Song of the Week: Faust, Midas, and Myself

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009

Switchfoot's song "Faust, Midas, and Myself" cleverly weaves together two stories of selfishness and greed and translates those stories into Jon Foreman's personal experience.

The first is Goethe's Faust in which the title character makes a deal with Mephistopheles, the devil. Faust, a Job-like character, is offered "everything [he's] ever had in fantasies." This also echoes the temptation of Jesus found in Matthew 4.

"Again, the devil took [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, 'All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.'" -Matthew 4:8,9

The second story concerns King Midas. Overcome with greed, Midas asks the Greek god Dionysus for the golden touch, that everything he touches turns to gold. This seemingly wonderful power backfires when he accidentally changes his daughter into gold.

Jon Foreman's lyricism takes these two tales and shows the similarities that exist in his own experience. All of us experience temptation and failure, and more often than not, serious consequences follow. Thus, we must take heed of the warning that is presented in this song: "You've one life left to lead." We must remember to be responsible with the time we've been given on this earth because there are no do-overs.

Faust, Midas, and Myself
by Switchfoot
This one's about a dream I had last night
How an old man tracked me home and stepped inside
Put his foot inside the door and gave a crooked smile
Something in his eyes
Something in his laugh
Something in his voice made my skin crawl off

He said I've seen you here before; I know your name
How you could have your pick of pretty things
You could have it all, everything at once
Everything you've seen
Everything you'll need
Everything you've ever had in fantasies

You've one life
You've one life
You've one life left to lead

I woke up from my dream as a golden man
With a girl I've never seen with Golden skin
I jumped up to my feet; she asked me what was wrong
I began to scream
I don't think this is me
Is this just a dream or really happening?

You've one life
You've one life
You've one life left to lead

What direction?
I'm splitting up
This is my personal disaffection!

What direction?
What direction?
What direction now?

I looked outside the glass at golden shores
Golden ships and masts with golden cords
As my reflection passed, I hated what I saw
The Golden eyes were dead
A thought passed through my head
A heart that's made of gold can't really beat at all

I wanted to wake up again
Without a touch of gold

What direction?
Life begins at the intersection
What direction?
What direction?
What direction now?

I woke up as before, but the gold was gone
My wife was at the door with a night robe on
My heart beat once or twice, and life flooded my veins
Everything had changed
My lungs had found their voice
And what was once routine was now the perfect joy

You've one life
You've one life
You've one life left to lead

Life 101 - "What's Keeping Us Together"

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009

This past Saturday, some friends and I played a song in the Asbury College Freshman Talent Show. Here's a video of that performance. Enjoy!

Song of the Week: Canaan Bound

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, February 21, 2009

To continue with this month's theme of love, I chose Andrew Peterson's song Canaan Bound, as it weaves a tale of twofold love; one is earthly, the other divine. On the surface, this song chronicles the lives of Abraham and Sarah as they journey to Canaan, the promised land.

"Sarah, take me by my arm. Tomorrow we are Canaan bound, where westward sails the golden sun, and Hebron's hills are amber crowned."

Beautiful images of star crossed lovers permeate the lyrics, delving into the depths of devotion. But this song is not merely a song of mortal love. A second glance reveals a much deeper message.

"I trembled at the voice of God; a voice of love and thunder deep. With love he means to save us all, and love has chosen you and me. Long after we are dead and gone, for a thousand years, our tale be sung how faith compelled and bore us on... how barren Sarah bore a son. So come to Canaan, come."

In this promised land, promises are kept and miracles come true. Ultimately, Canaan symbolizes the promise of hope and renewal at the hands of an almighty God. This is divine love--love that triumphs over all others and stirs up a faith that drives us forward into the unknown.

Canaan Bound by Andrew Peterson
Sarah, take me by my arm
Tomorrow we are Canaan bound
Where westward sails the golden sun
And Hebron's hills are amber crowned

So bid your troubled heart be still
The grass, they say, is soft and green
The trees are tall and honey-filled
So, Sarah, come and walk with me

Like the stars across the heavens flung
Like water in the desert sprung
Like the grains of sand, our many sons
Oh, Sarah, fair and barren one
Come to Canaan, come

I trembled at the voice of God
A voice of love and thunder deep
With love He means to save us all
And Love has chosen you and me

Long after we are dead and gone
For a thousand years our tale be sung
How faith compelled and bore us on
How barren Sarah bore a son
So come to Canaan, come

Where westward sails the golden sun
And Hebron's hills are amber crowned
Oh, Sarah, take me by my arm
Tomorrow we are Canaan bound

Song of the Week: Love is Different

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lately, I've been considering what to blog about, as I've had a mild case of writer's block. Thus, here is my idea... Every week, I'll post one of my favorite songs and blog about it. So in honor of Valentine's Day, I've decided to inaugurate my Song of the Week section with a song by Caedmon's Call called Love is Different. Enjoy!

Love is Different by Caedmon's Call
Well, it looks like five thousand miles broke the camel's back
But it's not as though I had a plan to win you back
Because I don't know what I want
But at least I know that much
Now I'm afraid love came right up
And it slapped me in the face, but I did not know

'Cause love is different than you'd think
It's never in a song or on a TV screen
And love is harder than a word
Said at the right time and everything's alright
Love is different than you think

So I won't expect a postcard from Trafalgar Square
But I'd be lying if I said I didn't care
Because you can't just turn it off
And put a blindfold on your heart
But I'm off to a good start
A continent away, but I do not know

But maybe you're the dream I'm waking from
'Cause I see you everywhere I go
Darlin' you are such a mystery to me, you know

PS Last Valentine's Day, I referenced this song when I blogged about the meaning of true Christian love. If you'd like to read that post, click here.