Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Queen and the Dragon

Our kids have developed an enthusiasm for new group called SHEL. They are four sisters (Sarah, Hannah, Eva, Liza, get it?) from Fort Collins, CO who play violin, piano, mandolin, and drums. Their music is hauntingly beautiful. I like just about everything on their first album.

One of their songs is called "When the Dragon Came Down." The lyrics are the kind that tear your heart apart. It is the story of a king who lost his queen and his kingdom to a dragon that attacked while he wasn't paying the kind of attention he should have. Here are the lyrics, as far as I can distinguish them.  I may have one or two phrases wrong, but you get the point:

Lay your head down
Close your eyes
Sleeping on a golden bed
Cold as ice.

Oh is she really gone
I lost my queen along with my crown
when the dragon came down
Oh deep within my sleep
awakened by the sound of her scream.
The dragon came down like a dream.

The news gets worse every day.
I read my paper, pull my weight.
Head buried in the sand.
The truth can free you [common man?]
Wisdom take me by the hand
Help me understand.
The Dragon came down.
[end of chorus]

See the sun rise in the east
Evil wakes when the king sleeps.

Oh is she really gone….[chorus]

You a man with a broken soul
You’re a king who is alone
You’re a cripple without a home
You’re a bird struck by a stone

Better cut my tongue out now
Before I speak the truth too loud
For the hope we’ve lost is found
For the world is awakened by this sound.

By this sound.

When the dragon came down.

Oh, is she really gone. 
I lost my queen along with my crown

When the dragon came down.

I've rarely heard a sense of loss and guilt so well expressed.

Compare another "poem" about a Queen and a dragon--one that features a dragon coming down to destroy a Queen.

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;
she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery.
And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads.
His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth;
she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,
and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world -- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"
And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had borne the male child.
But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.
The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood.
But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river which the dragon had poured from his mouth.
Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. 
We've discussed whether SHEL is Christian.  I think not. Perhaps this song is their longing for Rev. 12. "The truth can free you..., Wisdom take me by the hand, Help me understand."

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