Chapter 5, Accounting for Taste
This quote reminded me of a comment from Alfonso about his friend who didn’t like a painting. His father told him to stand in front of a masterpiece until he appreciated it. The problem wasn’t with the painting. I wish I could find the comment – it was a great story.
Isn’t it, um, ironic, that the overly sweet (sentimentality) can make things rotten? Sort of like Mountain Dew and teeth. We’ve been conditioned to judge something by how it makes us feel instead of by objective standards. Take Debbie Boone’s song You Light Up My Life which ends with the words, “It can’t be wrong, when it feels so right.” Am I the only one who grimaces when hearing those words?
Chapter 6, Better to Receive
The final footnote about pop music’s limited emotional palette struck a chord with me. Here is the sentence from the text, followed by the footnote:
Well, you know funeral music is my thing. And when I read this my head bobbed up and down in agreement. Then I started to think. The most notable exception to this footnote is the modern hymn In Christ Alone. I can think of a few others that are sure to bring tears, but occupy the suburbs of Sentimental. Can you recommend some good, modern songs to sing at a funeral?
Give me the robust, sinewy lyrics of older songs.
spreading his wings to o’ershade thee!
Whate’er my God ordains is right: Though now this cup, in drinking,
May better seem to my faint heart, I take it, all unshrinking.
My God is true; each morn anew Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.
Jesus! what a help in sorrow! While the billows o’er me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking, He, my comfort, helps my soul.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be,
And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
And through eternity I’ll sing on.