There’s no denying that Terry Taylor/Daniel Amos/Swirling Eddies/Lost Dogs is one of the most creative, and influential forces that “Christian music” has produced over the last 30+ years. And although I count myself among his legions of fans I can’t say that I always understood what he was doing, nor have I connected with every project that he produced. Take for example the 1996 Swirling Eddies record Sacred Cows.
The idea behind this release was to get the Eddies into a studio and have them Swirling Eddie-tize some top CCM hits of the day. The reaction to the parody project was understandably mixed as some folks “got it”, while others felt the songs were disrespectful and unkind. To be honest I was torn, I had no problem with the Eddies poking fun at Amy Grant, Carmen, and even DC Talk, I mean come on, did the boys from DCT really expect us to take “I Love Rap Music” seriously?
However, when the Eddies busted on DeGarmo & Key, and Stryper I wasn’t laughing anymore, and when I saw that they had targeted Whiteheart I was ready to lose it completely until I noticed the song selected for ridicule was “Convertibles” off of the Don’t Wait For The Movie record. Ok…I admit it, that song was cheesy with a capital C.
Even as a 15-year-old “die-hard” Whiteheart fan, I had thought “Convertibles” was goofy. Sure, sure, I sort of got what Gersh, Smiley, and Kennedy were trying to say on that track, but I still thought it was a campy diversion on what I had considered an otherwise stellar disc. And for 27 years I pretty much have felt the same way, until I read the following excerpt from Tim Keller’s, Every Good Endeavor.
“Parents want to give their children everything they need, but they also want them to be come diligent, conscientious, and responsible people. So they give their children chores. They could obviously do the task quicker and better themselves, but that would not help their kids grow in maturity. So parents give their kids what they need–character–through the diligence required for the chores they assign them. Luther concludes that God works through our work for he same reason.”
“What else is all our work to God–whether in the fields, in the garden, in the city,in the house, in the war, or in government–but just such a child’s performance, by which He wants to give His gifts in the field, at home, and everywhere else? These are the masks of God, behind which He wants to remain concealed and do all things”.
Keller adds,”Even the humblest farm girl is fulfilling God’s calling. As Luther preached,”God milks the cows through the vocation of the milk maids.”
With that said, is it too much of a stretch to suggest that God did in fact make convertibles through the hardworking men on automobile assembly lines? And if you ever have driven in a convertible, with the top down, wind blowing in your hair, blue skies above, and warm sun on your face, you would certainly be hard pressed not to consider that a wonderful gift from God.
Whether it be your vocation, or enjoying 80’s Christian rock songs, there really is freedom that comes when you understand how God desires to accomplish His work in this world. So bring in that Sacred Cow ’cause I’m in the mood for a Holy Burger, only, hold the cheese please.
So have you ever had a song that you disliked or felt was cheesy, only to realize later that it might have been deeper than you first thought?
Please join our community of Classic CCM fans!