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Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
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The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Third Single
Fri., Mar. 26. 2021 6:54pm EDT

J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.

Here are the stories behind the songs on our third single of 2021:

DIE WITHOUT HIS GRACE

I wrote the chorus for "Die Without His Grace" so long ago I can't even remember when. The 1990's, perhaps? I started working on it again in April 2011, adding the first verse, as a possible piece of the 80's Medley on Wise Up and Rock.

Obviously, we didn't use it, so I set this spoof aside till February 2021, when Rich and I were seeking songs he could program electronic drums for, since Jimmy was working on his new studio and couldn't record complex drums there yet.

Although Jimmy didn't play drums on "Die Without His Grace," he still engineered the recording and provided the vibraslap sound that is heard throughout. His wife Eve, did the excellent female vocals in the chorus.

The original words were "les yeux sans visage," which is French for "the eyes without face." When the song was a hit back in '84, I'd initially thought Billy Idol's back-ups were singing "precious are these eyes."

Unfortunately, translating "We'd die without His grace" into French as "Nous mourrions sans sa grāce," wouldn't have fit the syllabic structure of the original or sounded much like it, so I spoofed what I'd thought it sounded like in the first place.

Tom Tincha and Keith provided the guitars and bass on "Die Without His Grace," as they also did on the second song on this week's single:

ELI'S CALLIN'

I got the idea and title for "Eli's Callin" in January 2020. I'd long wanted to do a parody about God calling Samuel as a prophet in 1 Samuel 3. Then, in June 2020, we released "Don't You Want the Baby," about Hannah praying for a son and later bringing her boy Samuel to Eli to live at the temple.

That covered 1 Samuel 1-2. Three months after that, we released "Hey Philistines," about the events in 1 Samuel 4-6. So I was eager to do "Eli's Callin'" and connect those two other songs with one about 1 Samuel 3.

I wasn't eager to try to replicate the sound of "Eli's Comin'" by Three Dog Night, though. I love that tune and that band, but those guys (Cory Wells, Danny Hutton, and Chuck Negron) were amazing singers, and there's so much going on vocally and lyrically.

Nevertheless, I knew we had a great title, a great story to tell, and great musicians to replicate the music. More importantly, I knew we serve a God who is greater than any challenges we would face. And you know what Three Dog Night said: The show must go on!

On songs like this, I'm especially thankful that I'm not a one-man band. Hearing the finished recording after all that was a real cause to celebrate.