I Blog For Books

17 August 2009

Don't Fear The Reaper

So here we go again with music, and what comes next on the playlist is Blue Oyster Cult's 1976 hit "Don't Fear the Reaper." Written by lead guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, it appeared on the Agents of Fortune album, and peaked at #12 on the American charts. Like many of the songs I've covered in past devotions, this one set my mind to wandering, so I searched out the lyrics to see if they were indeed something that would spark a thought train.

Like many people, I hum along when I don't know the words. There are millions of songs out there, and Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" is one from my teen years that I knew but didn't know (knew the tune and a few of the words). I was rather amazed when I read the lyrics. If you're familiar with them, indulge me and follow along:

All our times have come

Here, but now there, gone

Seasons don't fear the reaper

Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain

(we can be like they are)

The first and most obvious thought is that the song refers to death (the reaper), and maybe it does. As the song continues, it tells of a "love of two, now one" and that she feels she just can't go on. Often, interpretations of songs that refer, even in passing, to death are misconstrued by many as to glorifying death or suicide. When asked, songwriter Roeser denied such an interpretation. He says "I was actually kind of appalled when I first realized that some people were seeing it as an advertisement for suicide or something that was not my intention at all ... It's basically a love song where the love transcends the actual physical existence of the partners."

I've said before, and will say again now, interpretations are as individual as those who have them. Mine is mine, and just because yours is different, it does not mean that either of us are wrong. How I chose to interpret this song is as eternal love. Reread the lyrics for the first verse. The seasons don't fear the reaper. Well, if you say that the reaper is Jesus, why would they fear Him? He created them! I don't fear Jesus as reaper either ... because He created me! When he comes to gather me home, I will happily go along with Him! (reaper: defined as one that reaps. reap: defined as to gather, or take) We CAN be like they are, creations of our Lord! Instead of interpreting the lyrics as a thing of death or sadness, look at them as a thing of joy.

Came the last night of sadness

And it was clear she couldn't go on

Then the door was open and the wind appeared

The candles blew and then disappeared

The curtains flew and then he appeared

(Saying "Don't be afraid")

When you are in the depths of your darkest hour, ask Jesus to come. HE WILL APPEAR!! With Him in your life and heart, there is no reason to fear! When you ask Him, HE WILL COME. Is not that the most amazing and wonderful thing?

Jesus, I thank you for the beauty and wonder that is your eternal love. For the blessings you freely bestow upon my undeserving self, I offer humble praise. May I always have the opportunity to pay them forward!

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."~Acts 20:24 NIV

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