Theologically interesting lyric #2: All This Time

I embedded a video at the bottom so that you can hear this TIL while you read it.

All This Time

written and recorded by Sting on The Soul Cages

I looked out across the river today
I saw a city in the fog and an old church tower where the seagulls play
I saw the sad shire horses walking home in the sodium light
Two priests on the ferry, October geese on a cold winter’s night

All this time, the river flowed
Endlessly to the sea

Two priests came round our house tonight
One young, one old, to offer prayers for the dying to serve the final rites
One to learn, one to teach which way the cold wind blows
Fussing and flapping in priestly black like a murder of crows

All this time, the river flowed
Endlessly to the sea
If I had my way, I’d take a boat from the river
And I’d bury the old man,
I’d bury him at sea

Blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit the earth
Better to be poor than a fat man in the eye of a needle
As these words were spoken, I swear I hear the old man laughing
“What good is a used up world and how could it be worth having?”

All this time the river flowed
Endlessly like a silent tear
All this time the river flowed
Father, if Jesus exists
Then how come he never lived here?

Teachers told us, the Romans built this place
They built a wall and a temple in a edge-of-the-empire garrison town
They lived and they died, they prayed to their gods but the stone gods did not make a sound
And their empire crumbled, ’til all that was left were the stones the workmen found

All this time the river flowed
In the falling light of a northern sun
If I had my way, I’d take a boat from the river
Men go crazy in congregations
They only get better one by one

One by one…


Hard link: http://www.youtube.com/v/OcXmO-CkxKg
(Please note that the actual studio video for this song is dated, lame, and distracting, so I chose this one instead.)

These are some of my favorite lyrics, but they certainly are haunting! Sting presents a valid critique, but I consider it more of a warning than an inescapable fate.

Now what do you think?

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  • Arcamaede

    I think I liked the whole album 😉 But, yes, if I understand your final sentence, Sting observed something that transcended Christianity and hit onto all people who propose answers to others. I think Qohelet would have enjoyed Sting!

  • Arcamaede

    I think I liked the whole album 😉 But, yes, if I understand your final sentence, Sting observed something that transcended Christianity and hit onto all people who propose answers to others. I think Qohelet would have enjoyed Sting!