guy friends

My song writing friend Art Atilla asked me to write some lyrics so we could collaborate on a song. No topic was given, but he said nothing soft and fuzzy. Actually “no bunnies” was what he said. The kids know a song about dead bunnies, but I decided not to go there.

Last Sunday Ellen Kushner did a program about friendship on my favorite radio show, Sound and Spirit. She played a live recording of folksinger Vance Gilbert, doing a song about a friend who moved to Nashville, and he talked about how men talk–or rather don’t talk–about relationships. You can hear an excerpt from Taking it All to Tennessee at his web site. His explanation of how he wrote the song was really funny, but the topic–friendship between men–struck me as something worth writing about. So I did.

His lyrics were funnier and better than mine, of course, but he has been doing it longer. As you will see when (if) you hit MORE below, mine aren’t even funny. But this is an early draft and I’m interested in your feedback. About the lyrics, and about the subject. Not sure if this even works, and it goes against most of what I know and believe about poetry. (Real men write sonnets, in my book.) But it might work as a song for and about men in Christian community.

Let me know what you think.


The brothers song

Computer geeks or athletes,
car mechanics one and all;
We talk all night about our stuff
But not at all about our Call.
We can talk about our hubcaps;
or about which team will win,
but we seldom talk of honor,
or of failure, or of sin.

Refrain:

What we really want is brothers:
All we really have is friends:
Let us bind our hearts together
In a brotherhood of men.,
We are called to faithful service,
We aren’t called to be alone–
Let us laugh and sing together
On our pilgrimage to home.

Of gigabytes and megahertz,
Of calorie counts and carbs,
Of distributors and spark plugs
Of fertilizer for our yards-
To an endless stream of chatter
We each offer our small part.
What we don’t disclose to others,
Are the matters of the heart.

We are surrounded by the shallow,
culture of celebrity;
it is our friend and neighbor
that we often fail to see.
And so we miss each other
While we look for the remote,
Caring mostly for our memory
Chips, our golf clubs or our boat.

There is a better path for us:
Faithful fellowship and joy
Are the intended heritage
Of every godly man or boy.
A community of Christian men
Is the Father’s great design;
The loneliness of leadership
Is a fiction of our times.

Let us learn to love our Soverign,
Let us learn to honor life,
To love our wives and children,
And to make some sacrifice.
We can rebuke or edify,
We can walk along beside;
We can balance one another
With humility and pride.

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About wally metts

Wally Metts is the daysman. He is director of graduate studies in communication at Spring Arbor University and is a pastor at Countryside Bible Church in Jonesville, MI. The father of four adult children, he and his wife Katie raise barn cats and Christmas trees in Michigan. His grandchildren call him Santa.

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