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 Single #8
Sat., May. 14. 2022 12:12am EDT

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

Here are the stories behind the songs on our eighth single of 2022:

ACTS 20

I got the idea for this parody on February 17, 2022, while listening to a Southern-rock playlist I'd made a number of years ago. "Black Betty" by Ram Jam came on, which is kind of funny, since that band was actually from Long Island NY, which isn't really southern ... unless you live in New England or Canada.

However, "Black Betty" is a song that dates back to the 1930's, and it's often attributed to the American folk and blues singer Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, who was born in Louisiana and grew up in Texas. Some people may mistakenly assume "Black Betty" has racist connotations, but Lead Belly was African American himself, and folk-music historians say "Black Betty" was a common term that could refer to a bottle of whiskey, a prison whip, or a penitentiary transfer wagon (a.k.a. "Black Maria").

I don't know for sure, but I can tell you that "Acts 20" refers to an accident and subsequent miracle involving a sleepy young man named Eutychus and a loquacious Apostle named Paul at a Sunday-night church service in the ancient Greek city of Troas (located near the northern tip of Turkey's western coast) in Acts 20:7-12.

We've told the story before from the perspective of Eutychus in our parody "Listenin' After Midnight," but this time it's a narrative. The name Eutychus means "fortunate" or "lucky." But, as I often say (and this story proves), who needs good luck when you've got the good Lord?

IMAGINE HOW HE LOVES US

On January 25, 2022, I got an email from a fan asking if we'd ever considered spoofing "Spooky" by Atlanta Rhythm Section. Although I like that song (and the original version by Classics IV), I replied, "If we do ARS, we'd more likely do 'Imaginary Lover' (I was thinking about that one recently) "

I just had a hunch that "Imaginary Lover" would lend itself well to a parody. Sure enough, two days later, I got the lines "Imagine how He loves us" and "Imagine how He suffered." It was hard choosing between the two ... until I realized I didn't have to. Both lines play important roles in the lyrics and are used multiple times.

The Bible shows that if our imaginations aren't in tune with God, we're embracing futility. Psalm 2:1 (KJV) asks, "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?" In "Imaginary Lover," the lyrics describe fantasy partners who "never turn you down, "never disagree," and "always care." It's difficult, if not impossible, to find somebody like that in real life (particularly someone who never disagrees), but God's love and plans for us exceed both our expectations and imaginations.

As it says in Ephesians 3:20 (NIV), He "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine." Furthermore, 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT) says, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." Ultimately, though we don't have to imagine how He loves us, because John 3:16 spells it out. But you know that verse already, don't you?