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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Favorite Songs - At My Parties by Dire Straits

(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.)

"At My Parties" is catchy, funny, meaningful, and impressive in its musicianship, all at the same time, which is pretty rare. On top of that I happen to really like the style of the music and Mark Knopfler's vocals. So I can listen to it over and over.

It's from Dire Straits' much underrated final album, On Every Street, and it's a satire about people who spend large amounts of time and money entertaining while they should be concerned about more important things. The lyrics are down below in case you can't discern all of them while listening to the song.

Speaking of discernment...As with most of my favorite songs by non-Christian artists, there is are both truth and error in this one. Knopfler captures well the insanity and sadness of hedonism and points us to something bigger and greater that we should be caring about. Because he's not a Christian, however, he doesn't point us to glorifying God and helping others to know Him, but to environmental concerns.

This provides an interesting illustration of what God says will happen when people don't want to accept His will as the greater meaning for our lives: "They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator" (Rom. 1:25).

Romans 1 also gives us a hint about why even very intelligent and talented people don't accept the truth of God as the guide for their lives. Verse 18 says that they "by their unrighteousness suppress the truth," meaning (at least in part) that they don't want to live by God's law because it would keep them from some practices that they enjoy. Perhaps for Knopfler at the time this included sexual immorality like the menage a trois described in "You and Your Friend," a song on the same album that I choose not to listen to, even though the music is great, because I don't want to be thinking about things that dishonor God and are detrimental to my spiritual life.

But "My Parties" is definitely a keeper, as long as we understand that the greatest crime of wasteful hedonism is not against created things, but against the Creator whom we should be worshiping and serving.

My Parties

Well this is my back yard
My back gate
I hate to start my parties late
Here's the party cart
Ain't that great?
That ain't the best part baby
Just wait
That's a genuine weathervane
It moves with the breeze
Portable hammock honey
Who needs trees
It's casual entertaining
We aim to please
At my parties
Check out the shingles
It's brand new
Excuse me while I mingle
Hi, how are you
Hey everybody
Let me give you a toast
This one's for me
The host with the most
It's getting a trifle colder
Step inside my home
That's a brass toilet tissue holder with it's own telephone
That's a musical doorbell
It don't ring, I ain't kiddin'
Plays America the beautiful and tie a yellow ribbon
Boy, this punch is a trip
It's okay in my book
Here, take a sip
Maybe little heaven on the fruit
Ah, here comes the dip
You may kiss the cook
Let me show you honey
It's easy, look
You take a fork and spike 'em
Say, did you try these?
So glad you like 'em
The secret's in the cheese
It's casual entertaining
We aim to please
At my parties
Now don't talk to me about the polar bear
Don't talk to me about ozone layer
Ain't so much of anything these days, even the air
They're running out of rhinos
What do I care?
Let's hear it for the dolphin
Let's hear it for the trees
Ain't runnin' out of nothin' in my deep freeze
It's casual entertaining
We aim to please
At my parties
Songwriters: MARK KNOPFLER
© Universal Music Publishing Group

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