So here’s to your survival and swimming up the stream, crossing over one dam after another, until we get to Rock and Roll Heaven’s gate.– Indigo Girls
I went to my first rock concert when I was 16. I spent a lot of my late teens and early 20’s in rock venues, practice spaces, and recording studios. Sometimes the music was good, sometimes the music was bad, but it was always freeing, and often holy. I know there are people out there who disagree with me, but when I hear that perfect guitar rift, I’m pretty sure I’m hearing the voice of God just as clearly as when I hear a perfect rendition of Ave Maria. So here’s a prayer for rock ‘n’ roll, for those who make it happen, regardless of their beliefs, and for the ways it brings people together, makes people free, and gives us all something to sing about.
To the Universe that gave us Jimi Hendrix, Neil Peart, and Debbie Harry,
Forgive us for those who railed against music in God’s name.
Hatred has never been holy, and creation almost always is.
I pray today, for a world with louder music and quieter bigots;
a world with more guitars and fewer guns;
with more cowbell and less hate.
Did you hear that world? I’ll say it again,
more cowbell, less hate.
Dear God let that be our refrain.
Because lyrics never murdered,
cymbals never orphaned,
and bass drums have never lynched anyone.
God, give us a world with more songs that let us glimpse heaven even while they scream about highways to hell.
Because “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine” better represents my faith than “I will build a great, great wall”.
Because there is justice in a drum fill,
and hope in a guitar wail.
So, God bless the punks, the grunge rockers, the metal-heads, and the classic rock junkies.
Bless the musicians who play too loud and the fans who dance too hard.
Which is to say,
God bless rock ‘n’ roll and God bless me.