Thirst for Water, Inquiry for Truth

{ Lyrics }

Thank God (in an abstract sense) that we’ve
Mustered up the courage to leave
The battered ranks of the naïve.

Remember that angst, that earnestness,
That intellectual distress,
That accompanied our youthfulness?

My friends, ’tis clearly a priori
That cultures espouse a meta-story
A veritable intellectual quarry

From which they draw their sense of shame,
Their paradigmatic value claims,
And their institutes of praise and blame.

But we, the academic heroes, rise
Above their existential cries
For we need no answers to be wise:

For wisdom lies neither in value nor fact,
But in modesty, honesty, courage, and tact
And in confessing what our academies have lacked,

Their myopic, close-minded approach to thought,
All the unnecessary battles they’ve fought,
And their delightfully one-sided concept of God.

So, tirelessly toil we, on their behalf
And rejoice in the day when they give even half
Of the heart we so nobly put into our craft.

And together we’ll stand, amidst a whole host
Of trivial drivel, and raise high a toast
To the death of the things that matter the most.

{ Musicians }

George Scranton—Spoken Word
J.J. Jang—Violin
Rosemary Townsend—Violin
Lisa Kallberg—Viola
Phillip Peterson—Cello

{ Credits }
Words by Phil Woodward
Music by Myron Marston

Currently rated 4.2/5 stars (9 votes)

Currently 4.2/5 stars.

{ Comments }
Ricky Heisner said:
on Thursday, September 25, 2008

As a fan of the old Moody Blues albums of the late ‘60s/early ’70s, this one brought a smile and a chuckle. I’ve always been a fan of spoken-word pieces on albums, and I think this one is great. It’s also a startling contrast to the previous song’s grittier tone and characters. The smug intellectual dismissal of anything meaningful or Divine. Thinking himself wise, and all that?

And I’d love to know if the words ‘And together we’ll stand’ are a little poke at those same words in the Moody Blues poem ‘The Dream’? The way he says them made me think of it immediately. Well done, either way.

Myron said:
on Thursday, September 25, 2008

I’m unfamiliar with the Moody Blues spoken-word pieces you speak of (the late ‘60s/early ’70s was definitely before my time)…but the influence of other spoken-word pieces is definitely there. Particularly “Fitter Happer” off of Radiohead’s OK Computer if you’re familiar with that. I definitely had that in the back of my mind when I wrote the music for this.

Phil’s never mentioned the Moody Blues or ‘The Dream’ to me before, so I doubt the similarity is intentional.

Nerd42 said:
on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I would compare this to "The Trial" from Pink Floyd's "The Wall." I think it just about captures Lewis's critique of academic elitism and liberal theology.

The only thing that might possibly mar this poem is this line:

"For wisdom lies neither in value nor fact,
But in modesty, honesty, courage, and tact"

There is real wisdom to be found in modesty, honesty, courage and tact. Such people as fit this stereotype wouldn't make such a remark however, because they believe that there is no wisdom in ethics or values

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