H o s a n n a
Hosanna hinges upon desperation, fear and the faint hopefulness for a lifeline. Bluntly, passages of these last few years have been very difficult. Life has its seasons; and for all of us there are, and will be, challenges. It’s ‘just’ a matter of holding on — though, just as physically holding on to something can be tiring, mentally holding on can be emotionally exhausting. I think we all have an inert, beautiful fragility; but feeling weak, we’re told, in society, is not okay — we should be strong, beautiful, perfect, powerful… but this notion is a toxic lie. The truth is: we’re not perfect, but we’re all worth so much. We must know, and so eventually feel, that we are valuable — and enough — just by being.
I address the concept of a God, and this is something I still struggle with. I have many questions, doubts, concerns, anger and hurts. I think a faith is needed to believe in a God, and I think a faith is needed to not. For me, living contentedly with God is hard; sometimes I feel akin to Judas: wishing to sell my faith, or my reasoning, for something else.
I wrote this song whilst practising alone on the organ. It is such a powerful instrument; the bass pedals at the feet add an extra dimension, and the stops at either side of the manuals can accommodate a broad timbral palette. I made the most of this dynamic spectrum, orchestrating it in parallel with numb, or wild, desperation. At the end point, I included a few [tom] drums to give it a kick, literally, at the end. Recording with Matt Duke, [10Man Productions], was fun; lots of microphones were placed in different spaces around the church building. A microphone was even put quite near the pipes, via what pretended to be a large cupboard; this picked up so much of the mechanisms, which were reminiscent of factory noise.
I was pretty humbled when Hozier tweeted me to say he heard ‘Hosanna’ at midnight on the radio and really liked it; I’m a big fan of his, and am excited to hear more of his work. Sometimes I still listen to ‘Hosanna’, because when I have no will, it expresses my cry to God for more Joy, and less darkness. (Literally, from the Classical Hebrew: הוֹשַׁענָא, hosanna means “please save”.)
P.S. Companionship is one of the most vital gifts. Love is the blood flow to feel alive.
l y r i c s :
God if you’re here; come and bend your ear.
The world has become dulled and I can’t feel anything.
I have lost my shadow.
The lights have gone home.
Tired worry for the ’morrow.
I walk alone.
Love is betrayed by my kiss.
Weighed silver and stones for this.