I Just Don’t Know

This post will be coming out of left field since I rarely talk about spiritual things, but since our band practice this week I’ve been wondering about the responsibility the music team has at church.

Our music leader is a young guy, and is really doing great things at our church with our music. The band is getting better every week and for the most part our songs are right on target.

However, this week he announced that in the future we’ll be singing “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day on a Sunday morning. Now, I love Green Day – they are great, but I have misgivings about the song. In the past we’ve done U2 songs, which is fabulous because 1) it’s U2 and 2) I love U2. But Green Day? What’s next – R. Kelly?

I took time to look up the lyrics for Green Day’s song, and frankly, I don’t see HOW this is a song that would be good for a Sunday morning. And I’m not even talking about the curse word (which our music guy said we’d obviously change for church):

BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS (I WALK ALONE) by GREEN DAY

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don’t know where it goes
But it’s home to me and I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
and I’m the only one and I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk a…

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
‘Til then I walk alone

Ah-ah, Ah-ah, Ah-ah, Aaah-ah,
Ah-ah, Ah-ah, Ah-ah

I’m walking down the line
That divides me somewhere in my mind
On the border line
Of the edge and where I walk alone

Read between the lines
What’s ****ed up and everything’s alright
Check my vital signs
To know I’m still alive and I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk a…

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
‘Til then I walk alone

Ah-ah, Ah-ah, Ah-ah, Aaah-ah
Ah-ah, Ah-ah

I walk alone
I walk a…

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I’m the only one and I walk a…

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
‘Til then I walk alone…

To me that’s an incredibly depressing song and not in any way a song that could be considered “good” for church. It has nothing whatsoever to do with God, Christ or spirituality. If you really wanted to read into the lyrics you MIGHT be able to say that the guy is searching for God to find him, but c’mon – the bulk of the song has nothing to do with it. I’m feeling compelled to talk to my pastor about it (the music guy is his son, by the way). I just don’t think it’s an appropriate song. I know that the music guy wants to appeal to everyone – but there are other secular songs that could do a better job of appealing to the non-church folks. Actually, there are plenty of Christian songs that are watered down enough if he wants to appeal to the non-church folks.

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8 comments

  1. I completely agree with you. To me, it sounds like the director needs a side project coffee house band as an outlet for his Green Day tunes. I mean, it’s great that he wants to add a bit of a contemporary edge, but I think he’s really stretching on the meaning with this one…

  2. The only way that song could be appropriate is if the Pastor is planning to weave that into his sermon that particular Sunday. I’d say find some way to bring it up in that context, either with the music guy or with the Pastor.

  3. Why not ask the son instead of going over his head to the Dad? Maybe he’ll have some spirtual input or twist on it that he might feel is relevant and you just hadn’t looked at it that way. On the surface, I agree with you, I don’t see anything redeeming about it.

  4. I do agree with Mickey, talk to the son first. No one likes when you leapfrog over them to “solve” a problem.

  5. You’re right about speaking directly with the music guy and not the head pastor. I should never go over someone’s head like that for something as simple as a song choice.

  6. Go to the music director first with your feelings. Perhaps he can explain why he feels the song is appropriate and you can explain your feelings. Much better than just going to the pastor…

  7. Wow, that just doesn’t strike me as the type of song that fits in at church, and I’m not even Christian! I would expect something more uplifting, and even though I like Green Day, you’re definitely right when you say it sounds depressing!!

    Defintely talk to the son and find out what his motivation is in picking this song.

  8. A talk with the leader is in order. It could be that he and his dad have discussed it and it will fit with the planned message. Given the sermon series that your pastor is doing, I can see where a song like that could be used, but I’m not sure that particular one is the right one to use. It should only be used in the context of the sermon, imho, so that the pastor can explain why life with God is the answer to the message of the song.

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