Stories Behind This Week's Single, Pt. 1
Wed., Mar. 13. 2019 9:53pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Shortly after we announced our new song "Mephibosheth" on Facebook, longtime ApX fan Curt Sweitzer posted this on the band's page:
"J. Jackson has done it again! He has put out a song that makes me get out my Bible reference books in order to figure out who this person is in this new song. Don't remember this name in my Bible reading."
That's so good to hear, Curt! I first got the idea for "Mephibosheth" in 2006. I'd known about the guy for a lot longer than that, but the parody grew out of a response I used to give when people would ask me how we got ideas for songs. I'd explain that there are three basic ways:
1. You're not thinking of anything at all and God just pops an idea in your head.
2. You've got a song in mind and you're looking for biblical concepts/characters that rhyme with that song's key words.
3. You've got a biblical concept/character, and you're looking for a song with words that rhyme with it. "For example," I'd say, "what rhymes with Mephibosheth?" I'd do that for comedic effect, and it usually got good laughs.
Then, one day, I realized that a song about Mephibosheth would work really well with a certain #4 hit Elton John released in 1974. I got the chorus first, but I also focused on Elton's opening line, "I was justified when I was five." I thought to myself, "Hey, didn't Mephibosheth get dropped when he was five?" Sure enough, he did. And off we went.
I'd always loved the sound of Elton's original song, but never felt too comfortable singing it, even before I was a born-again Christian. In fact, in Christmas 1977, my neighbors gave me a gift certificate for a free album at a local record store -- it would be the first album I ever purchased for myself -- and I almost bought Elton John's Greatest Hits Volume 2.
The aforementioned album had just been released a few months earlier. But I didn't buy it, because that was the opening track and it had a swear word in it. I know there are worse words in this world, and I don't think British people even treat it as a swear word, but that's why I hesitated.
That may sound kind of lame to some of you, but we wound up writing our parody of said song about a Bible character who was lame instead. And now, to paraphrase Sir Elton himself, said song says so much. :)
BTW, I used that gift certificate to buy Endless Summer by The Beach Boys, but I eventually did buy that Elton album, and we've now done the first two tracks on it. The second song was "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," which we spoofed as "L.S.F." in July 2018.
Nevertheless, I guess it was providential that I bought Endless Summer first, because we got five spoofs out of that album, including "Help Me Rhoda," "John 1:1," "Crowd of Foreign Girls," "Search and You'll Get Saved," and "Servin' the Father."