Tuesday, January 5, 2010

U2 - Yahweh

One of the top stories to come out of the Vatican this week is that, in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, Gaetano Vallini has reviewed U2: The Name of Love by Andrea Morandi. Okay, maybe it's not one of the top stories. In fact, it's probably more like somewhere down the bottom. But it is a good excuse to write a post on one of my favourite songs, Yahweh.

Actually writing a post may have been a bit of an exaggeration as well. This could end up being just an embedded video from YouTube.

Because I'm sitting here and I really do not have any idea what to write about this song. But I think that's part of its appeal. It is a song I like to listen to when I am struggling, when I am depressed, when I feel inadequate. It's a song I like to listen to when I don't know what to say.

I first heard this song when I was going to the Pentecostal church. One thing about Pentecostal worship music is it tends to be very positive. Even when it speaks (or should that be sings) of difficulties, it is always followed with a line about how God will solve our problems and make everything right again. Which is fine, I guess, in a way. But I often found it a bit fake. How many times did I sing songs about life being so wonderful when you have God, when my life was a complete mess? It's hard to sing Hillsong music without feeling like a complete hypocrite sometimes.

But Yahweh (as in the song, Yahweh, not the God, Yahweh) seemed real. This was not happy clappy music. It was a song about struggle, about sin and about pain. Yet for all that, it is a song that has hope in it as well. There may be darkness before the dawn. But there is a recognition that there is a dawn. Pain comes before a child is born.

I like secular music about God because it doesn't try to paint a glowing picture. It does speak honestly about how people feel about Him. And sometimes, I think, we need that honesty. We need songs that speak to how we really feel, not just how we're meant to feel. Another song I particularly like is Hey God by Bon Jovi. That is definitely not a Christian song. It speaks about struggles and basically asks God, why he isn't doing something. To give you an idea, here's some lines from the chorus:

Hey God, there's nights you know I want to scream
These days you've even harder to believe
I know how busy you must be, but Hey God...
Do you ever think about me

This is not a song I agree with. And yet it is a song that I like because I know there are many people in the world that feel like this. And I really feel for people who are reaching out to God, but feel like God just isn't listening to them, or that he doesn't care or maybe that he doesn't even exist. But that's a subject for another post.

By the way, the article from L’Osservatore Romano can be found here. It's in Italian. But you can translate it through Google Translate.


  1. Interesting approach; I like it. Raven

  2. Liz,

    I agree that living the truth offered by Yahweh requires stripping of ours.

    I like it.

    Jorge Escobar



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