#387: The Song “Our God Is Good”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #387, on the subject of The Song “Our God Is Good”.

I think I must have started writing this in the summer of 1986.  I remember being out in the yard at our Carney’s Point Manor Avenue home singing the two choruses and figuring out how they fit together.  I feel like I had this partial song, including the background music, for months without any progress.

Then we started into the 1988 Presidential Election race, and, wow, did that give me ideas.

1987 Democratic Presidential Primary Candidates, left to right:
Senator (later Vice President) Al Gore,
Representative Richard Gephardt,
Governor Michael Dukakis,
Senator (later Vice President and now President) Joe Biden,
Reverend Jesse Jackson,
Governor Bruce Babbitt,
and Senator Paul Simon.

For those who do not remember the race, there were more candidates vying for the office than you can easily remember.  Ronald Reagan was ending his second term, and it was not entirely clear that the party was going to support his Vice President George (Herbert Walker) Bush to replace him.  Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Senator Gary Hart seemed to be the frontrunner.

Then Hart perhaps stupidly challenged the media to prove their allegations that he was having an affair–and they did.  Hart dropped out of the race before our accompanying photo was taken.

Joe Biden was knocked out of the race for being a chronic plagiarist and liar.  On the Republican side, it was uncovered that Christian Broadcasting Network president and 700 Club host Reverend Pat Robertson’s wife was pregnant before they were married.  Candidates were dropping like flies.

Former President Richard Milhouse Nixon once said that it was the job of the media to examine all politicians with a microscope, but in his case they used a proctoscope.

As I reflected on all this, it struck me that people expected our government leaders to be above reproach, but that we as people were not.  From that I constructed the verses, recalling those three specific cases, and challenging that if we want moral leaders we need to be moral people.

This recording features four vocals over midi instruments.  I had envisioned a fifth voice, a bass vocal beneath the second chorus, but was concerned that it would interfere with the bass guitar part so I didn’t attempt it.  I wrote it for piano, and then figured out how to play it on guitar, but the bass part was always part of the music.  I ranked the song twenty-third for quality of words and music, fifteenth for performance and recording, as it was well done; it just made Tristan’s list, tied for fifteenth, and so tied for twenty-second with last month’s song.  (The rating system is explained in connection with the first song, linked below.)

Our God Is Good.

So here are the words:

Our God is good.
Our God is good.
Our God is good.
Our God is good.

What does it matter, telling little lies?
Who’s ever hurt by words we plagiarize?
Hypocrites do these things ‘most ev’ry day,
But make our leaders care for what they say.

Our God is good.
Our God is good.
Our God is good.
Our God is good.

Ev’ryone wants to have a little fling.
Brief infidelities don’t mean a thing.
But when a leader does it, it’s a crime.
We crucify our leaders ev’ry time.

Only the Lord alone is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.

Past indiscretions all should be forgot’–
Put them behind you.  But the world will not,
For ev’ry leader’s life’s an open book.
Open the pages; come and take a look.

Our God is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.
Our God is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.
Our God is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.
Our God is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.

We are the people–people, “they” are we.
All that we are is what our leaders be.
How can a leader be a moral man?
He can be only what the people can.

Our God is good.
Our God is good.
Our God is good.
Our God is good.

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

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:  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”

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