464: The Song “The Secret”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #464, on the subject of The Song “The Secret”.

I sing this song from time to time in my solo concerts, but not that often–people just don’t seem to get it.

I remember that the first person for whom I sang it was Jeff Zurheide, in Evans Hall at Gordon College, so it must have been 1975 or 6, not later than 78.  He stared at me, and said that he thought I was going to end by saying that if you couldn’t do all those things just ask Jesus and he’ll help you do them.  That, of course, is not how it ends.  I played it some time later for Phil Keaggy, who was not really expecting someone to walk up to him after a concert carrying a guitar and singing a song, and all he said was it was interesting.

It comes from a silly saying, that there are two ways to get to heaven.  One was to be sinlessly perfect your entire life, and the other was the right way.  That’s what I wanted to capture with this.

This is another vocals-over-midi-instruments recording.  Although it sounds as if the eleventh and twelfth commandments are the two given as the most important by Jesus, they were references to two commandments I’d heard in my teens, Thou shalt not hassle and Thou shalt not sweat.  There actually were scripture references to support those, but I’m not sure what they were.  The point was to make the requirements seem as impossible to keep as they are.  Someone commented that they appreciated the shift near the end from the “never” rules to the “always” rules, that more was required than simply refraining from evil, that some positive good was part of it.

The Secret.

So here are the lyrics.

Everybody wants to know the secret;
Ev’ryone is looking for a way.
People tell us how to get to heaven,
But they disagree in what they say.

Some men say sincerity
Will pay the price of liberty,
But people make mistakes when they’re sincere.
Some men tell you to believe
Anything you do believe,
But that doesn’t seem to be quite clear.

I’ve waded through the answers;
I’ve found the one that’s true,
So if you’ll stop and listen,
I’ll pass it on to you.

God expects perfection from your birth until your death.
This is all you really have to do:
Keep your whole life perfect with your ev’ry passing breath.
This is what the Lord expects of you:

Keep the ten commandments, the eleventh, and the twelfth;
Love the Lord above all else,
And love your neighbor as yourself,
Show kindness to your enemy,
And give to all abundantly.
Never hate a man, never tell a lie,
Never doubt the truth, never question why,
Always bear the pain, always take the time,
Always keep the law, always stay in line.
Then perhaps you’ll make it to his throne;
Then perhaps you’ll make it on your own.

But if you’ve any trouble, there’s a better way:
Turn around and give your life to Christ,
And God will touch you with His power, and starting from that day
He’ll give to you a brand new kind of life.

Yes, if you’ve any trouble, there’s a better way:
Turn around and give your life to Christ,
And God will touch you with His power, and starting from that day
He’ll give to you a brand new kind of life.


Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal” | #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods” | #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe” | #320:  The Song “Free” | #322:  The Song “Voices” | #326:  The Song “Mountain, Mountain” | #328:  The Song “Still Small Voice” | #334:  The Song “Convinced” | #337:  The Song “Selfish Love” | #340:  The Song “A Man Like Paul” | #341:  The Song “Joined Together” | #346:  The Song “If We Don’t Tell Them” | #349: The Song “I Can’t Resist You’re Love” | #353:  The Song “I Use to Think” | #356:  The Song “God Said It Is Good” | #362:  The Song “My Life to You” | #366:  The Song “Sometimes” | #372:  The Song “Heavenly Kingdom” | #378:  The Song “A Song of Joy” | #382:  The Song “Not Going to Notice” | #387:  The Song “Our God Is Good” | #393:  The Song “Why” | #399:  The Song “Look Around You” | #404:  The Song “Love’s the Only Command” | #408:  The Song “Given You My Name” | #412:  The Song “When I Think” | #414:  The Song “You Should Have Thanked Me” | #428:  The Song “To the Victor” | #433:  The Song “From Job” | #436:  The Song “Trust Him Again” | #438:  The Song “Even You” | #441:  The Song “Fork in the Road” | #442:  The Song “Call to Worship” | #445:  The Song “How Many Times” | #447:  The Song “When I Was Lonely” | #450:  The Song “Rainy Days” | #453:  The Song “Never Alone” | #455:  The Song “King of Glory” | #457:  The Song “Greater Love” | #458:  The Song “All I Need” | #462:  The Song “John Three”

Next song: In a Mirror Dimly

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