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 #16
Thu., Sep. 1. 2022 3:27pm EDT

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

Here are the stories behind the songs on our 16th single of 2022:

REBUILD THIS CITY

The chorus and most of the first verse for "Rebuild This City" came to me in September 2017. I loved the concept but didn't know how we were going to pull it off musically. Rich Mannion solved much of that problem by providing all the keyboards and electronic drum-programming. He also helped with mapping out the harmonies. Tom Tincha supplied the guitars, and my daughter Heather sang the female vocals.

I'm really glad we got a chance to tell this great Bible story of predictive prophecy and promise fulfillment. It's so incredible how the LORD called Cyrus by name and announced that he'd be the one who would order the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its temple (Isaiah 44:28-45:13) approximately 200 years before it actually happened ... at a time when the original city and temple were still standing, well over a century away from destruction!

Think about that for a minute: Cyrus wasn't a Jew or an Israelite. He was the king of Persia, named by pagan parents unfamiliar with Old Testament prophetic writings, so it wasn't like they chose his name in hopes that it would give him a divine destiny. Only God could do that.

Meanwhile, over a century after Isaiah's time, the LORD declared through Jeremiah that He would bring His people back to their homeland once 70 years of captivity in Babylon were completed (Jeremiah 29:10) ... also before Jerusalem had fallen in the first place. As Jefferson Starship themselves sang, "If only you'd believe in miracles ..."

ALL THAT STUFF'S IN THERE TO REMIND ME

I got the title for this one in the first half of March 2021 but didn't know what it was going to be about until the second half of July 2022. It wasn't like I was stymied ... just hadn't given it much thought ... but once we commited to record the song, the lyrics came together quickly. I started writing them on July 26 and was in the studio singing them on August 3!

I didn't set out to write it about attending church — I actually have an idea for a different song on that topic that I've been wanting to do since January 2017 — but the first lines I got (aside from the title line) seemed to be leading me in that direction. And then I remembered the chimes in the intro and outro of the song, which have always made me think of church bells, and that clinched the deal.

Hey, I just realized: Maybe all that stuff (i.e. the chimes) was in there to remind me of church when I finally wrote the words. You never know; God could have a zillion reasons for everything He does, even if the overwhelming majority of them are not visible to the naked eye.

The key verses for this parody are: Hebrews 10:25, which talks about "not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some": Psalm 122:1, where David says, "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the LORD'"; and Matthew 18:20, where Jesus says, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."

The key musician for this parody was Rich Mannion, who supplied all the instruments and the backing vocals.