The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
Tue., Jan. 24. 2023 12:59pm EST
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our second single of 2023:
A WIDER SHAPE OF WHALE
I'd never considered spoofing Procol Harum until January 3, 2023. Rich Mannion had been asking me what I wanted him to work on next. I have a huge playlist of potential songs but decided to look for a few fresh ideas, so I pulled out a playlist of #5 hits (I have lists of songs that went to #1, #2, #3, and #4, too).
As soon as I heard "A Whiter Shade of Pale," I thought, "I bet Rich would like this," since it was inspired by a couple classical Bach pieces and has a prog-rock feel. I sent it to him with some other possibilities and wasn't surprised when he replied, "Pretty sure I could do everything on this amazing song."
I got the parody title two days later. I liked it but was a little hesitant, since we'd already done four songs about Jonah. Then I realized we could write this one from the perspective of a crew member on the ship Jonah took to Tarshish (although he never made it).
Interestingly, Procol Harum had songs called "Whaling Stories" and "Wreck of the Hesperus" ... and an album called A Salty Dog. Moreover, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" even mentions "feeling kinda seasick." So they seemed suitable for a nautical novelty song. If we had done this about Moby Dick, it could have been "A Whiter Shade of Whale."
Yes, I know Jonah was thrown into the Mediterranean Sea, not the ocean, but it's a big body of water (970,000 square miles with an average depth of 4,900 feet) and is connected to the Atlantic Ocean in Spain, where many believe Tarshish was located.
SAD TODAY IN THE DARK
I sang a live version of this parody with my old church's worship team in 2013, but we didn't get to practice beforehand as much as I would have liked nor were we set up to record it through the mixing board. Ten years later, ApX finally was able to produce a nice studio version. Rich Mannion did all the instrumentation, aside from Tom Tincha on guitars.
Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" (Luke 18:17). As a father of five, I can confirm that little children don't like the dark. It makes them sad. Consequently, they love it when you turn a light on for them.
Speaking of children and light, the Apostle Paul tells the Church, "You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness" (1 Thessalonians 5:5).
Jesus also said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). He was fulfilling Old Testament prophecy: "I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 49:6b). But, surprise, Jesus says this to us, too:
"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16).