I was picked on by our minister in our morning service this week to answer a question on the spot with no preparation. I failed to come up with any sort of useful, amusing, appropriate or otherwise answer. Normally I’m not this lost for words, at least coming up with something half witty, only to refine it beautifully as the opportunity passes. But this one had me stumped.
The question – “Tell us the name of a song that describes your love for Rhys“. (Rhys, by the way being my husband of nearly nine years in case you don’t know us and thought the minister was being ,really odd.)
So being me, a fan of Richard Thompson, June Tabor and various other expounders of love gone wrong, I had a thousand inappropriate songs going through my head. There are other songs that as a couple we have adopted as our songs over the years. None of these have anything to do with love, other than occasionally in the aforementioned ‘gone wrong’ capacity. One of the songs played at our wedding reception by friends who know us very well was Matty Groves (incidentally I just tried to link to a blog post I made about that song in mid May 2003, but it seems to have been written before the days of permawiblinks. It appears I was having a very bad day that day, so I’ve taken my own advice and am typing this post into Word first too). It turns out that there were people in the congregation willing me to come out with something highly inappropriate and therefore hilarious. Not being one to totally disappoint, it’s a little too late for the sermon, but the one I should have said was “Great Balls of Fire” – can anyone do any better?
Really there is no song that describes my love for Rhys, or any significant part of our relationship. We are two unique individuals, just as God intended, and therefore make a unique couple. Neither of us are popular songwriters (thank goodness), and no-one without an inside knowledge of our relationship could write a song about it. So even when you take away all the songs where love goes wrong or was never meant to be or is cruelly cut short, you are left with a (small) handful of songs that mostly don’t quite hit the mark. One or two other people were asked, and gave the answers; “It Must Be Love” (Which is admittedly a weak point in my argument, being a good song and fairly good at describing love, I think it’s just too cheery for me though.), “When I’m Sixty Four” (The respondent being that age), something by Dire Straits (reflecting husband’s music tastes) and “Wonderful Tonight” (vomit)
As the sermon went on, the point was made that these songs are different to the love songs we sing as part of our worship together. (‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ titles apart), yet this is where we really have to rely on the words of others to describe our personal relationship. And maybe this is why so often that act of congregational singing can be so difficult. Sometimes those words seem a million miles away from what we want to be saying to God. I would never serenade Rhys with a rendition of ‘Wonderful Tonight’ (partly because I can’t sing and don’t know the words to be fair) because it just isn’t what our relationship is about. So what does God think when I join in with a song just because everyone else is singing. What does He think when I sit one or two out?
By the end of the service none of these questions were answered. It had occurred to me though that ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ was as close to the mark as I’ll ever get to a song that describes my love for Rhys. I whispered it to him as the music group started up the closing chorus and he smiled, so that’s the one.