The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Sixth Single
Thu., May. 6. 2021 5:26pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our sixth single:
WHERE'S TEN GIRLS?
This parody is based on a parable Jesus told in Matthew 25:1-13. Unlike "The Prodigal Son" and "The Good Samaritan," it goes by a number of names. Wikipedia refers to it as "The Parable of the Ten Virgins, also known as the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins or the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids." We allude to it in our song "Parable Guy" in the line "The Lord just catches them off guard and leaves them virgins in the dark the day the groom arrives."
If you're familiar with the story, the meaning of the title (and the choruses) is that there should have been 10 girls waiting as bridesmaids when the groom arrived, but there were only five, because the other five didn't have enough oil in their lamps. The point is that we should be live as though Christ could come back at any time, but we should prepare for the long haul in case He tarries. Hence the line, "And let's be ready and let's be patient."
I got the title and chorus on March 12, 2021. The rest of the lyrics took about a month and a half to get just right. One thing I noticed while writing them is that this parable comes immediately after the Lord's detailed description of the last days in Matthew 24.
Rich Mannion did all the instrumentation on the recording. Though he did not play drums, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner did provide the background noises. However, the high heels you hear walking at the beginning are neither him nor his wife, Eve. It's an effect he added, literally one step at a time.
St. Elmo's Fire was one of my favorite flicks in college, although I first heard the song (and loved it and bought the single) about nine months before seeing the movie. I was getting ready to graduate, so its theme of recent college grads coping with the real world hit home. Near the end of the film, Rob Lowe's character (Billy Hicks) tells Demi Moore's character (Jules Van Patten), "Hey, it's our time on the edge." I quoted that line repeatedly to my roommate, Lance, to the point of annoyance.
These days, for those of us who are believers, it seems like it's our time on the edge, too. That's what this parody is about. I got the initial idea and some of the key lines on a family road trip to the Columbus Zoo on Easter Saturday 2021. The eight people named in the first verse are all of the writers of the New Testament, aside from the anonymous author of Hebrews.
When I got the line "You'll find you're not alone in the theater of pain," I liked it, because it suggests the harsh realities of life and also the Roman Colosseum to me. And, of course, Mötley Crüe. Then I thought, "I'm pretty sure the Crüe album and the John Parr song both came out in the summer of 1985. Wouldn't it be crazy if it was basically at the same time?" So I checked. Theater of Pain was released on June 21, and "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)" was released on June 23!
Fun fact: John Parr released his own rewrite of this song in 2012 — "Tim Tebow's Fire," about the famous Christian quarterback.