Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Turn off your TVs and Turn to Jesus

Photo: Jafe Campbell

Turn off your TVs and Turn to Jesus is a tune I wrote many years ago. It was for a downtown serial theater piece that I had created entitled Ailanthus Grove. It had a nice hook and I wanted to bring it back but the lyrics were dreadfully dated. I think the original lines went something like this:

There's a muff licker named Nancy on Rosanne lord
It just goes to show there's no shame at ABC
And on Donahue transsexuals are acting bored
What ever happened to Christ-ti-an-it-y

Turn off your tvs turn to Jesus
Throw your remote into the sea
Turn off your tvs turn to Jesus
Get up off your couch and you'll be free.

The problem is that I had extracted myself from television's relentless barrage of twaddle years ago. My set, which I suspect no longer even functions due to changes in transmission modes, has been lying dormant in the cellar for over a decade.  I had no idea how to update it.

Then, while working on my Opera Kepler 22B in Frankfurt, a spot in it opened up for a tune of that sort. I began to look at the lyrics and for some reason I began to treat the piece as if the refrain was no longer dripping in sarcasm.

I mentioned this development to my host Michael, a professor at a German arts academy. He smiled and said:
"Yes. There is no time for irony anymore. We have run out of it."

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