The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #14
Sat., Aug. 6. 2022 6:32pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our 14th single of 2022:
I THINK WE'RE IN ROME NOW
I wrote much of the first verse and chorus for this parody in 2011, but I may have had the title and theme as early as 1999 or 2000. I wrote the second verse and added a new line to the chorus on July 3, 2022, while driving with my family to visit my in-laws in Kentucky. Ironically, there is a Rome KY, but we did not pass through it, even though we drove the length of the state.
Rome is in the northwest portion (near Owensboro KY and Evansville IN), and we were traveling to the southwest corner, not far from the borders of Illinois, Tennessee, and Missouri. Wow, I just checked, and there's also a Rome in all three of those states, too ... and a Rome in Pennsylvania, where we started, and a Rome in West Virginia and Ohio, the two other states we traveled through. No wonder they say all roads lead to Rome. I guess that's appropriate, since the title of the parody is "I Think We're in Rome Now."
My had a Caesar salad when we went out to eat while we were there, too. If I had my choice between an endless Caesar-salad bar or a huge stack of pepperoni pies, I'd be strongly leaning toward the tower of pizza. Seriously, though, I was excited to finally have a song about the last two chapters of the Acts of the Apostles.
I'd been telling my oldest daughter, Janna, for years that I thought she'd do a great job singing it. Turns out I was right. Meanwhile, she told me her sister Heather would sound great on the backing vocals, and she was right about that.
JESUS (SERMON ON THE MOUNT) (2022)
July 13, 2022, was the second time we've had three ApX daughters in the studio to sing together. The first was for "Bought By the Egyptians," in December 2015, with my oldest daughter, Janna, and Keith Haynie's two daughters, Sarah and Abby. For "Jesus (Sermon on the Mount)," Sarah couldn't make it, but Janna and Abby returned, along with my second-oldest daughter, Heather, who is about the same age as (slightly older, in fact) Janna and Abby were then.
Come to think of it, the first time ApX recorded this parody, back in December 1992, I was 28, just a couple years older than Janna and Abby are now! In '92, we were spoofing The Shocking Blue's original version of "Venus." It was sung by a woman, too, — a Dutch vocalist named Mariska Veres — but she had a huskier voice, so I could get away with doing the vocals. Besides, none of our daughters existed yet!
We redid it in December '98, too, but Janna and Abby were toddlers, and Heather was several years away from entering this world. I changed some of the lyrics in 2022 to make them rhyme better with the way the British ladies of Bananarama (Sara Dallin, Keren Woodward, and Siobhan Fahey) sang.
The voices of Janna, Heather, and Abby blended so well; I'd expect that from Janna and Heather, since they're sisters, but Abby's voice sounds very natural with theirs. Then again, they've known each other all their lives, and we Jacksons have always considered the Haynies to be family.