I'm excited that at this year's Summit at ACU we will be hosting the Christian musician Derek Webb. Many of you who follow Christian music already know Webb. He was a member of the band Caedmon's Call and in 2003 launched a successful solo career.
I don't listen to a lot of Christian music, but intrigued by the Summit announcement I went out to find out a bit more about Webb and his music. I bought his first solo album She Must and Shall Go Free. I loved it and quickly realized what many had already known about Webb: He likes to take theological risks with his lyrics. Some of that risk-taking is seen on the most popular track from She Must and Shall Go Free, the song Wedding Dress:
Wedding Dress by Derek WebbA YouTube clip of Webb preforming the song live:
If you could love me as a wife
and for my wedding gift, your life
Should that be all I'd ever need
or is there more I'm looking for
and should I read between the lines
and look for blessings in disguise
To make me handsome, rich, and wise
Is that really what you want
I am a whore I do confess
But I put you on just like a wedding dress
and I run down the aisle
and I run down the aisle
I'm a prodigal with no way home
but I put you on just like a ring of gold
and I run down the aisle to you
So could you love this bastard child
Though I don't trust you to provide
With one hand in a pot of gold
and with the other in your side
I am so easily satisfied
by the call of lovers so less wild
That I would take a little cash
Over your very flesh and blood
Because money cannot buy
a husband's jealous eye
When you have knowingly deceived his wife
Reading about Webb I discovered that his third solo album--Mockingbird--created some controversy in Christian circles (as has his most recent album The Stockholm Syndrome). Jana knew I wanted to listen to Mockingbird so, for my birthday, she went to our local Mardel's to pick up the CD. And, wouldn't you guess, she ran right into the (still lingering) controversy.
Jana looks on the shelves and can't find Mockingbird among Derek Webb's CDs. So she goes up to the counter and asks, "Do you have Derek Webb's CD Mockingbird?"
The clerk's face goes white. He says, "You won't be able to find that album in Abilene. That CD has been pulled from all the Christian bookstores in town."
"Why?", Jana asks.
"Apparently, the CD is somewhat controversial, politically that is. But let me see if it's at the warehouse."
He checks and they have a copy. He asks Jana if he should have it sent to the store. She asks, "You aren't going to get fired when the CD shows up here are you?"
He laughs, "I don't think so." He then leans forward conspiratorially and whispers, "I went to his concert when he played this album and it was fantastic." All very hush, hush.
So, of course, I'm really intrigued by this album. Mockingbird has been banned from all the Christian bookstores in Abilene!
Suddenly, Derek Webb is my hero.
Today is my birthday and I got Mockingbird this evening along with the story of its purchase. I also got a handmade card, a Mountain Dew t-shirt (the only thing I drink besides coffee and chocolate milk), and a new wallet. The card made by Aidan, featuring, inexplicably, a raccoon, was my favorite gift. Sorry Derek...]