Tuesday, April 26, 2011

“Love’s in a Name”

“Love’s in a Name”

August 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/4791663 click for a mult-track version of “Love’s in a Name”
TheosAgapeEstin - God is Love

This one got written when I was working at EMC in Hopkinton. I remember singing it at the top of my lungs in the parking garage there. {That seems to be a pattern, this “singing at the top of my lungs” business, doesn’t it?} When you look at the lyrics, someone would have to wonder where this is coming from: “the world is falling apart; everyone is so cold of heart”. When we were practicing this, I used to joke, “Come on, everybody, sing along, everybody sing! the world is falling apart come on, join in…” [The answer, of course, is in the chorus: “all we’ve got to do is love”].

The time was 1991 and Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait. Forces were arrayed en masse getting ready for an invasion. At work and elsewhere everyone around me was going crazy. Some literally said they expected the world to end or we were all going to die, there would be a nuclear blast, etc. It was similar to the year 2000 mania a few years later, but I think it was worse. So much was unknown.

Things like this always make me think of one thing my mother told me. She said the nun used to ask the class, “If you knew the world was going to end tomorrow, what would you do,” and all the kids would give outlandish answers, maybe trying to impress the sister with how pious they were. Then she would say, “Well, shouldn’t you do what you always do every day? You should live each day in a simple way that your conscience is clear and you’ll always be ready.” What a great lesson. Jesus said all the Law was summed up in two of the many laws in the Law: love God and love your neighbor. Paul said “Love is the fulfillment of the law”. If we can just learn that simplest of attitudes, agape love, charity for others, we’ll be just fine because “the heart of the Lord is mercy” and “God is love”.

This song became a standard for our concerts in the early ‘90’s, but the high point was the multi-track recording we did of it at Sons of Mary. Greg Loell was taking lessons on how to ‘fashion’ a guitar lead and it shows in this one. Further, that seamless transition from the end of the lead into the reprise of the chorus after the lead is pretty darn good; Greg once said he wasn’t sure that he could do it exactly like that again. Strong group vocals are going on in this song, too. I loved how Dave sang the lead on that “we are just a clanging gong” line; don’t you love it? “ Loooooove! Looooove! Loooooove!” is a subtle homage to the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love”. The title is playing with that saying, ‘what’s in a name’ and implying that His Holy Name is ALL about that agape love thing.

If only everyone loved enough that everyone felt the reality of that unending mercy of the Lord. Think of how much that could help things. We wouldn’t get so hung up about what evil or insane thing just happened now, like with Saddam in 1991. Agape love is something EVERYONE can and should do.

Peace that passes understanding!

Mark L.