing.” The burden of a tombstone lifted from his back, STING understands that love can even conquer death!

    In an album about the power of love, Sting is brought back to his childhood memories of the themes of grace and forgiveness available to ¢â‚¬Ëœdead men’ through Jesus. His artistic and poetic nature combine to create a dramatic image of the Jesus’ gospel, and do so in the context of an anti-religious album. In the A&E interview Sting said this song is about Christianity, but hastened to add that he believes these themes are common in all the great religions. STING desires to focus on the Christian theme of love and grace as a centerpiece of this album, but the idea of the cruciality of the cross and uniqueness of Jesus go unrecognized or unexpressed. The apostle Paul once said in light of Jesus death and resurrection, “O death where is your sting.” We would challenge STING to go a bit further than the “love overcoming death” theme by asking, Oh STING where is the death and resurrection of Jesus in “Dead Man’s Rope?”

    Beliefs num
    –Inside: Despite the fear and pain of loves past failures, humans must take a leap of faith and love and be loved just as we are.
    –Send Your love: Religion divides us, and the only useful religion is send our love to humans, to live in harmony with the planets and to make good art.
    –Whenever I say your Name: Romantic love is like a prayer and when you are here I know things will change and be better.
    –Dead Man’s Rope. Each human bears generational residual guilt, shame and sin and walking away from Jesus is not the solution. When we allow the angel to touch us with Jesus’ grace, forgiveness and love, and then walk with Jesus everyday. Only by walking with Jesus everyday and walking into the rain of forgiveness can we leave behind emptiness, sorrow, yesterday, tomorrow, anger, pain and anguish.
    –Never coming home: Broken promises can destroy the bond of love. There comes a time when you leave and never come home so you can live your life your own way.
    –Stolen Car (Take Me Dancing). A man steals a car and imagines a man who is having an affair, his wife smelling the lingering perfume of the affair on the car, and wondering why her husband is uninterested in dancing with her.
    –Forget About the Future. There are times when a relationship becomes immobilized, locked in the failures of the past, but with no future, the past is all that remains.
    –This War. Humans have a lot invested in wars of all kinds (between countries, religions sexes) and we can’t just do nothing about it.
    –The Book of Life: My own life is a mystery of me, a mixture of joys and sorrows, the only certainty is the in the presence of the person I love.
    –Sacred Love. Forget about religion and church, the word became flesh starting in Genesis and the first and still champion of SACRED LOVE is the love of a husband and wife.

    Questions Worth Discussing num
    –What are the artistic merits of this album and individual songs?
    –What elements common to human experience did you resonate with?
    –What elements in word, deed, theme or behavior created a dissonance with who you are or want to be spiritually?
    –What do these songs tell us about who God is? Who humans are? What we are seeking in life?

    Provocative Quotes byline
    –Art and joy in music have never been more important; it has never been more important to make something beautiful.
    ==Sting on A&E Special.
    –Sacred love is about how sex is being denigrated¢â‚¬¦it is God’s greatest gift. I believe in sacred love.
    ==Sting on A&E Special.
    –Dead Man’s Rope is Christian.
    ==Sting on A&E Special.
    –Love is the child of an endless war. Love is an open wound still raw. Love is a shameless banner unfurled. Love’s an explosion. Love is the fire at the end of the world. Love is a violent star, a tide of destruction Love is an angry scar. The pain of instruction. Love is a violation, a mutilation, capitulation, Love is annihilation.
    ==From Inside.
    — Love me like an ocean; love me like a mother mild
    Love me like a father, love me like a prodigal son Love me like a sister, love me like the world has just begun, Love me like a prodigy, love me like an idiot boy, Love me like an innocent, love me like your favorite toy, Love me like a virgin, love me like a courtesan, Love me like a sinner, love me like a dying man. Annihilate me, infiltrate me, incinerate me, accelerate me, mutilate me, inundate me, violate me, implicate me, vindicate me, devastate me. Love me like a parasite, love me like a dying sun. Love me like a criminal, love me like a man on the run. Radiate me, subjugate me, incubate me, recreate me, demarcate me, educate me, punctuate me, evaluate me, conjugate me, impregnate me, designate me, humiliate me, segregate me, opiate me, calibrate me, replicate me.
    ==From Inside.
    –Finding the world in the smallness of a grain of sand and holding infinities in the palm of your hand, And Heaven’s realms in the seedlings of this tiny flower, And eternities in the space of a single hour.
    ==From Send Your Love.
    –This is the time of the worlds colliding,This is the time of kingdoms falling, This is the time of the worlds dividing Time to heed your call¢â‚¬¦ Send your love into the future, Send your precious love into some distant time and fix that wounded planet with the love of your healing¢â‚¬¦Send your love.
    ==From Send Your Love.
    –There’s no religion but sex and music. There’s no religion but sound and dancing. There’s no religion but line and color. There’s no religion but sacred trance. There’s no religion but the endless ocean. There’s no religion but the moon and stars. There’s no religion but time and motion. There’s no religion, just tribal scars. There’s no religion but the joys of rhythm. There’s no religion but the rites of Spring. There’s no religion in the path of hate. No prayer but the one I sing. There’s no religion that’s right or winning. There’s no religion in the path of hatred. Ain’t no prayer but the one I’m singing. Send your love .
    ==From Send Your Love.
    –Whenever your memory feeds my soul, whatever got broken becomes whole Whenever I’m filled with doubts that we will be together. Whenever I kneel to pray, whenever I need to find a way. I’m calling out your name. Whenever those dark clouds hide the moon. Whenever this world has gotten so strange I know that something’s gonna change, Something’s gonna change. Whenever I say your name, Whenever I say your name, I’m already praying, I’m already praying. I’m already filled with a joy that I can’t explain.
    ==Whenever I say your name.
    –If you’re walking to escape, to escape from your affliction,You’d be walking in a great circle, a circle of addiction. Did you ever wonder what you’d been carrying since the world was black? You see yourself in a looking glass with a tombstone on your back. ll this wandering has led me to this place. Inside the well of my memory, sweet rain of forgiveness. I’m just hanging here in space. Now I’m suspended between my darkest fears and dearest hope. Yes I’ve been walking, now I’m hanging from a dead man’s rope. With Hell below me, and Heaven in the sky above.I’ve been walking, I’ve been walking away from Jesus’ love.
    ==From Dead Man’s Rope.
    –The shadows fall Around my bed, when the hand of an angel. The hand of an angel is reaching down above my head. All this wandering has led me to this place Inside the well of my memory, sweet rain of forgiveness
    Now I’m walking in his grace I’m walking in his footsteps Walking in his footsteps, Walking in his footsteps.
    ==From Dead Man’s Grace
    –Walk away from emptiness, walk away from sorrow, Walk away from yesterday, walk away tomorrow,
    Walk away from anger, walk away from pain. Walk away from anguish, walk into the rain.
    ==From Dead Man’s Rope.
    –There’s a time of indecision between the bedroom and the door, But the part of you that knows that you can’t take it any more. There’s the promise of the future in the creaking of the floor. And you’re torn if you should leave him with a number. And in your imagination you’re a thousand miles away. Because too many of his promises got broken on the way. So you write it in a letter all the things you couldn’t say. And you tell him that you’re never coming home.
    ==From Never Coming Home.
    –Oh the smell of the leather always excited my imagination and I picture myself in this different situation. I’m a company director, two kids and a wife I get the feeling that there’s more to this one’s life
    There’s some kind of complication, he tells her he’s alone Spends the night with his lover, there’s a trace of her cologne And the words of his mistress, as she whispers them so near. Start ringing in my ear.
    ==From Stolen Car (Take Me Dancing).
    –I imagine his wife, she don’t look nothing like a fool She picks the kids up form some private school
    She remembers what he told her, he was late and worked alone. But there’s more than a suspicion in this lingering cologne and the kid’s just won’t be quiet and she runs a traffic light and she drives into the night. Please take me dancing tonight I’ve been all on my own You promised one day we could it’s what you said on the phone. I’m just a prisoner of love always hid from the light. Take me dancing, please take me dancing tonight.
    ==From Stolen Car (Take Me Dancing).
    –How many times you ever hear me say I’m as flawed as any other human being? There simply has to be a different way And a whole new way of seeing Are we doomed by all our history? Is our love really beyond repair? It’s getting close to midnight baby And we ain’t got time to spare Just when I think I’m home and dry And she’s given up the fight There’s an unmistakable optimism In romantic music and candlelight There’s this lingering perfume The merest ghost of the past She says wait a minute baby You’re moving way too fast We’d better check the weather chart Before we raise this mast. We’d best consult our horoscope. In case this feeling wasn’t meant to last. Let’s just forget about the future.And get on with the past.
    ==From Forget About the Future.
    –You’ve got the mouth of a she wolf Inside the mask of an innocent lamb You say your heart is all compassion But there’s just a flat line on your cardiogram Yet you always made a profit baby.
    ==From This War.
    –In the temple that was Mammon’s You were ordained the parish priest. Yes you may win this coming battle
    But could you tolerate the peace? Invest in deadly weapons. And those little cotton flags. Invest in wooden caskets In guns and body bags. You’re invested in oppression investing in corruption, invest in every tyranny and the whole world’s destruction. I imagine there’s a future when all the earthly wars are over you may find yourself just standing there On the white cliffs of Dover. You may ask, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? Is that your body you see on the rocks below As the tide begins to roll?
    ==From This War.
    –And you invested in this prison From which you never got released You may have won this war we’re fighting
    But would you tolerate the peace? There’s a war on our democracy A war on our dissent There’s a war inside religion And what Jesus might have meant. There’s a war on mother nature A war upon the seas There’s a war upon the forests On the birds and the bees. There’s a war on education A war on information A war between the sexes And every nation. A war on our compassion a war on understanding A war on love and life itself It’s war that they’re demanding Make it easy on yourself And don’t do nothing.
    ==From This War.
    –There are promises broken and promises kept Angry words that were spoken, when I should have wept There’s a chapter of secrets, and words to confess If I lose everything that I possess. There’s a chapter on loss and a ghost who won’t die. There’s a chapter on love where the ink’s never dry. There are sentences served in a prison I built out of lies. Though the pages are numbered I can’t see where they lead. For the end is a mystery no-one can read In the book of my life. There’s a chapter on fathers a chapter on sons There are pages of conflicts that nobody won And the battles you lost and your bitter defeat, There’s a page where we fail to meet. There are tales of good fortune that couldn’t be planned there’s a chapter on god that I don’t understand There’s a promise of Heaven and Hell but I’m damned if I see. Though the pages are numbered I can’t see where they lead For the end is a mystery no-one can read In the book of my life .Now the daylight’s returning And if one sentence is true. All these pages are burning
    And all that’s left is you.
    ==From the Book of My Life.
    –Take off those working clothes Put on these high heeled shoes Don’t want no preacher on the TV baby
    Don’t want to hear the news. I’ve been up, I’ve been down I’ve been lonesome, in this godless town You’re my religion, you’re my church You’re the holy grail at the end of my search Have I been down on my knees for long enough? I’ve been searching the planet to find Sacred love The spirit moves on the water She takes the shape of this heavenly daughter She’s rising up like a river in flood The word got made into flesh and blood The sky grew dark, and the earth she shook Just like a prophecy in the Holy Book Thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not steal Thou shalt not doubt that this love is real So I got down on my knees and I prayed to the skies When I looked up could I trust my eyes? All the saints and angels and the stars up above They all bowed down to the flower of creation Every man every woman Every race every nation It all comes down to this Sacred love.
    ==From Sacred Love.
    –Don’t need no doctor, don’t need no pills I got a cure for the country’s ills Here she comes like a river in flood
    The word got made into flesh and blood Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill But if you don’t love her your best friend will. I’ve been thinking ’bout religion I’ve been thinking ’bout the things that we believe I’ve been thinking ’bout the Bible I’ve been thinking ’bout Adam and Eve I’ve been thinking ’bout the garden I’ve been thinking ’bout the tree of knowledge, and the tree of life I’ve been thinking ’bout forbidden fruit I’ve been thinking ’bout a man and his wife I been thinking ’bout, thinking ’bout Sacred love, sacred love.
    ==From Sacred Love.

    ‚©2003 Dick Staub, CRS Communications

    Posted in Music, Staublog in October 1, 2003 by | No Comments »




    Posted in Music, Staublog in October 22, 2002 by | No Comments »

    Spoken For


    Mercy Me

    Posted in Music, Staublog in October 1, 2002 by | No Comments »

    The Naked Ride Home


    Jackson Browne

    Posted in Music, Staublog in September 24, 2002 by | No Comments »



    Jeremy Camp

    Posted in Music, Staublog in September 24, 2002 by | No Comments »

    The Rising


    Bruce Springsteen

    Posted in Music, Staublog in July 30, 2002 by | No Comments »

    Blood Money


    Tom Waits

    Central Theme
    Things are bad and they aren’t going to get any better.

    Tom Waits is prolific, a brilliant lyricist, influential among the artistic elite and legendarily, he can’t sing. Waits steps into down-and-out characters with integrity and conscience. If you want to now what Charles Dickens would say about the plight of the poor and outcast today-listen to this album. The news is reported. It is not good. The lyrical darkness and melancholy is matched with whimsical music sets sounding like they were recorded at some cheap tawdry carnival in a seedy neighborhood. It fist Waits’ worldview and it is one shared by the economically, intellectually and spiritually disenfranchised everywhere.

    Beliefs num
    –The world is full of misery.
    –If God and the devil are locked in battle, the devils going to win.
    –Humans are unkind and will not help you.
    –There is no use in being good or kind because everything is going to hell anyway.
    –We don’t go to heaven if we are good.
    –Everything is falling apart on earth and God is absent.

    Questions Worth Discussing num
    –Is Wait’s dark vision an accurate one?
    –What kinds of people share Wait’s dark vision?
    –What do you say to people who wonder where God is in the midst of all the misery and suffering in the world?

    Provocative Quotes byline
    –Misery is the river of the world.
    ==From Misery is the River of the World
    –God builds a church, the devil builds a chapel.
    == From Misery is the River of the World
    –If there’s one thing you can say about mankind, there’s nothing kind about man.
    ==From Misery is the River of the World
    –Why be sweet, why be kind everything is going to hell anyway.
    ==From Everything Goes to hell
    –I don’t believe you go to heaven when you are good.
    ==From Everything Goes to hell
    –There’s a leak in the boiler room, the ship is sinking and God is away on business.
    ==From God’s Away on Business.
    –If you’re looking for someone to pull you out of that ditch, you’re out of luck.
    –Life’s a mistake all day long.
    ==Starving in the Belly of a Whale.

    Posted in Music, Staublog in May 7, 2002 by | No Comments »

    Almost There


    Mercy Me

    Posted in Music, Staublog in March 5, 2002 by | No Comments »