The Sunday Morning Tune-up ~ December 22nd, 2013

Good Sunday Morning Dear Friend! Music has always been a very healing and inspirational part of my life, as I’m sure it has for many of you as well. But it occurs to me lately that there is another quality of music that has been largely overlooked. Our music from generation to generation has a very forensic quality to it. If you want to know the Greatest Generation, listen to some Glen Miller and Artie Shaw, or Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters. If you are looking to understand “My Generation”, all you have to do is go to the mirror boy…through Pete Townsend’s masterful rock opera Tommy, where you can actually see me, feel me, and touch me…which leads me to the point of this particular tune-up.


We weren’t in the car 2 seconds before 16-year-old Grace commandeered the USB port filling the car with Katy Perry’s hit song Roar. As I listened to the song which certainly possessed all the “hit song” qualities, a jarring thought struck me which I have been unable to let go of: There is nothing real about this! I know that sounds harshly and perhaps unfairly critical, but please hear me out. Yes Perry’s talent is unmistakable. But I mean real in a much deeper, spiritual “Tune-up” sort of way. I mean the sort of “Crossroads”real that Robert Johnson gave us; or the kind of real we experienced on the “Dock of the Bay” with Otis Redding…and who couldn’t feel Janice’s real pain in “Piece o’ My Heart”?

Please feel free to comment here…maybe it’s just me. But there is just something that hits me like a joke…

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion

…from the Entitlement Generation? Champion? Hear me Roar? Really? What…you didn’t get that X-Box or Smart Phone you wanted? I thought of a radio interview I listened to with two economists talking about the difference between who we were during the Great Depression and how much more catastrophic a repeat would be because of who we are today. The pampered sheep who thinks it’s a lion…until the wolf shows up. Isn’t that really who we have become…generally speaking? It is all packaged and produced from the outside in, is it not? Yes, we have a glimmer of an Adele here and there, now and then. But that has become the rare exception to an otherwise bellowing blast of narcissism as the anthem of a generation. Bring it on Miley! 😦

So I thought some more and the more I thought about it, I could actually see music losing its real glow over the years in exactly the same incrementally slow way the day loses its light to the night…until only shadows remain. And that’s when it really started to turn fascinating! I actually did a little research to develop my musical thesis even more…

Best-Selling Singles Prior to 1950  
Song   Artist   Year Genre Copies Sold
White Christmas   Bing Crosby


Christmas 50 Million
Silent Night   Bing Crosby


Christmas 30 Million
If I Didn’t Care   The Ink Spots


R&B 19 Million
Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer Gene Autry


Christmas 12.5 Million
Paper Doll   Mills Brothers


Country 11 Million
Wabash Cannonball   Roy Acuff


Country 10 Million
Move on up a little higher Mahalia Jackson


Gospel 8 Million
Jingle Bells   Bing & Andrews Sisters


Christmas 6 Million
My Blue Heaven   Gene Austin


Pop 5 Million
That Silver-haired Daddy of Mine Gene Autry


Pop 5 Million
The Prisoner’s Song   Vernon Dalhart


Country 6 Million
Petite Papa Noel   Tino Rossi


Christmas 5.7 Million
Source ~ Wikipedia
School of Darkness   Bella Dodd


Warning ?
Vatican ll   Satan


Blues 1 Billion

…and look what we discover. Just as the sun is to the day, God is to the music! Until only shadows remain. Our blessed consecration didn’t disappear overnight, it faded by the degree of our own neglect…like a very gradual faucet turn you see.

“God always performs the miracle first, then invites us to worship Him, and delivers heaven.

Satan, through the State, demands the worship first, promising miracles as a reward for the worship, and then delivers nothing but hell.” ~ Ann Barnhardt

Chip Murray: Wide Awake

About Chip Murray

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6 Responses to The Sunday Morning Tune-up ~ December 22nd, 2013

  1. purelyric says:

    Chip, I loved how you’ve really put serious thought of how music today is packaged from a machine and we’ve lost so much of the human element for adventure/fantasy and 6-month love affairs. I think you are really on to something and I always enjoy your blogs, as I think you have keen insight into the symptoms of our Godless society (okay, maybe not Godless, just not the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob). (BTW: on your graph I noticed you had Bella Dodd’s School of Darkness. I know that was a book, because I’ve read it online(it’s a book warning of communism in America), so my question is was it a song, too? I was born in 62, so that was before my time, and that is not a brag! . You can find that book online to read at

    The point I am conditioning you for, as I want it to be clear that I admire your work, is your point on kids today. It may be a bit unfair to them; allow me to explain. I do think that kids are conditioned to be entitled today, but that’s because that’s all their given, generally speaking. They have not been privy to mom AND dad together, married, growing up in a home and seeing the natural ebbs and flows of family life. That’s not their fault.

    I read this a few months back from Matt Walsh’s blog,and it resonated loudly and really struck home:

    “I mean, it seems fair on the surface. Sure, kids get to sit in air conditioned living rooms and watch TV. They eat sugary cereal and drink soda. But ‘easy’? Is it easy to be a child in modern America? No, I don’t think so. They might have a bunch of cool toys, but being a child today is a dangerous proposition. And it’s made ever harder because many adults fundamentally fail to understand kids and what they go through.

    You might laugh at the idea, but children have it rough in our society. Like, really, really rough. Our culture is actively hostile to them — probably more so than at any other point in history. They are born, and immediately the world pounces, pulling them in a million directions, selling them a million lies, convincing them to be a million different things — none of them good or true. We vaccinate them against every disease, buckle them into their car seats, teach them not to run near the pool, and we think we are keeping them safe. But it’s their souls that we should be especially protecting, and that’s where we often fail.

    Politicians mortgage their future to pay for the luxuries of today, and millions of Americans cheer them on while they do it. Do you know what “unfunded liability” means? It means, in economic terms, “hey junior, this bill is on you, sucker!” It means we’re ordering a feast, stuffing our fat faces, and leaving our kids to pay the tab. We think kids are selfish “me first” little brats, but that title belongs to us. Look at what we’ve done to this country; we barely even give these kids a chance. Where are the people stepping up to make sacrifices today so that future generations won’t be stuck with the debt and bankruptcy caused by our extravagance? Do you hear this voice? I don’t. All I hear is “spend money on ME! NOW!” Me. Now.

    Me. Now.

    Me. Now.

    If there are two words that will define our culture, those are it. “Kids today,” I hear the adult mutter disapprovingly. But what about adults today? The Baby Boomers are the first generation in American history to leave the country poorer than it was when they inherited it. And we call KIDS spoiled and immature?

    As our children emerge into this bankrupted civilization, advertisers circle them like vultures with market-tested messaging, brilliantly crafted to turn them into depressive, shallow, materialists; never satisfied, always wanting. They are besieged by a constant barrage of conflicting, confusing directives: “BUY THIS!” “EAT THIS!” “WANT THIS!” “BE THIS!” “BELIEVE THIS!” Some of us do our best to insulate our kids from this battery of consumerism and exploitation, but we’re fighting a losing battle.

    At least children in times past had the benefit of family, if not modern technology and medicine. We might have all of the gadgets and pills that our kids’ hearts can desire, but our families are disintegrating. I say, take the iPhones and the painkillers, if only our children can have actual families again. That’s a trade I’d make in a second. Our kids may not have to worry about contracting Polio, but millions of them will never know what it’s like to sit at a dinner table with both parents. Millions and millions of them born into homes filled with turmoil, anger and selfishness. Easy? I can think of a lot of words for that, but easy isn’t one of them.”

    So while I think you are spot on with the symptoms and what the end musical product is we are looking at today, let’s take a deeper look at who and what kids are dealing with, and then make that call. I hope I’ve not come across unfair; I’d love your comments.

    I agree the bottom line is lyrics are simplified to the point of distortion, as by ignoring essential human details but is that really the fault of the entitlement generation, or the ones who allowed the entitlement generation to be created?

    • Chip Murray says:

      Thanks PL for your wonderfully thought-provoking comment! Yes, you are the warm catchers mitt of Venus fielding the comparatively cold rationale of Mars, eh? You are absolutely 100% correct that this isn’t a cake-walk for them…how could it be? And you are 1000% correct in your assertion that it is mostly our fault. They certainly had nothing to do with evicting the Holy Spirit from their lives. We own that! I was simply seeking to point out the consequences as pure observation…like describing what happens to soil when it becomes dehydrated. This is what has happened as a direct result of turning off the God faucet. It is incumbent on us all, young and old alike to realize and respond accordingly. The cycle of life seems to be a never-ending wake-up, fall asleep, wake-up, fall asleep. Truth is an equal opportunity gardener if ever there was one! God Bless you my friend!

    • Chip Murray says:

      PS ~ Bella Dodd didn’t write any songs I’m aware of…she just sort of fit in here somehow. 🙂

  2. purelyric says:

    As always, Chip, your observations are spot on!!! Prayers for you and your family during this season where the majority of Christians celebrate our Savior’s Birth. That is to say, I do realize that Christ was not actually born on December 25th, that was Constantine’s doing. I’m wishing you a Merry Christmas in the metaphysical sense of the word. But then again, it just goes to show how very muddled and complicated it’s all become. Think tanks make big bucks to blur the lines, but as you so astutely pointed out, “Truth is an equal opportunity gardener if ever there was one!”

    🙂 ❤ 🙂

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