The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #24
Sat., Dec. 24. 2022 2:59pm EST
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our 24th single of 2022:
I got the idea for this parody years ago, but the only words I had were "in your womb." I knew it would be about Elizabeth and the passage in Luke 1:39-56, where her relative Mary came to visit and the baby in Elizabeth's womb (who would grow up to be John the Baptist) leaped for joy. In fact, I think of the timpani (kettledrum) heard in the intro as John kicking in excitement inside of Elizabeth's womb.
I finally gave Rich the "go ahead" to do the electronic drums and keyboards (Wayne did the guitars) in November 2022, but I didn't really start writing the rest of the lyrics until a week before my daughter Heather and Keith's daughter Abby were scheduled to sing it, which they did on December 16. I wasn't procrastinating; I'd just been busy writing "Ezra" and "Eve of Instruction" the previous two weeks.
Yes, December 2022 was brought to you by the letter "E." I didn't get the words to "Elizabeth's Song" finished until the day before the girls came into the studio. Although Heather had sung lead vocals on five songs with us before, including three earlier in 2022, this was the first time she did them all herself. Of course, Abby, who did all the backing vocals, played a prominent role in the song, too.
I consider this one to be part of our Christmas collection, since the events in it happen before and after Mary receives news from the angel Gabriel that she will be giving birth to the Son of the Most High, even though Elizabeth was already "in her sixth month" by then.
EVE OF INSTRUCTION
This song's backdrop is the so-called Pax Romana (Latin for "Roman peace"), two centuries (27 BC thru 180 AD) of relative tranquility within the Roman empire, as alluded to in the opening line of the first verse. No, there wasn't much war, but in Judea, King Herod I (a.k.a. Herod the Great) was brutal to anyone he considered a threat, as evidenced by his infamous "Massacre of the Innocents" (Matthew 2:16-18) and other extrabiblical, historical events.
Meanwhile the Romans could still be quite cruel, as evidenced by crucifixions they carried out. Herod was a descendent of the ancient Edomites but had been appointed King of the Jews by the Roman senate. He reigned for about three and a half decades but was nearing the end of his life at the time of Christ's birth.
I first got the idea for this spoof on December 23, 2018, but at the time I called it "Eve of Redemption." That didn't rhyme as well as I'd like, so I eventually decided to use "Eve of Instruction," because the angel gave the shepherds instructions about the birth of the Messiah and where to find him (Luke 2:8-15) after Mary and Joseph had already received angelic visitations and instructions (Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:20-24).
In fact, that would happen to Joseph two more times (Matthew 2:13,19). Furthermore, God had given His people instructions centuries in advance about the origin, birth, and location of the coming Christ through prophets like Isaiah (7:14, 9:1-7) and Micah (5:2).