Case in Point


This blog site will feature essays, columns and musings that deal with the intersection of Christianity and journalism and the American Songbook.

The Song of Solomon and “Come Away to the Skies”

The Biblical Songbook, the American Songbook and the Church

 Last time I talked about a passage in Genesis, where the Scripture says that a man named Jubal was “the father of all who play the harp and flute.”

 That is a key passage for our understanding of how God has built music into the D-N-A of humanity.

 Today, let’s go from the instrumental tunes of the harp and flute to lyrics — as we look at a second key biblical text that helps us understand the role of music in our lives. And that text will also help us understand the role that the Great American Songbook plays in our lives, as well.

 The biblical text I’m referring to is the entire Old Testament book known as the Song of Solomon or the Song of Songs.

 The Song of Songs is a love poem in the Bible — about the love between a man and a woman. Indeed it is a ballad about explicit yearning, and then the ultimate consummation of a relationship between husband and wife.

 BonhoefferThe German pastor/theologian Dietrich Bonheoffer once wrote in a letter that “one can imagine no more ardent, passionate, sensual love than is portrayed” in the Songs of Songs.

 Indeed, the book explores human emotion – the thrill and power of love, as well as its often attendant pain.

 (“Come Away to the Skies” performed by Western Washington University Chorale)

 I want to say more about the Song of Songs, and how it relates — in a good way — to American popular music. But that will have to wait until next time.

 For now…

 This is Bob Case for “Singing in the Shower: The American Songbook and the Church.”


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