OK, so I should make it clear at this point that, in my head at least, if not on paper, “52 songs” is a concept, not a target. I never thought I’d learn 52 songs this year, but the idea was to learn SOME pop songs this year, the 52 Songs concept was to give me some discipline to do it, and that’s what I will continue to do!
So, I considered choosing another song to learn but with the bad and busy week I’ve had I decided to drop it and learn the last two verses of “Nothing Ever Happens”. I now know all the words and just need to learn the musical bridge before verse 4.
It’s a cool song. I don’t know for sure, but I guess it’s about how we all go about doing our business and work and shopping and stuff, we all have our routines. But nothing really ever happens, and “we’ll all be lonely tonight, and lonely tomorrow. We don’t achieve anything by just plodding through a working, consumerist, selfish life.
It reminds me of a book in the Bible called “Ecclesiastes”, which starts off:
Everything is meaningless.
What does man gain from all his labour
at which he toils under the sun?”
The point of life is not just to wake up and follow the same old routine every day. That’s not life. That’s missing the point!
Here’s something else I read about life recently. This is Tom Wright, the Bishop of Durham, writing about the time when Jesus tells us to love our enemies, and gives examples of how to do this:
Think of the best thing you can do for the worst person, and go ahead and do it. Think of what you’d really like someone to do for you, and do it for them. Think of the people to whom you are tempted to be nasty, and lavish generosity on them instead. These instructions have a fresh, springlike quality. They are all about new life bursting out energetically, like flowers growing through concrete and startling everyone with their colour and vigour…Imagine if even a few people around you took Jesus seriously and lived like that. Life would be exuberant, different, astonishing.
Doesn’t that sound exciting?!
Of course, this is a huge challenge for us, especially in our me-first culture. It’s a huge challenge for me personally – it sounds massively exciting living that way, but I find it incredibly hard too.
I’m fortunate to have some incredibly loving and generous people around me in the shape of my close friends and family. They are all different and astonishing in the ways that they love others and live life to the full, and I’m hugely thankful for them.
In other places, I don’t see much of this kind of life at all. I hardly know my neighbours for example. I hope that as the weather improves and we start chatting over the fences and in the street, we will get to know them and have opportunities to be generous towards them.
Del Amitri don’t give suggestions as to how to get out, meet people and find an exuberant life (I like the word exuberant – I must use it more!). But they make us think – what are we doing here? How can we make life worth living?
P.S. I got a little carried away there – I suspect next week’s song won’t be anywhere near as interesting!