Screen Door + Submarine
Recently, I entered unexpectedly into a Twitter conversation with Micah Fries, Kevin Schaub, & Nathan Finn on the subject of classic CCM — contemporary Christian music. To say the least, it was hilarious. And, it made me miss my teenage years.
By the end, we were reminiscing about the better songwriters from a few decades ago. Even if it did take one nasty turn toward “Arise, My Love” at one point.
Tuning into any radio station today can be a painful proposition. Capitalism and consumerism often override artistry and beauty. Painfully, the music produced by and for believers is not immune to the temptation. On more than one occasion, I’ve blurted the “It’s just ear candy” and “Enough with the ‘prom songs to Jesus’ already” lines at the car radio. But, it is not fair to lump all songwriters in the CCM genre together with a shallow end of an industry.
As Micah, Kevin, Nathan, and I bantered back and forth on Twitter, we ended with the universal sigh known throughout social media: “I sure do miss…” For me, it is not hearing enough music like that of Michael Card, Fernando Ortega, and Rich Mullins. And, especially, Rich Mullins.
Back in 2009, I had the opportunity to meet and spend some time with Mike Card. Happily, I can report that he is exactly who I hoped he would be. Humble. Deep. A lover of life. When you have some time, take a look at this interview I did with Mike about the “biblical imagination” back in 2010.
The Twitter conversation made me think more of Mullins than anyone. I guess because we lost him in 1997 in a car accident. His songs were usually deep, driven, and forced you to look toward Jesus. But, every now and again, he did something unexpected. The song “Screen Door” is a key example. Never at a loss for a word picture, I actually think this is one of Rich’s more brilliant songs. Funny, engaging, and profound. So, with that, one of my favorite renditions of a song that helped set the tone for my teenage, youth group years. I give you Rich Mullins and the Ragamuffin Band with instrumentation by… plastic cups.
What are your favorite songs and who are your favorite songwriters of our day?