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When I Fall

December 2, 2010

On Dec. 12, Rev. Bruce Marshall will deliver a sermon that was commissioned by Michael Hardy (me) as a result of the Davies auction earlier this year. The assignment: Meditate on the lyrics of the song “When I Fall” by Barenaked Ladies, and develop a sermon based on whatever thoughts the song inspires.

In advance of that sermon, here are the lyrics. On the surface, the song is about an acrophobic, melancholy window-washer looking into the windows from outside. But that’s a metaphor for the deeper meanings.

If you’re inclined, leave a comment to share your own feelings and thoughts about it.

I look straight in the window, try not to look below
Pretend I’m not up here, try counting sheep
But the sheep seem to shower off this office tower
Nine-point-eight straight down I can’t stop my knees

[Chorus]
I wish I could fly
From this building
From this wall
And if I should try
Would you catch me if I fall?

My hands clench the squeegee, my secular rosary
Hang on to your wallet, hang on to your rings
Can’t look below me, or something might throw me
Curse at the windstorms that October brings

I look in the boardroom; a modern pharaoh’s tomb
I’d gladly swap places, if they care to dive
They’re lined up at the window, peer down into limbo
They’re frightened of jumping, in case they survive

I wish I could step from this scaffold
Onto soft green pastures, shopping malls, or bed
With my family and my pastor and my grandfather who’s dead

Look straight in the mirror, watch it come clearer
I look like a painter, behind all the grease
But paintings creating, and I’m just erasing
A crystal-clear canvas is my masterpiece

[Chorus]

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 3, 2010 2:21 pm

    It sounds to me like a fear of death and pain of life with a plea for support. I wrote a page for our district about some of those things and how we provide resources for it on Aging, Dying, Death of a Loved One, Memorial Services at http://www.md-dc-va-churches.org/dying-death-loved-one-memorial-services

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