The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 21st Single
Sat., Dec. 18. 2021 2:13pm EST
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our 21st single of 2021:
Man, Jesus was the coolest — tender and merciful with the downtrodden, yet brutally honest and even sarcastic with the proud. Skeptics who complain about hypocrisy in the church ought to read what He had to say to the religious elite of His day in Luke 11:37-54.
I'd been wanting to spoof "Lido Shuffle" for quite some time. Then, on November 30, 2020, I got a text from Rich Mannion asking if we'd ever done it. Since much of the instrumentation would be his responsibility, I started considering it more seriously. Later, I discovered I'd already emailed Rich over two years earlier to ask if "Lido Shuffle" was feasible; we both had just forgotten.
I finally put it on a big list of potential songs for Jimmy to pick from on October 4, 2021. I got the idea and a bunch of words for "Ego Scuffle" 15 days later, while driving to Red Apple Audio Workshop to sing "Runnin' Down the Drain." When I got to the studio, I told Jimmy about the lyrical breakthrough I'd just had for "Lido Shuffle," and he excitedly told me he'd been planning to record drums for that song next. In fact, he'd already set up his kit specifically for it!
The original was played on a Fender Telecaster bass, which has a distinct sound, so I emailed George Elliott and asked if he could do that part. He replied and said he already knew the bass line, because he'd played it another band many times.
We finally released the song on December 12, 2021. As Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith used to say on The A-Team, "I love it when a plan comes together!"
LORD IS ALIVE (PAUL BEFORE AGRIPPA)
I think I got the "my Lord is alive" part of this parody in early 2020, but I didn't get the rest of the lyrics until November 2021. Obviously, you can't overstate the importance of Christ's resurrection, but I was looking for something to differentiate this song from others we'd done about the topic.
When the line "I have been on a path to where I am" came to me, I thought of the Apostle Paul. When I got the line "If someone thinks Christ is making me crazy," it reminded me of of his enthusiastic defense before King Agrippa in Acts 26, which prompted Governor Festus to shout, "You are out of your mind, Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane."
The rest of the lyrics fell into place very quickly after that. It was all so perfect, because the fact that Jesus rose from the dead was the crux of Paul's theology and testimony what he described as "of first importance" in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
Even when he talked to Agrippa, Queen Bernice, and Festus, he said, "Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?" (Acts 26:8) and "But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen — that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles" (Acts 26:22-23).
But I also like the fact that, aside from Paul mentioning Agrippa's name, the words are all things I and other Christians could and might say to unbelievers and skeptics today.