The Tea Party has long been one of my favorite all time bands. They are in my opinion a highly under rated band and have created some of the most beautiful, soulful and inspiring music out there. The Band has been described as ” a Canadian rock band with blues, progressive rock, Indian and Middle Eastern influences, dubbed “Moroccan roll” by the media” They have a reputation for singing about the darker side of the psyche and have been heavily influenced by religious mythology in many of their songs. You can see this in their song Pyschopomp
The psychopomp is a creature of ancient mythology that acts as your guide to the afterlife. also known as the Grim Reaper or Angel of Death in American culture. The River is another one that draws on this ancient mythology with regard to the river Styx
one of my other favorites that have a religious reference to the music are soul breaking. with lyrical content like
“in the face of the fire, you see angels conspire, will they hear your desire, could they stop your soul breaking”
On the bands most recent album The Ocean at the end we see another song that makes reference to or is influenced by religious theology. This one is simply called The Maker. When I heard this song I was truly inspired by the message behind this beautiful piece of music. Not only is the music beautiful the lyrics are truly inspiring from the view of one having a tortured soul coming back to God
After hearing this song I could not help but want to write-up a post on my own commentary on this rock hymn as I will call it.
OH OH DEEP WATER ITS BLACK AND COLD LIKE THE NIGHT
I STAND WITH ARMS WIDE OPEN
I’VE RUN A TWISTED MILE
I’M A STRANGER IN THE EYES OF THE MAKER
The first verse of this song describes a man who is troubled by the deep and overwhelming ocean of his despair at the life he has lived. He feels cold and dark due to the things he has done and seen. With out stretched arms he feels abandoned and rejected by God. God does not know him and he is a stranger to him. He has not lived and kept to the straight and narrow path but rather has run through life twisting and turning with the world. The path he has taken has not been straight but has taken him away from God to the point that he no longer knows him.
I COULD NOT SEE
FOR THE FOG IN MY EYES
AND I COULD NOT FEEL
FOR THE FEAR IN MY LIFE
FROM ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE
IN THE DISTANCE I SAW THE LIGHT
IT WAS JOHN BAPTISTE
HE WAS WALKING TO ME
WITH THE MAKER
This man recognizes that his choices, like the mists of darkness have blinded him to the truth. He has lost feeling because of the fear he has created in his own life without the guidance of God. He feels that there is a great divide between him and salvation and he is forever lost and cannot be saved. While in this despair and experiences he has created this lack of sight because of his clouded eyes due to the choices he has made in his life. He sees John Baptiste coming to him with God by his side. I am sure he would be fearing and trembling at this sight.
IS BENT AND BROKEN
MY LONG AND DANGEROUS LEAPS
I CAN WORK THE FIELDS OF ABRAHAM
I TURN MY HEAD AWAY
I’M NOT A STRANGER
IN THE EYES OF THE MAKER
He is a broken man. The sins he has committed leaves him feeling guilt and shame but he commits to fixing the errors of his ways. This is what the line “I can work the fields of Abraham” refers to. Despite this however, he still cannot bear the guilt and shame of his sin filled life and must turn away for shame. The realization dawns on him, he learns that he is not a stranger in the eyes of God. I can only imagine the relief he must feel at knowing that God has not forgotten him. That he is loved and he is not a stranger in the eyes of his Maker.
HAVE YOU SEEN THE HOMELESS DAUGHTERS
THERE STANDING THERE
WITH BROKEN WINGS
I HAVE SEEN
THERE OVER EAST OF EDEN
BURNING IN THE EYES
BURNING IN THE EYES
BURNING IN THE EYES OF THE MAKER
Learning what he has learned he reaches out to John, asking if he knows of the suffering of others, specifically the daughters of God. He can recognized the pain they have endured. Perhaps at his own hands and seeks to repent. He has now seen the flaming swords and wants to help as he has recognized the fire burning in the eyes of God.
THOUGH RIVERS RISE FROM THE SEA
This is a beautiful song and inspiring one as well. It speaks of the gospel truth that even the most wretched sinner is not a stranger to God and that we can all repent and receive forgiveness. We will never be strangers to God and he will greet us with open arms if we turn back to him.
And that is the gospel according to Andrew.