BUILDING A CITY OF GRACE - a poem
PRAYING FOR ARLENE, MICHELLE ETC IN CLONARD... AT THE WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

DEACON BLUE'S CITY OF LOVE, THE HOLY CITY AND BUILDING A CITY OF GRACE

City Of Love

On this blog, in review after review of Deacon Blue in concert I have written about the positivity in their music. Even just looking at their recent releases songs like Believers, Bethlehem Begins or Stars all have me jumping off my chair to change the world in whatever ways I can. Deacon Blue are fuel for transformation.

How utterly intrigued I was with the first single and title track of their soon to be released fourth studio record since 2012 - City Of Love.

About to embark on the 4 Corners Festival here in Belfast with the 2020 them of Building a City of Grace, you can see why. City of Love is like a soundtrack for the Festival. 

As always with Deacon Blue there is no pie and the sky optimism. The song starts with realism. Our singer is tired of carrying his burden. He is near dragging it along. It is cold outside and in and he is wondering about giving up.

 

Lost the will for keeping on

Just as the winter is dragging

What can I do with all of this?

Where can I put what I'm carrying?

 

We carry some baggage here in Belfast. We have a wonderful but wounded city. As Jenna Silverman Wilson put it in a poem at the closing night of one of our previous festivals, we don’t so much have scars as open wounds.

It would be easy to feel the drag, to almost give up. How many stutters and starts have we had in this 25 year old peace process. When we started planning this year’s Festival the planning committee had the gloom of this first verse. Then… hope kicked in. Just a glimmer. 

We took a different posture. What if we could find a steely will to keep going. No matter what the circumstances around us and no matter what the naysayers in their fundamentalist blogs said about us? What if we could make our contribution?

 

If you've got the will you've got to keep on going

No matter what the world is saying

No one can stop you, not until

You reach the end and lay down your burden

 

That last line to verse 2 adds a layer to this seemingly simple Deacon Blue lyric. There is an eschatological aspect to what Ricky Ross is singing here. There is a Biblical image of laying down our burdens on the other side of death. 

At this stage of the song my mind shifts between Ricky’s city of Glasgow, my city of Belfast and the Holy City of Revelation 21. In that Holy City we will have left our burdens down, all that we were carrying will be redeemed.

All that remains is love. At the end of that beautiful poem that the apostle Paul writes about love in 1 Corinthians 13, he concludes, And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Love. All that remains.

Deacon Blue’s City of Love is a song filled to over flowing with hope of another day, another city, another way to live. The belief in that hoped for city might just be what we need to help us not give up in the broken, wounded cities that we are currently living in. Let us find the will. Let us contribute. Let us build a city of grace!

 

All that remains is the city of love

All that remains is the city of love

The city of love.

 

Find out about 4 Corners Festival 2020 here...https://4cornersfestival.com

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