To hear "Cautionary Tale" click here. (For some reason Blogger wouldn't let me import the video.) To order Wake Up John's new EP click here.
(Are there some songs that never get old for you? You can listen to them over and over again, even after you've just listened to them, and you still enjoy them? When they also make you think about interesting and important stuff, you get the kinds of songs I'm talking about in this series of blog posts.)
I wanted to post this right now because today is the release day for Wake Up John's new EP Fugitive Closure. So this will be shorter than my other Favorite Songs posts in order to get it out on time and get back to work on things I actually get paid for.
I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that the singer/songwriter is my son Nathan, but I try to be as unbiased and critical as I can of his music, and this is still one of my favorite songs after many, many listens. And I'm thrilled to hear the polished production touches that have been added to it for the EP, especially the strings section that makes the climactic ending even more powerful. They remind me of a similar use in "Comfortably Numb" and "The Final Cut" by Pink Floyd, but unlike those songs the lyrics of this one are actually congruent with the feeling of hope created by the music.
That's one of the things I love about this song--the emotional and spiritual "rags to riches" story arc traced by it. It accurately depicts the real struggles that we face but also rightly suggests that there is a solution--not necessarily in finding all the answers we've been seeking but in surrendering to the light we have been given, and specifically to the life that is in Jesus Christ. That's what I hear when I listen to the song, anyway (not being sure which word is actually in the lyrics, I hear both of them:).
Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). The ancient writer named John woke up to the fact that Jesus was "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6), and I pray that everyone who plays the song will wake up to that as well.
Here's a live acoustic version of the end of the song, before the other band members joined Nathan and Hannah: