Opinion – 5/12/2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 12, 2006

The Panolian: OPINIONS – Billy Davis

From the 5/12/06 issue of The Panolian :                 

Jam focus, ‘Great I Am’ always trumps ‘I am Me’

There are signs that this 1993 graduate of South Panola High is getting older, one of which is trying to hoe around the tomatoes and cucumbers after sitting behind a computer all day.

Another sign could be the Grace Jam concert Saturday night at the Batesville Civic Center, where I will be surrounded by a crowd of very, very young skinny teenagers.

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Those teenagers will no doubt look at me and ask, "Who’s the old guy with the facial hair?"

That "old guy," kids, was rocking to this music when you were still learning how to carry your numbers.

When Skillet lead singer John Cooper is belting out the lyrics to "Savior" – "What you got / What you want / What you need / Gonna be your savior" – I’ll be screaming the lyrics and jumping around like the fool I am.

Back in ’96, I was a summer worker at the Gulf Shores Baptist camp in Pass Christian when two buddies and I drove my Volkswagen Fox to Atlanta. We camped out for three days to attend Atlanta Fest, a Christian music festival held at Six Flags Over Georgia.

The road trip budget was tight. We pooled our money for honey buns for breakfast, shared our last meal by splitting a can of chili – which somebody else gave us – and soaked up every minute of the trip.

The highlight of the festival was seeing dc Talk perform the second night as part of its "Jesus Freak" tour. I can still see the stage lights popping on and hearing Toby, Michael and Kevin belt out the Beatles’ "Help."

Everybody went crazy.

When it comes to music, there’s no such thing as "acting your age," or at least that shouldn’t be our attitude.

Maybe that’s why Shannon and I chose Skillet’s ballad, "A Little More," for the recessional at our wedding:

Oh, let the world crash
Love can take it
Oh, let the world
come crashing down
Oh, let the world crash
Love can take it
Love can take a little
Love can give a little more

The late-breaking news this week is that Ashlee Simpson may have got a nose job just in time to promote her latest project, "I am Me."

Ms. Simpson’s "Autobiography" album reportedly sold about three million albums, trouncing Skillet by a couple million albums, but paper-thin lyrics sung by a silly airhead don’t remind us who He is and who we are to Him.

Don’t expect Skillet to beat those teenagers over the head with King James – you don’t reach them like that – but at least they’ll be singing and dancing about something bigger than themselves.

No matter the marketing, the Great I Am trounces "I am Me" every time.


(Billy Davis can be reached billyd@panolian.com or by writing to P. O. Box 1616, Batesville, MS 38696.) 


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