Tuesday, October 12, 2004

David Letterman and the Blind Boys

Last night on David letterman, Ben Harper and the Blind Boy from Alabama played at the end of the show. They played a song called "Take my Hand". Toward the end of the song one of the older members of the Blind Boy basically took control of the gospel chorus and Ben Harper just let him. The baritone voice sang a bluesy, gospel "Take my hand". The music stopped and the Blind gentlmen kept singing the chorus. As the camera focused on the lead gentleman with the baritone voice who was now standing with no music playing, you could see tears dripping down his face from under his oversized, dark construction glasses. It was an amazing image to see a blind man passionately singing with one hand raised in the air, "take my hand". It put a new image to the phrase, blind faith.

3 comments:

billy said...

Todd,

You're right, this is indeed a great image. Thanks for sharing it with us. Personally, I've never ceased to be amazed at what an incredible influence gospel music and negroe spirituals have had on what we call blues and rock and roll. A lot of the most prominent performers of our day got their start singing and playing instruments in the church. So, why does their still seem to be such a disconnect at times between the church and popular music? And how we can help each other and our musician friends more fully recover a vital marriage between music/arts and participation in the local/global community of faith?

TP said...

Billy,
I think your questions are great ones. I don't know that I have much to offer on the why the disconnect, but I have a few observations on the second question. I think we can draw a lot of examples from history to show how music has been a very active part in many major culture movements (e.g. gospel/blues in the freeing of the slaves, music in the late 60's and early 70's, MTV and the voting, etc...). With that history and the obvious importances it has played in cultural movements, I think it is vital that Christian cultural movements seek to create a 'cultural music". Establishing the importance is pretty easy but the how is much more difficult. I am pretty sure that modern "Christian" music is not the answer, and I tend to think the Ben Harper's and Martyn Joseph's are closer to the answer. A good question for our community is where is our voice on this topic? With all the people who either play music or love, we should have a lot of offer in this area.

geoff said...

thanks for posting this todd. we have this cd and 'take my hand' is the first track on a brilliant album. i'm so moved by the image of this man caught up in the cry/prayer to walk with Yahweh. he knows what it is like to not see and so i imagine he really knows what it means to ask for someone to take his hand...your posting this account has reminded me of my blindness and of my need to cry out to the one that 'made the earth and everything in it', take my hand!