Tag Archives: Lyrics

Toto – Africa – Like a leprous (I get it now)

I never really heard those words in the lyrics of Toto-Africa before, from 1’54” to 2’04”, just 10 seconds…

  • “I know I must do what’s right, sure as Kilimanjaro rises like a leprous above the Serengeti.”

If you didn’t know, leprosy turns any skin tone albino, white as snow, or foaming-at-the-mouth-vomit…

This song came out in 1982, with the video in 1983. I was already lost in studies in Rome, Italy, for years, and knew nothing of any songs outside of “Resta con noi…” or “Tu scendi dalle stelle…” Yesterday, YouTube suggested that I needed to hear Toto’s Africa. I had heard it previously, in more recent decades, but long enough ago that I was coming back to it fresh. That helps one to notice that which one might not have been ready to hear. This happens all the time, of course, in reading Sacred Scripture, the writings of the saints…

We live in dark times when those who have the pretense to enforce power perverted to evil attack those who simply want to “do what’s right” like Toto’s Africa says. “Doing what’s right” singles that person out, makes that person a target.

Kilimanjaro raises itself in peaceful pristine goodness above the always dramatic Serengeti, making itself a target, first of all for mockery. Because of the snow in the upward reaches, it’s called “leprous”, to be avoided, unclean, a blight on the rest of, you know, surely virtuous and ever so self-righteous humanity which remains down below in all politically correct sycophantry, that which sees any “doing what’s right” as evil self-righteousness that cannot be tolerated.

Such a person who “must do what’s right” has, however, first of all been convicted of any lack of righteousness in his life and is pushed by that which is good and holy to “do what’s right.”

And then there’s the pile-on by all those who are nervous with all that which is good and holy. They see another weak person like themselves but now “doing what’s right” as an incrimination of their evil. They must go on the attack.

The favorite thing in all the world is to climb Kilimanjaro, rising above the Serengeti, only to vomit all over Kilimanjaro for lack of oxygen at its 19,341 feet up into the atmosphere. You think that’s snow flowing down from the top? Bwahahaha. Think again.

This is what any knucklehead priest who is convicted of his own lack of righteousness and now “must do what’s right” has to look forward to enduring. But, no matter, he goes ahead and “does what’s right” anyway, come what may. But that’s Jesus upon whom people vomit. Otherwise they wouldn’t bother.

Meanwhile, being Kilimanjaro, one has a view no one can take away of the vast sea of humanity being drawn toward it as by a magnet, a tractor-beam. It is a view one has when, after being dragged across hell, across Calvary, one finds oneself to be crucified up high with Christ Jesus, in solidarity with Him as He is in solidarity with us. Jesus said: “When I am lifted up [on the Cross] I will draw all to myself.” He is vomited upon, spit on. But it is a view up high that one cannot abandon, seeing all of humanity dragged across hell, despite itself, to be in reverence, in humble thanksgiving, finally, before the very Son of the Living God.

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Zack Hemsey Vengeance lyrics analysis: Jesus and Mary. Nothing more important.

Zack Hemsey wrote some great lyrics back in the day, with what motivation I have no idea whatsoever. But that’s sometimes the purpose of some poetry, letting what you have written be available as a kind of mirror which will assist the reader in seeing where he stands in the great scheme of things. Readers can inscape all they want.

For myself, listening to this has grabbed my attention, being both repulsed and attracted to the words at the same time, knowing that I was NOT quite letting the words mirror what was happening within myself. But the other day, listening once again to Zack’s masterpiece, all the reality of my own life before God and neighbor, and Satan, rushed upon me. I was mesmerized, not at any involvement of my own in all this, but by the fact that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, not to condemn the world but that we might be saved through Him.

All are redeemed. But not all want to be saved. The martyrs, in solidarity with Jesus, their Altar, beg for vengeance from Jesus in heaven:

  • When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the rich and the strong, and every one, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand before it?” (Apocalypse 6:9-17)

Those are the sainted martyrs in heaven asking for vengeance mind you. Jesus agrees with their desire for vengeance, and promises that this will come about.

Are you ready? I’m ready! Jesus has already had vengeance by laying down His life on the Cross. That’s how He conquered, willing standing in our place, Innocent for the guilty, so as to have the right to forgive us, ripping us out of the clutches of Satan and the jaws of hell, so as to bring us through, with and in Himself to heaven.

What hit me the other day is that this isn’t Jesus, the Head of the Body (as Saint Paul describes the Church), but also the members of the Body of Christ with Him, as One, who recite these lyrics.

Before I die alone [My God! My God! Why have you abandoned me? This is a prayer made before the Father. The filial trust of Psalm 22 is so very magnificent.]
Let me have vengeance [What Jesus asks is vengeance over against Satan, who had destroyed everything outside of God but God. The punishment of sin on our part is death. In taking on that death, baiting us cynics to kill Him dead with such goodness and kindness and truth, he fulfilled His own justice, permitting Him to usurp our souls away from Satan. Jesus’ death is vengeance over against Satan.]
Before I die alone
I will have vengeance
Before I die alone
Let me have vengeance [We move from statement “I will” to “Let me”. This is the prayer on the Cross of Jesus.]
Before I die alone
I will have vengeance
Before I die alone
Before my time has gone [Jesus’ time on this earth, the time when He would lay down His life for us…]
There’s just one thing I have to do [Jesus is explaining the situation to us….]
Before the fire and stone [all of hell broken out on Calvary unto the Sepulcher in which Jesus was laid.]
Before your world is gone [our time on this earth…]
Have you some patience [He who endures to the end will be saved…]
Cuz I will have my vengeance [Praise to the Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world.]
Before I die alone
Let me have vengeance
Before my time has gone
I will have vengeance
Before I die alone
Let me have vengeance
Before I die alone
I will have vengeance
Before I die alone
Let me have vengeance
I will have my vengeance
Before your world is gone
Before the fire and stone
Have you some patience
Cuz I will have my vengeance
Before I die alone (Before I die alone)
Before my time has gone (Before my time has gone)
Let me have vengeance
(I will) (I will) I will have vengeance
I will have vengeance

Thank you, Jesus, for having vengeance for us. Thank you, Mary, for being there with Him interceding for us that we might, having been redeemed, will also assent in God’s grace to be saved.

But, as I say, what struck me is that I, we, with Jesus, are saying all this in solidarity with Him over against Satan. I always knew that academically. But it just hit me so very, very personally the other day.

Put another way – I’m confessing my idiocy here – I’ve done plenty of exorcisms over against Satan in Jesus’ Holy Name and with the express mandate of the Church, the exorcism being a sacramental drawing on the merits of Christ and the saints. An exorcism is surely a kind of vengeance, right? An exorcism disestablishes the un-kingdom of Satan and helps to establish the Kingdom of God come among us. But having said that I must confess that only now has our Lord permitted me the tiniest personally felt (NOT that feelings are important!) glimpse into the friendship which He creates, in which He holds us, He having us with Him. This was quite opening up the soul for me.

And, just to say, it was Zack Hemsey’s Vengeance which was an occasion for this to come about. Ha! I love it. Thanks, Zack.

“And a sword your own soul will pierce that the thoughts of many may be revealed…”

This little glimpse of solidarity with Jesus in His vengeance I do not believe can be experienced (to use an inappropriate word) except if we are in solidarity with Mary, who, par excellence, is The Martyr begging our Lord for vengeance. Yes. Someone once asked me if there is a role for Mary that is greater that her motherhood. No, there is not. Mary is the Mother of God, the Mother of this Church Militant, our Mother by her begging for vengeance… now with us begging for vengeance, now that we, by her intercession and her Son’s grace, has become our mother.

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I’M BLEEDING OUT lyrics analysis

You know the Law Enforcement Tribute above dedicated to our finest who place themselves in danger and lay down their lives for our safety. I put it up top of the blog with some frequency. It happens all the time. The song has become a bit of a meme, with the subjects being from the Military or Law Enforcement or the Fire Department…

But what if we were to apply the lyrics to Jesus?

I’m guessing this is not at all in any way whatsoever what the authors intended.

But let’s see what happens… Amazing…

Jesus crucified passion of the christ

I’m bleeding out
If the last thing that I do
Is to bring you down [from our pride]
I’ll bleed out for you [standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty]
So I bear my skin [and get it ripped off with the scourging]
And I count my sins [His sins… are our sins, the punishment for which, death, He takes on so as to have the right in His own justice to forgive us. “Father, forgive them!”]
And I close my eyes
And I take it in
And I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
When the day has come [The “Day of the Lord”]
But I’ve lost my way around [The “Way” has lost His way: the irony points to redemption. Just how many times did our Lord fall while carrying His Cross, that is, our cross, on the way to Calvary. Have you done the Stations of the Cross during this Lent?]
And the seasons stop and hide beneath the ground [Indeed. All of time is drawn into that one “Hour” when our Lord draws all to Himself, so that we might be buried with Him, so as then, in His Triumph over death, over our sin, to rise from the dead to live forever.]
When the sky turns gray [There was, in fact, an eclipse at this time]
And everything is screaming [With all hell broken out on Calvary, literally, the chaos would be, is indescribable.] 
I will reach inside
Just to find my heart is beating [Wow. And Jesus will put Thomas’ hand into His own side so that Thomas might touch the very Heart of God, still beating, risen from the dead, all out of Love for us. “My Lord and my God” said Thomas, no longer doubting, but believing.]
You tell me to hold on
Oh you tell me to hold on [People will surely condemn me for “re-writing” the Lord’s prayer, but what it actually says about the battle on Calvary not with some generic evil but over against The Evil One, is that we are to ask to be delivered, saved from the clutches of Satan (who would have been “our father” instead of our Heavenly Father if we are without the grace of Our Heavenly Father). We are asking quite literally in the Lord’s prayer that Jesus not throw us into the battle (the trial, the “temptation”) alone, but rather that He carry us into the battle, He being our Warrior, our Soldier, only Jesus. And that’s why, dear friends, the Mass was always said, also by the priest, in some places still today, facing Jesus, not “facing the people”. It is Jesus who carries us all into the Sacrifice of the Mass with Himself.]
But innocence is gone
And what was right is wrong [And then we blame Jesus for the hell, blaspheming, saying that it’s all His fault that all hell has broken out, all His fault that we get sick and die and seem to face Satan alone. But, no, it’s not that way. He continues to carry us, trying to open our eyes to see not just the battle, not just Satan, but rather Him, Jesus, rescuing us from Satan. We’re so self-centered. “Woe is me!” we cry. We should instead be in humble thanksgiving as Jesus carries us into the battle. Be not afraid! Jesus is the Victor.]
‘Cause I’m bleeding out
If the last thing that I do
Is to bring you down [from our pride]
I’ll bleed out for you
So I bear my skin
And I count my sins
And I close my eyes
And I take it in
And I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
When the hour is nigh [“The Hour” – the hour of Mary’s intercession as Jesus explained at the Wedding of Cana, drawing an analogy with His own marriage with the Church, giving Himself totally to the Church at the Last Supper with wedding vows fulfilled on Calvary with His bleeding out for us: This is my body given for you in sacrifice, my blood poured out for you in sacrifice…]
And hopelessness is sinking in [Yes, hopeless that His own Mother would be spared witnessing His being tortured to death. This would have hit Him hard in the agony of the garden. This is what He would try to avoid if possible, the hurt He knew His Mother would go through. “Father, Thy will, not mine be done.”]
And the wolves all cry
To feel they’re not worth hollering [Wow. Those words required lots of previous suffering of all kinds to come out like that. Wow. Good for the author of these particular words. Wow. In our sense of worthlessness, we cry about it, and then we strike out.]

When your eyes are red [The Shroud of Turin seems to indicated that the massive thorns from the Crown of Thorns went through His forehead and into His eyes…]
And emptiness is all you know [“My God! My God! Why have you abandoned me?!” Now, go read the rest of Psalm 22 to know what that’s all about. Totally awesome giving love for us in filial trust of His ever listening Heavenly Father.]
With the darkness fed [Satan had full rights over us since we obeyed Satan in our original sin, Adam’s sin, rather than God. Jesus didn’t owe Satan anything as Jesus usurped Satan’s rights over us when He Himself took on the punishment we deserve for sin, which is death. Jesus was fulfilling His own righteousness, with mercy founded on justice, His own justice, He standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty. However, with this, Satan is “fed,” that is, muted, as now Satan can’t complain. Jesus did it for us.]
I will be your scarecrow [Saint Paul speaks of being a fool for Christ’s sake. Jesus makes it seem like He is the criminal for our sake, the One from whom we turn our eyes. But He brings us around. He’s very patient with us.]
You tell me to hold on
Oh you tell me to hold on
But innocence is gone
And what was right is wrong
‘Cause I’m bleeding out
If the last thing that I do
Is to bring you down
I’ll bleed out for you
So I bear my skin
And I count my sins
And I close my eyes
And I take it in
And I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
I’m bleeding out for you
‘Cause I’m bleeding out
If the last thing that I do
Is to bring you down
I’ll bleed out for you
So I bear my skin
And I count my sins
And I close my eyes
And I take it in
And I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you, for you


By Joshua Francis Mosser, Alexander Junior Grant, Benjamin Arthur McKee, Daniel Coulter Reynolds, Daniel Wayne Sermon. Bleeding Out lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group [N.B. I edited out “said” since I couldn’t hear it actually sung, at all, in any of the verses.]

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Extreme Ways (Moby) Lyrics Analysis

[[N.B. These are not necessarily the lyrics claimed by the artist Richard Melville Hall, Moby, that I’ve written out below. The lyrics below are merely what I “heard”. Not necessarily the same thing, but the lyrics, whatever they are, are his copyright. The comments are my personal interpretation, surely not the perspective of Moby. [My comments].]]

Extreme Ways by Moby

Extreme ways are back again [It’s not that they weren’t there all the time. It’s that we didn’t notice them. And then, there they are, in our face. Providence.]
Extreme places I didn’t know [This is a confession, a regret, a call to reform, to come back to reality of the way things are, like a “Vatican Commando!” ;-)]
I broke everything new again
Everything that I’d owned
I threw it out the windows [“I’d owned” = rejection of, in reality, being owned by what one just thought one owned. Brilliant rejection of that rejection. So, out the windows!]
came along extreme ways I know will part
The colors of my sea
All perfect coloring [A reference to Moses at the Exodus at the “Red Sea”, which in all the dark circumstances is about the most colorful place on earth.]

Extreme ways that help me
That help me out late at night [We’re all in darkness, in extreme peripheries, due to our own blindness about where we’re actually at in this world. Providence of extreme ways gets us to recognize what’s going on in the darkness. In that case, that dark night is not to be feared. Providence of extreme ways can handle any extreme places, any extreme worlds where we are at and don’t even know it until extreme ways come along to point the way. Thus:]
Extreme places I had gone
But never seen any light
Dirty basements
Dirty noise
Dirty places coming through
Extreme worlds alone
Did you ever like it then? [Again, this is where we have all been if without extreme ways. We didn’t even know we didn’t like it until extreme ways came along.]

I would stand in line for this
There’s always room in life for this [I laughed out loud when these two lines came along. This is it, exactly. Providence of extreme ways has us face the extreme dark peripheries where we are.]

Oh babe, oh babe [Sorry, but for me in my own little world this is my exclamation to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, to whom, as a priest, I am, as it were, married :-) Perhaps my enthusiasm is unbounded. It is what it is.]
Then it fell apart, it sell apart [“it” = the extreme places and worlds of the darkest of existential peripheries which fall apart upon the entrance of extreme ways. The extreme places and worlds, that is, “it” (as a collective) “sell apart” in that they just prostitute themselves to the next taker.]
Oh babe, oh babe
Then it fell apart, it sell apart [Repeated for the joy of seeing extreme ways smash apart the darkest of existential peripheries.]

Extreme songs [=extreme ways] that told me
They helped me out late at night [so as to face the way things had been up until this time in which extreme ways entered in; what follows is an incredible description of the darkest of existential peripheries. Yikes!]
I didn’t have much to say
I didn’t give up the light
I closed my eyes
I closed myself
I closed my world
And never opened up to anything
That could cut me at all

I had to close down everything
I had to close down my mind
Too many things could cut me
Too much can make me blind
I’ve seen so much in so many places
So many heartaches
So many faces
So many dirty things
You couldn’t even believe [Well put. Yikes! But with all that hell, now extreme ways move in and facing such a hell so as to conquer it with extreme ways is that in which we rejoice:]

I would stand in line for this
There’s always room in life for this [Again, I laughed out loud when these two lines came along. This is it, exactly. Providence of extreme ways has us face the extreme dark peripheries where we are.]

Oh babe, oh babe
Then it sell apart, it sell apart
Oh babe, oh babe
Then it fell apart, it sell apart [Up to now, this song has concentrated on one’s own self being rescued by extreme ways entering in. But now the emphasis, rightly, is immediately put on all others. Firstly, it’s an appeal to the listener, who is directly addressed. The singer wants help, and now points to those who have been just like him. He’s been rescued but he wants help in rescuing others, especially in the face of nobody caring at all about those still in the darkest of existential peripheries… This is gripping:]

Can you see my people?
Can you see what I mean?
Can you see my people?
Can you see what I mean?
Oh nobody cares
Oh nobody cares
Oh nobody cares [Kudos to Moby.]
If we’re living here [In solidarity, he stays with those suffering, but with great enthusiasm:]

Oh babe, oh babe
Then it fell apart, it sell apart
Oh babe, oh babe
Then it fell apart, it sell apart
Oh babe, oh babe
Then it fell apart, it sell apart
Oh babe, oh babe [This is completely justified triumphalism. I love it. I absolutely love it.]
Like it fell the stars, fell the stars [This is a direct reference to the fallen angels. Moby, for all his eclectic searching going on, knows Scripture pretty well and is most at home with Christianity. I’d love to have a discussion with him offline about how mercy is based on justice and what Jesus is on about, who Jesus really is as the Providence of Extreme Ways in the darkness leading us into solidarity and goodness and kindness.]

===========

Anyway, thanks for that Moby. Really cool. I hope you don’t mind my commentary.

Thank you.

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