CARNAGE ON OUR ROADS; A SPIRITUAL RESPONSE
WHY I PRAYED FOR MAIRTIN Ó MUILLEOIR TO BECOME AN MLA

JACKSON BROWNE - STANDING IN THE BREACH

Jackson Browne

With Jackson Browne you get what you get. There are no reinventions of electronica experimentations. Standing In The Breach is comfortably Jackson but don’t think that that is musically dull. For me Val McCallum’s guitar playing throughout plays the grace notes that add the textures. Greg Leisz genius pedal steel is another hue. It is a fresh Americana sound and it dresses some of Browne’s most satisfying songs and prophetic relevance in a wee while.  

It is not the sound you buy Jackson Browne for. He’s a songwriter. Maybe one of the best there has ever been. It is his lyrical genius, his social relevance and his spiritual search.

He is an artist who wants his art and life to transform the world. The dark doom of the apocalyptic cover tells us where we are in history. The title of Standing In The Breach is a mission statement and the songs expose the things that endanger our world and the call is to be door openers not wall builders, to decide which side your on and stand in the breach. 

The problems are spelled out on The Long Way Round:

 

Greed: -

 

Even in the richer neighbourhoods

People don't know when they've got it good

They've got the envy, and they've got it bad

 

Guns: -

 

It's never been that hard to buy a gun

Now they'll sell a Glock 19 to just about anyone

The seeds of tragedy are there

In what we feel we have the right to bear

To watch our children come to harm

There in the safety of our arms

 

And environmental catastrophe: -

 

I could feel my memory letting go 

Some two or three disasters ago

It's hard to say which did more ill

Citizens United or the Gulf oil spill

 

The call is to respond and get committed to something bigger and humanely better. In Walls and Doors he gives a choice -

 

Ever since the world's existed

There's one thing that is certain

Some people build walls

Others open doors

 

There are sides to take and Browne is asks Which Side Are You On -

 

Which side?

The bankers and their special friends

Who rob you time and again

Who like to pretend they're the only game in town

Or the people who

Hope with everything they do

They can build something new

And turn this world around

 

It is hope that he os holding out for; another way and another day. In the meantime he asks that we are Standing In The Breach: -

 

And though the earth may tremble and cast our works aside

And though our efforts resemble the fluctuating tide

We rise and fall with the trust and belief

That love redeems us each

And bend our backs and hearts together standing in the breach

 

This record for me is a musical version of the brilliant TV series The West Wing. After every episode of The West Wing I was always inspired to get up and change the world. It stirred me. It revealed the malaise to me. It brought the hope of redemption to me. It called me to that redeeming work with my life. So with Jackson Browne in general and Standing In The Breach in particular. I’m on the side of Jackson’s side! 

 

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