I have always been a great lover of song. Some songs are for enjoyment, excitement, and relaxing and even good for working. Some songs, however, are for meditation and contemplation. Yes, there is even such a thing for us atheists. Many of us having left our hymnals and praise books behind can find amazing depth in various talented artists who often seem to hit things right on the head. Several of my favorites for this are Joni Mitchell, Dar Williams, and Cosy Sheridan. These have written many songs filled with depth of thought – filled with amazing meaning.

That said, I turn to the topic of suffering and a song that seems to sum up to me a enigma that Christians must face in having to rationalize the tragedies of their lives with their god. The song I am speaking of is called “The Sire of Sorrow: Job’s Sad Song” by Joni Mitchell. Those of you who are familiar with the book of Job will see how well Joni has summarized the book. You can hear a recording of this song on YouTube under “Sire of Sorrow“.

Let me speak, let me spit out my bitterness-
Born of grief and nights without sleep and festering flesh
Do you have eyes?
Can you see like mankind sees?
Why have you soured and curdled me?
Oh you tireless watcher! What have I done to you?
That you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true?

Once I was blessed; I was awaited like the rain
Like eyes for the blind, like feet for the lame
Kings heard my words, and they sought out my company
But now the janitors of Shadowland flick their brooms at me
Oh you tireless watcher! What have I done to you?
that you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true?

([Antagonists:] Man is the sire of sorrow)
I’ve lost all taste for life
I’m all complaints
Tell me why do you starve the faithful?
Why do you crucify the saints?
And you let the wicked prosper
You let their children frisk like deer
And my loves are dead or dying, or they don’t come near
([Antagonists:] We don’t despise your chastening
God is correcting you)

Oh and look who comes to counsel my deep distress
Oh, these pompous physicians
What carelessness!
([Antagonists:] Oh all this ranting all this wind
Filling our ears with trash)
Breathtaking ignorance adding insult to injury!
They come blaming and shaming
([Antagonists:] Evil doer)
And shattering me
([Antagonists:] This vain man wishes to seem wise
A man born of asses)
Oh you tireless watcher! What have I done to you?
That you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true?

([Antagonists:] We don’t despise your chastening)
Already on a bed of sighs and screams,
And still you torture me with visions
You give me terrifying dreams!
Better I was carried from the womb straight to the grave.
I see the diggers waiting, they’re leaning on their spades.

([Antagonists:] Man is the sire of sorrow
Sure as the sparks ascend)
Where is hope while you’re wondering what went wrong?
Why give me light and then this dark without a dawn?
([Antagonists:] Evil is sweet in your mouth
Hiding under your tongue)
Show your face!
([Antagonists:] What a long fall from grace)
Help me understand!
What is the reason for your heavy hand?
([Antagonists:] You’re stumbling in shadows
You have no name now)
Was it the sins of my youth?
What have I done to you?
That you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true?
([Antagonists:] Oh your guilt must weigh so greatly)
Everything I dread and everything I fear come true
([Antagonists:] Man is the sire of sorrow)
Oh you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *