Songs of redemption opus 2

It’s Sunday… time for ‘God is in the House’.

No more shall we part

I first encountered Nick Cave through ‘The Boatman’s Call’: I can’t get enough of that CD (who else could write a lyric that goes ‘I don’t believe in an interventionist God, but darling I know that you do?’). After that he released ‘No more shall we part’ which I think is nearly as good. Check out his ‘Introduction to the book of Revelation’ in ‘Revelation’ published by Canongate books and see if you have ever read a better introduction to that puzzling book.

Stand out song that brings me up short, shocks me and makes me think is ‘God is in the House’. I can’t work out a way to play a music sample of it on here, although you can find a clip on

Why does it? Well it is a great song with a fantastic tune (my prose style tells you that I do not do musicological reviews...)…but the lyrics…. hit you when you make God too small- like a personal household god (I was in a place a few years back when the speaker said ‘God is a good chap’. I’m not honest enough- I should have screamed ‘No…leave the room now. Right now’).

It’s a song about order, about using the idea of ‘God’ to buttress middle america’s (but it could be so easily be middle Britain’s) idea of keeping everything just so…

‘Our little church is painted white
And in the safety of the night
We all go quiet as a mouse
For the word is out
God is in the house’

So anyone not just so is kept out (with typical Nick Cave droll and biting humour):-

‘Well-meaning little therapists
Goose-stepping twelve-stepping Tetotalitarianists
The tipsy, the reeling and the drop down pissed
We got no time for that stuff here
Zero crime and no fear’

…and the song closes in a whisper…

‘For no-one’s left in doubt
There’s no fear about
If we all hold hands and very quietly shout
God is in the house
God is in the house
Oh I wish He would come out
God is in the house’

I love that song. It’s not a popular word, but part of me wants to repent after hearing the song…. I am part of that church culture that makes God like a declawed neutered kitten who merely serves and purrs around our safe politics, excessive materialism and connivance at anything that makes our world position safer.

Oh dear, just got too thoughtful and introspective…

I’m away for a few days, so I may not reply to comments ( he said hopefully…) quickly.

Quote of the Day…

I was going to post something trivial, like some choice lines from ‘Octopus’s Garden’ by the Beatles (if you haven’t heard of them; they were a popular r’n’b combo that some people liked once….) but no…it’s serious time…..

This one is from the immortal Nick Cave (if you haven’t heard of him, then you are on the wrong blog) of Bad Seeds fame…..

     “The Gospel According to Mark has continued to inform my life as the root source of my spirituality, my religiousness. The Christ that the Church offers us, the bloodless, placid ‘Saviour’ – the man smiling benignly at a group of children or serenely hanging from the cross – denies Christ His potent, creative sorrow or His boiling anger that confronts us so forcibly in Mark. Thus the Church denies Christ His humanity, offering up a figure that we can perhaps ‘praise’ but never relate to. The essential humanness of Mark’s Christ provides us with a blueprint for our own lives so that we have something we can aspire to rather than revere, that can lift us free of the mundanity of our existences rather than affirming the notion that we are lowly and unworthy.”

Nick Cave- intro to St Mark (Canongate books)

Funny how those from outside the household of faith can sometimes ‘get it’ when we can’t isn’t it?