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 This Single
Sat., Jun. 3. 2023 3:34pm EDT

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

Here are the stories behind the songs on our 11th single of 2023:

YONDER ISLAND

Sometime in the spring or early summer of 2022, Jimmy asked me if I'd ever considered doing a parody of "Thunder Island" by Jay Ferguson. I hadn't, but I fondly remembered that tune from my adolescence, so I took his suggestion and filed it away for future consideration.

An idea came to me in March 2023. My original working title was "Malta Island"; however, once I got "Yonder Island," I preferred that. It sounded like something someone on a ship might say, and I still was able to identify the island as Malta in the last line of the lyrics.

But before the aforementioned inspiration occurred, Jimmy and his wife, Eve, were in a terrible motorcycle accident, in August 2022. That was followed by an extensive period of rehab before he could play drums again. In April 2023, we finally released our first single in months to feature him drumming, but neither of those parodies was the first thing he recorded after his accident.

After we got a mix of "Yonder Island" that everybody who played on it was happy with, Jimmy sent us all an email that said: "This one was kinda special. It was the first song that I did drums for after our accident. I didn't mention to J. that I was going to try drumming again, because I wasn't sure if I'd be able to. It wasn't on the list to do; I just felt inspired to do it. Thanks, guys, for doing a killer job!"

The "Yonder Island" single cover features a photo of St Paul's Island in Malta, traditionally identified as the place where the shipwreck in Acts 27 occurred.

ABRAHAM AMAZED

Abraham is commended for his faith numerous times in the Bible, not just in the Old Testament but also the New, most notably in Romans 4, Galatians 3, and Hebrews 11. After establishing the subject matter of this parody, I asked myself, "What are the greatest examples of Abraham's amazing faith?" Three in particular stood out to me:

1. When he followed the LORD's command to leave his home and go to a land the LORD had yet to show him (Genesis 12).

2. When he believed God's promise to give him an heir (Genesis 15), specifically through his elderly wife, Sarai/Sarah (Genesis 17).

3. When he was willing to follow God's command and sacrifice that promised son, Isaac (Genesis 22), although the LORD intervened at the last minute.

Anyway, it hit me that in those three instances, Abram/Abraham was waiting on a holy land, a holy lad, and a holy lamb.

Now that I think about it, honorable mention might be when he mustered his men and fought and defeated five kings and their armies while rescuing his nephew Lot (Genesis 14) ... but I didn't have room for that in the song anyway.

When I came up with the last line of the lyrics, "Make me have a faith that amazes you," I thought, "Is it even possible to have a faith that amazes the Lord?" Then I remembered the Roman centurion whose faith was so strong that Jesus "was amazed at him" and said, "I have not found such great faith even in Israel" (Luke 7:9).