Into the Storm: Song Explanation From Dennis
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Into the Storm
(Lyrics: Dennis Culp)
There goes my basement down the embankment
There goes my Ernie doll over the waterfall
In my favorite chair, but I don’t care,
and I don’t need it.
Freedom flies like drops of rain.
This love is like a hurricane.
Just close your eyes,
and keep holding on-
as we ride into the storm.
There goes my backup plan.
There goes my minivan.
There goes my fear and insecurity.
There goes my pride over the side.
‘Cause I don’t need it.
As we ride into the storm.
We ride home. (whoa)
Hey, I get to explain lyrics! Not that these need much of an explanation, there is no complex metaphor here. The song is literally about riding into a storm: I was on a train in August of 2011 as Hurricane Irene was making her way up the East Coast. The news media had been making grand statements about it being the ‘storm of the century’ and how millions would probably die or worse. (We had Hurricane Sandy two years later which was far more damaging, but I digress.) Anyway, there I was, riding New Jersey Transit as the skies darkened and buckets of rain dumped on the windows. These commutes are rarely of a sanguine affair, but this one was unusually dour. You might say it was a dark and stormy night.
Fast forward three days: My town was one of the places they showed on the news to convince the nation that the flooding in NJ was really bad. And it was. After the water receded there were dead fish, muddy shoes, old tires, and piles of waterlogged discards from the dozens of flooded homes on my street. Enter big thoughts about faith, trust, and the freedom that comes from letting go of stuff.
Some fun facts: way back when Reese was my room mate, he may or may not have owned a stuffed doll meant to look like Ernie, as in the cheerful half of Ernie and Burt. That line was for him. Also, there used to be the line “there goes my carnal man” – I was trying to get all existential Watchman Nee style, but Reese changed that line to “minivan”. Probably a good call.