Saturday, November 22, 2008

King David's Fall from Grace

There is an artist, who is a bit off the wall from what I hear, but I am absolutely moved by the artist Rufus Wainwright and the song he sings “Hallelujah”.

The background to the song is David and his seduction of Bathsheba and the Watergate like cover up of King David’s sins of covetness, adultery and possibly murder. It is he, as king, who comes to terms with the consequences of his own actions. The people and his court officials were no doubt whispering the truth long before the king understood the magnitude of his going off course in his life. They say he wrote Psalm 51 as a result of his fall from grace - asking God’s forgiveness.

The song in modern secular terms is Art Imitating Life and reflecting man’s capability, capacity to do the wrong thing at the wrong time and to hurt the ones you love including yourself.

The Psalms are songs that David supposedly wrote and sang to the music of a lyre. Was David an artist and a singer? I cannot say for certain.

I can say that the Hebrew Testament is filled at times with a lustiness and brutal reality not similarly displayed in the Greek Testament.

Wainright’s song also has an allusion to Samson and Delilah with the cutting of hair lyrics. It is a bit like an historical movie with a lot of good bits mixed together to make a better story.

Sometimes good comes out of evil. Perhaps the megalomaniac of David slowed downed, consolidated his base and made it possible for his son Solomon to eventually build the first great Temple. In reality, I think David did not want to give up the military budget to build a temple but that is just my opinion.

The rest is history and the timeline that comes straight down to us to this day.

“ I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty
in the moonlight
overthrew you
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne,
she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah”

Live and Learn. Live and Learn.