The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
Fri., May. 19. 2023 3:34pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our 10th single of 2023:
HUMBLE OR YOU'LL STUMBLE
I remember hearing about the Jethro Tull song "Bungle in the Jungle" from a kid on my school bus when it was a hit in late 1974 and early '75. My brother-in-law Bob had Tull's War Child album, and I taped "Bungle" off of his copy in the early '80s.
Sometime in the first half of the '90s, I got the first two lines for the chorus of "Humble or You'll Stumble," and I've been wanting to record it ever since. Finally, in 2023, we got 'er done. Now I can stop living in the past.
This parody refers specifically to three Bible verses — two from Solomon and one from Jesus: "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18); "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2); and "For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted" (Matthew 23:12).
In the first few years of my Christian walk, I listened to a lot of sermons on cassette by a notable Presbyterian preacher named Steve Brown. One was titled "Humble and Proud of It." I've always liked that, so if somebody commends me for my humility, I tell them it's one of the things I'm most proud of. Then I say it came from years of being humiliated.
Personal pride aside, however, I'm proud of the job our musicians did on this recording. That would be Tom Tincha on guitars, Rich Mannion on keyboards, Keith Haynie on bass, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner on drums, and my nephew Nick King on flute.
ITCHIN' TO HIDE
I've always liked the song "Hitchin' a Ride" by Vanity Fare; I turned six years old during one of the two weeks it peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. But I'd never thought of that tune in regard to its parody potential until January 3, 2023.
I was looking for fresh ideas that day, so I put on my playlist of #5 songs (I have lists of #1, #2, #3, and #4 songs, too ... yeah, I'm a geek), and "Hitchin' a Ride" just stood out for some reason. That same thing had occurred with that playlist of #5 songs in May 2021, when I got the idea for "Fold Your Tent Up," which we eventually released in July 2022.
When Rich suggested we ask Tom Milnes about possibly doing guitars for this tune, I feared Tom might scoff at the notion of playing "bubble-gum rock." Nevertheless, I dutifully texted him about it, and he replied, "Yeah, I can do that. I used to love this song. I always had to hitchhike to school."
That was confirmation enough for me. I thought he'd balk, but I'd held out hope that God might surprise me and have him actually like it. I finally got the title and idea for "Itchin' to Hide" on March 14, 2023.
We'd touched upon this topic before in our 2018 parody "That's Saul," but the time David spent on the run from King Saul takes up over 40 percent of the Book of First Samuel (chapters 19-31). "Itchin' to Hide" specifically deals with the events of chapter 20, although the last verse and chorus also allude to David's ill-fated trip to the town of Nob to visit Ahimelek the High Priest in chapter 21.