Lessons from 'Christian' Music, Vol. 2: Derek Webb, Part 1: "My Enemies Are Men Like Me"

After posting a couple songs by the Gaither Vocal Band, I want to move to the opposite end of the spectrum, Derek Webb. Webb is a former member of Caedmon's Call, and his recent album, Mockingbird, is a stunning departure from the usual trash produced by CCM artists. Rather than a negative lesson, as was the case with the Gaither Vocal Band, Webb offers truly positive lessons for those who consider themselves both Christian and artists. I place scare-quotes around 'Christian' in order to emphasize that, in this case, Webb's music does not succumb to the temptation among CCM artists to produce pseudo-artistic, quasi-worship songs that simply talk about God over and over again -- though what kind of 'God' is often hard to tell. The phrase 'Christian music' is an abomination, and it simply does not do justice to Webb, though he is by no means a great musician on the level of truly incredible artists like Sufjan Stevens. But for those who refuse to listen to anything that does not come from the 'Christian' sector of music, Derek Webb is a bridge musician who speaks to those trapped in their own self-congratulating musical bubble while pushing them, rather harshly, toward a better and more broad view of the world. I will post a few of his songs in this next segment of "Lessons from 'Christian' Music."

"My Enemies Are Men Like Me"

Verse 1:
I have come to give you life
And to show you how to live it
I have come to make things right
To heal their ears and show you how to forgive them

Because I would rather die
I would rather die
I would rather die
Than to take your life

How can I kill the ones I’m supposed to love
My enemies are men like me
I will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
My enemies are men like me

Verse 2:
Peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication
It’s like telling someone murder is wrong
And then showing them by way of execution

When justice is bought and sold just like weapons of war
The ones who always pay are the poorest of the poor