The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
Fri., Jan. 13. 2023 10:31pm EST
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our first single of 2023:
OVER THE HILL
I got the idea for this one on May 26, 2022. All I had were the lines that contained "over the hill" in the first and third verse, but those were enough for me to know the rest would come with time. The first half of the first verse came to me on Christmas Eve while walking around Ross Park Mall and doing some last-minute shopping.
I finished the lyrics the day after New Year's. Or so I thought. Replacement words and lines kept popping into my head unbidden up till the day I finally sang it in the studio, January 6, 2023. I was satisfied with the lyrics before I got the later additions, but I liked the edits even more.
The day before that vocal session, it hit me: "Man, 40 years ago, I was in a car with my first girlfriend and her family, listening to this tune when it was brand new." Well, our song is about aging, after all.
When I sent Rich Mannion my lyrics, he texted, "Feeling old lately or did it just fit what you were trying to get across?" I replied, "I started feeling old in my 30s when I first saw gray hairs and noticed I couldn't just eat anything I wanted anymore."
After we released this single, my friend David Michael sent me a blurb about the oldest living man in America and said, "He just turned 112 — so almost double your age. You may not be so old after all."
Yes, my face, hair, and body remind me of my mortality, but the key lines in this song are "but night after night, my heart seems more sincere" and "Lord, my biggest aspiration is trying to walk more straight toward my destination."
SOMETHING GOES WRONG
So many times, when I work on a parody, I find myself experiencing something having to do with the lyrics. Consequently, I was a little paranoid about recording a song called "Something Goes Wrong." Maybe that's why I waited over five years to write the words after getting the title on May 11, 2017.
Nah, I knew we'd do to it eventually. I finally wrote the rest in mid-December 2022 and recorded my vocals on December 23.
"Something goes wrong" isn't a phrase you want going through your brain as the holidays approach, but I was trying to convey that it's often darkest right before the dawn. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).
To me, the most extreme example of that would be Christ's crucifixion ... the world at its worst ... an event we now commemorate as Good Friday ... with good reason.
At first, the opening line was "Stuff that makes you weak can make you stronger, brother," but I figured most of us have heard that to the point where it's almost a cliche, so I changed it to "Stuff that makes you weak can you make you strong for others." That alludes to one of my favorite passages:
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).