The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
Sat., Feb. 12. 2022 4:13pm EST
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our second single of 2022:
I'M TOO STRESSED
Before I go any further, I want to stress that this song is not making fun of people who are truly in stressful situations. It's about folks who use stress as an excuse for bad behavior and Christians who complain about their situations but claim to be too stressed or busy to pray, read the Bible, or fellowship with other believers.
Without those things to help us, stress can lead anyone to fret. But the Bible says, "Do not fret — it leads only to evil" (Psalm 37:8b). It reminds me a little of those commercials that show somebody acting unreasonably until he or she is given a Snickers bar. And then the voiceover says: "You're not you when you're hungry." The same thing goes for stressed-out people who won't give themselves or their situations over to God.
You know how "method actors" will deliberately try to live their lives like the characters they are playing in order to give their performances an added air of authenticity? Well, I've never endeavored to become a "method lyricist," but there are many times I'll be writing a song about some topic and then I'll experience things pertaining to it.
For example, the morning I had to go into the studio to sing "I'm Too Stressed," I discovered that my house's basement had flooded. Meanwhile, there were a multitude of other technical difficulties behind the scenes while we were recording and mixing this song that forced us to release the single it was on a week later than we'd planned.
But all's well that ends well. Right said, Fred?
THE GIVER OF DREAMS
"The Giver of Dreams" is the third parody we've released about Joseph and Pharaoh, after "Somebody Sold Me" (2006) and "Bought by the Egyptians" (2016). This song takes a slightly different approach than the other two, because it largely looks at things from Pharaoh's perspective.
I actually wrote it sometime between '95 and '97, and the words are probably somewhere between 95 to 97 percent the same as they were back then. I just tweaked a few here and there. ApX alumnus Bob Flaherty, who was our drummer at the time, really liked this parody and reminded me about it periodically over the years, so if you like it, too, you can thank him.
You can also thank Rich Mannion, who played the keyboards, sang all the backing vocals, and programmed the electronic drums ... although Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner also played real drums on the track. Tom Tincha did the guitars, and George Elliott supplied that super-snuggly bass part.
I guess it's appropriate that it took about a quarter of a century before God brought my dreams for this parody to fruition. After all, Joseph had to wait almost as many years for his own dreams to come true. He was 17 when his brothers sold him (Genesis 37:2) and 30 when he entered Pharaoh's service (Genesis 41:46).
Then there were seven years of plenty and two years of famine (Genesis 45:6) before his brothers bowed down to him. So that's a total of 22 years. Maybe we should have spoofed a different Billy Joel song, "The Longest Time."