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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, April 20, 2004
    We become what we sing
     
    Can't get this pressure point out of my head
    Can't get this pressure point out of my head
    I feel it in work you know I feel it in bed
    Can't get this pressure point out of my head

    I've paid all my bills and I've acted so well
    I ain't been cheating, there's nothing to tell
    So why all this pressure I don't understand
    I call on my neighbours I lend them a hand

    Doctor oh doctor I'm willing to learn
    Well all of my bones, well they toss and they turn
    Mother oh mother I'm begging you please
    To rid me of madness and cure this disease.....

    Can't get this pressure point out of my head
    Can't get this pressure point out of my head
    I feel it in work you know I feel it in bed
    Can't get this pressure point out of my head

    Pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure




    The Zutons say that Pressure Point, "A dark, New Orleans-flavoured soul classic" is about "that first 10 minutes when you get home from work and want to kill everybody." They reckon it's a song that defines their sound just now. It's certainly their best, erm, so far. Suits the mood between my ears tonight. I've become what I sing.

    Some of the pressure on me today has been pleasant pressure - organising an Iona Community BIG SING for Friday night. In aid of The Iona Community Growing Hope Appeal, a million quid required for developing the Community's work with young people and day visitors at Iona's island centres.

    Plans are all pretty much in place now; so tonight I sat back with the current GOOSEgander, magazine of the Wild Goose Resource Group, the Community's musical outreach team, for some considered wisdom from John L. Bell.

    The great thing about WGRG is not only that they put on the most thrilling SINGS, where everyone regardless of perceived ability, is enabled to have a good go, and virtually all emerge glowing with satisfaction. It's not only the rich vein of songs - self-penned and world music, reflecting with honesty the complexity and extremities of Christian experience. It's also that they place great value on thinking about music - its meanings, its effects. All in all, they're a great education.

    So in this article John reflects that music isn't neutral - its context is always important, and it always has an effect. "The truth is that texts set to tunes, especially memorable tunes, have a habit of seeping into the subconscious and subliminally shaping or dulling perspectives on life, love, personal ambitions and political choices." Put another way, we become what we sing.

    John develops his discussion in the direction of encouraging Christian songwriting of quality and integrity. Where real life issues and raw emotions find voice. I'm left thinking if I put on Pressure Point in church could it be a psalm, a prayer? And looking forward to Friday to share and be shaped by some good and honest - and also God-centred - songs.

    [If you're in the area, come and join us with WGRG's Alison Adam at Liverpool Hope University College Christ's and Notre Dame chapel this Friday 23rd April at 7.30. Admission: £5 (£3 unwaged)]