Tuesday, May 12, 2009

XGH Anthem

Ben Newman is an acquaintance of mine. He's presently a graduate student at Brandeis, but he also writes and sings folk songs (including filk, for those who know what that is). One of his songs strikes me as the perfect anthem for the Modern Orthoprax movement that XGH is presently pushing.

Here's the mp3 of the song and here are the lyrics:
"That's My Story (and I'm Stickin' to It)"
lyrics and music by Benjamin Newman

/ D G / Em GA / 1st /[1. Em A :/[2. EmA D /

In every single culture since the ages of old,
Folks have found their meaning in the stories they told --
Their ethics and identity, the values they hold --
And the stories were for reading out loud.

But then the age of reason came, and somebody said,
"Those stories never happened, so mythology's dead,
And you're gonna have to look for meaning elsewhere instead,"
But me, I gotta go with the crowd:

/ D C / G D / 1st /[1. G A :/[2. GA D /

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it;
I'm gonna interpret the whole world through it.
It may not be factual, but it's true,
And that's good enough for me.

That's my tale, I tell it with conviction,
Though I know it's practically entirely fiction,
Still, it keeps me moving in the right direction --
That's the way that it oughtta be.

The facts are strangely silent on the right and the good,
'Cause logic can't compel you from an "is" to a "should".
Open up your moral code and then look under the hood,
You'll see you've made a few assumptions to start.

But what should those assumptions be, and how could we know?
Well, that's been an open question since forever ago,
And if your favorite answer is "A book told me so,"
That's 'cause it fits with what you feel in your heart.

It's your story, and your choices reflect it
And the notions it proposes of what's true and correct --
It's from a long time ago, and yet you've kept it connected
To the way of life you're living today.

It's your tale -- it forms your moral foundation,
It's played a major role throughout your whole education,
It ties you to tradition, culture, people or nation,
And it colors every word that you say.

Mythology and reason both have something to teach,
But sometimes the perfect balance seems a bit out of reach,
So on behalf of both of them I humbly beseech
That you take the matter seriously.

A myth can keep us steady or can call us to change,
While reason can reveal the way the world is arranged.
The truth has many facets (and they're all a bit strange),
And you gotta open both eyes to see.

It's your story, but it's not the whole picture --
There are things you oughtta know that aren't recorded in scripture --
And yet it still provides you with the context in which you're
Gonna place the other things that you learn.

It's your tale, it should be kept in perspective --
It's beautiful and true, but not exactly objective --
But if you can approach it thinking like a detective,
You'll find clues everywhere that you turn.

Each people has a story, handed down from the past --
They teach it to their children and they cling to it fast --
But other stories also may be destined to last,
And there's wisdom to be found in each one.

So, get to know your people's stories, and the other ones, too,
And keep an open heart and mind, whatever you do,
'Cause there are many different ways in which a thing can be true,
And there are stories that we've only begun...

They're our stories, and we're stickin' to 'em;
We're gonna interpret the whole world through 'em.
They may not be factual, but they're true,
And they've served us ably so far.

They're our tales, we tell 'em with conviction,
Though we know they're practically entirely fiction,
'Cause myth and reason, mingled, are our common condition --
That's the reason we're the way that we are.

1 comment:

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

i know Ben Newman too!
I particularly like his Sukkot/Tolkien song "Starlight Through Woven Branches"