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First heard this song during a Lebowski Fest bowling night (thanks, Will!). In the crowded bowling alley you hear basically “All right, all right” and the whole clapping thing — which is enough to make me like a song.
Musically, the song is a campfire singalong. It’s hard to not nod your head to the beat.
Lyrically, the words are poetic, with a tongue slightly embedded in the cheek. Jennings has a great way with words. I especially like the lyric:
You are un-nameable
You are unknowable
All we have is metaphor
That’s what time and space are for
The idea that “all we have is metaphor” is interesting because language itself is symbolic and arbitrary, in essence a metaphor (words signifying physical objects that have nothing to do with the words themselves … what is it about the word “computer” that makes the thing I’m using to type? Nothing. Someone just decided it did … yet I digress).
However, the overall meaning of the lyric, as beautiful as it is, is an example of pluralistic religious relativism. And it seems, well, wrong. It’s a nice thought, but a little misguided. If that makes me sound like some sort of backwoods, narrow-minded prick, I’m sorry.
I’m not going to do an exegesis for the song, I’ll just say this. Jesus said “I am the way … no one gets to God but through me.” To believe Jesus seems to imply that one will deny all others. If that is so, then the converse is also true: to not deny all others is to not believe Jesus.
That’s why it’s so easy to love Jesus, but not really follow him. In today’s society, Jesus plays a lot like a goofy uncle: full of great stories about our forefathers, but we’re not sure if he’s all there or not.
Deciding if he’s all there or not is up to you.