“You got to rock yourself a little harder”

I know people who have all kinds of good and worthy reasons to avoid Facebook. It takes too much time. It’s creepy. It’s turned the noun “friend” into a verb. It’s uncontrollable. It can destroy a person’s reputation in a flash. Infinite reasons exist to avoid Facebook, and I can agree with most of them. However, as with tequila, I’m a huge fan of Facebook when used in moderation.

Today’s Psalm/Psong comes to us courtesy of a link my beautiful nephew posted on Facebook. Without Facebook, maybe I wouldn’t have ever found this psong. Or it would have taken so much longer. What a gift then, that I’ll have this psong to accompany me the rest of my life. It’s an old psong, but new to me, and its age makes its antiwar theme that much more prescient and chilling.

I feel like we’ve been at war so long, I can barely remember when we weren’t. I recall the distant echo of the concept of a “peace dividend” after the Berlin Wall fell, and the Cold War was “over.” At the time, I was employed by a tiny environmental services company that got gobbled up by a huge defense contractor that was trying to diversify. Those were the all-too-brief good old days, when the companies that profit from war were scrambling madly to find other ways to make money, fearing massive cuts in defense spending.

As Josh Ritter sings, “But now talking to God is Laurel begging Hardy for a gun.” And not merely begging Hardy for a gun, but making showy and insane attempts to balance the budget on the backs of children, people who are poor, people who are mentally ill, unionized labor, immigrants, etc. If it weren’t so tragic, it would be comical.

Today, let’s take the time to rock ourselves a little harder, and then get back to our individual and collective efforts of carving out justice wherever we go. Thank you to Oliver, for doing that in so many ways. This morning, a little ember of justice is glowing because Oliver used Facebook to lead me to this Psalm/Psong. Maybe if we all blow on this little ember, we can make a huge fire.

Lyrics to “Girl in the War” by Josh Ritter:

Peter said to Paul you know all those words we wrote Are just the rules of the game and the rules are the first to go But now talking to God is Laurel begging Hardy for a gun I got a girl in the war man I wonder what it is we done

Paul said to Peter you got to rock yourself a little harder Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire But I got a girl in the war Paul the only thing I know to do Is turn up the music and pray that she makes it through

Because the keys to the Kingdom got lost inside the Kingdom And the angels fly around in there but we can’t see them I got a girl in the war Paul I know that they can here me yell If they can’t find a way to help her they can go to Hell If they can’t find a way to help her they can go to Hell

Paul said to Peter you got to rock yourself a little harder Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire But I got a girl in the war Paul her eyes are like champagne They sparkle bubble over and in the morning all you got is rain They sparkle bubble over and in the morning all you got is rain They sparkle bubble over and in the morning all you got is rain

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