The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 12th Single
Fri., Jul. 30. 2021 9:22pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our twelfth single of 2021:
HE HEARS ME
On June 26, 2021, I was out walking and praying about what 80's song to spoof next. Suddenly, I thought of the British group ABC. I loved all five of their U.S. Top 40 hits, so I sent Rich Mannion MP3s of each one and asked him to choose. But before he did, I started getting ideas for a parody of "Be Near Me," a #9 hit in 1985. Thankfully, that's the one Rich picked.
The opening lines came to me quickly and stayed the same throughout the writing process, but my title changed from "See Clearly" to "He Healed Me" to "He Hears Me." I still sing "He healed me" later in the song, but "He Hears Me" seemed like a better title, as we already have a parody called "More Than a Healing," and both spoofs talk about when I first came to Christ.
Actually, He came to me first. I heard Him — not an audible voice, but a still small voice that spoke to my heart and said, "Start reading the Bible; it's the Truth." That was in early 1987, and I did enjoy what I read, but I was trying to serve Him in my own strength and eventually gave up. As this song says, "the flesh is imperfect and sinful." A year later, I walked into an empty church and cried out to Him. And He heard me.
I consider that the BC/AD turning point in my life, and now it's sung to ABC. I like the way the keyboards play bell noises as I sing, "all Christ's words rang true." The line "never felt right kneeling" doesn't mean I'd never felt it was right to kneel, but rather that I'd never felt like I was in a right relationship with God. Now I do. Yes, I do.
I CAN READ ABOUT YOU
This song describes the way I felt as a new born-again Christian in 1988, facing indifference, skepticism, and opposition from others. I took a Bible with me everywhere and read it often, leaning hard on the Word of God. The lyrics in the bridge allude to Deuteronomy 30:11-14:
"Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, 'Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?' Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, 'Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?' No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it."
The Apostle Paul quotes that last part as his lead-in to Romans 10:9, a verse that appears prominently in our popular parody "Life Restored."
Spoofing a song from the Streets of Fire soundtrack, "I Can Read About You" was part of our fourth straight single to feature a big hit song written specifically for a movie. The previous three were from Top Gun ("Danger Zone") Pretty in Pink ("If You Leave"), and Ghostbusters.
Two of those were the biggest films of their respective years — Ghostbusters (1984) and Top Gun (1986). The other two also came out in 1984 and 1986 but didn't fare nearly as well. Pretty in Pink was the #22 movie of '86, although it's recognized as a cult classic now, but Streets of Fire was a box-office disappointment, failing to make the year-end Top 75.