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JFH Song Lyrics

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07. Wake Up Sleeper

Ghosts Upon The Earth
by Gungor


Rejoice all you who are poor
The kingdom is yours
The kingdom is yours
Rejoice you jaded and torn
Both sinner and saint
The kingdom is yours

woe to you religious teachers
Rich and worshiping your book
woe to you who use His name to justify the souls you took

Wake up, wake up
Oh sleeper from the dead
Wake up
Rejoice you lonely and lost
You sick and despised
All will be made right
Rejoice you cynics and freaks
Those searching for peace
All will be made right

Even you religious teachers
Separating us from them
Heaven’s found inside us all
So turn and come alive again

Wake up…

Awaken us, awaken us
Open our eyes and wake us
(let your church now wake up)

Behind the Song:
Just when you thought you may have the album figured out… Come on, we are Gungor; we need to keep you guessing! While the last song dealt with seeing the downfalls of our religious powers and institutions, yet remaining free from darkness and cynicism, this song addresses those shortcomings a bit more directly. After all, Jesus wasn’t simply all about just telling everyone to get along. He directly confronted the powers of his age, sometimes with the prophetic fury of acts like physically throwing their tables over in the Temple.

This song puts music to that side of Jesus’ message. When Jesus spoke most of his nice, comforting words like “blessed are the poor”… or “don’t worry about tomorrow”, etc., he was primarily talking to a group of people on the underside of power. He was talking to the poor. To those who had fallen short in their weaknesses, Jesus said things like “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.”

But he wasn’t always so gracious toward those with power and religious authority. He would say “Woe to you Pharisees…you whitewashed tombs…you brood of vipers” and so on. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day worshiped a religious system, a book, or a law more than they did the very Spirit of God. They worshiped their own place and thoughts and understandings of God rather than simply worshiping God. This seemed to infuriate Jesus.

In my opinion, this hasn’t changed much. Much of the Christian world right now worships the Bible more than it worships God. If you go to the website of a typical protestant, evangelical church right now, there’s a good chance that under the belief section you will come across the Bible before you come across any language about Jesus. You will probably find more theology about what you need to do to go to Heaven than you will about following the teachings of Jesus, or the Kingdom of God, or anything like that.

I feel like much of modern American Christianity should actually change its name to something else, maybe something like Bible-anity. As a whole, we’re rich, we’re arrogant, we’re judgmental and we’re dead inside. Sounds like the Pharisees to me.

This song is a call to repentance, a call to wake up. It’s an invitation to join the poor and the sinner and the broken once again that we may come alive and join with God again.

Musically, this song is a bit aggressive as well. The song starts with the friendliness of the beatitudes towards the poor and oppressed, and the folk instruments do well to compliment that message to me. Banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, fiddle… the kind of stereotypical instruments of common, simple folks, people that are blessed and loved by God. Than the angst starts building in the pre-chorus as the time signature changes to 7/8. It opens up to a yell, “wake up!”

As the band builds and the song becomes more layered and complicated, the desperation for things to change is heightened. Finally, right when it appears we’ve hit the ceiling musically, we bring in the synth bass. It’s interesting to note that as grand as these sections become, that there is no electric guitar involved. Once again I resisted the temptation to take the easy way of rocking out. Instead I experimented with different textures; for instance, a flute going through my pedal board. I distorted it and added tremolo and other love on it, so it kind of sounds like an electric guitar, but it’s actually just a sweet, plump, middle-aged lady from Colorado playing a crazy flute part with not nearly enough spaces for a breath. She was winded by the end.

-- Gungor




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