"I Hate Everything (But You)": A Dialogue

"I Hate Everything (But You)": A Dialogue


This is one of those quirkily honest love songs that endeared me to Webb ever since his time with Caedmon’s Call (with “Table for Two;” “Somewhere North of Here;” “Daring Daylight Escape” on 40 Acres). It seems like the past few weeks especially I have resonated a lot with his sentiments.

I remember Tommy Nelson (of Song of Solomon acclaim) sharing that the world is a cruel place and there is nothing more special and secure than when a man crawls under the covers with his wife and knows that he is accepted and loved no matter what “they” say. I have found this true as I have entered to cut-throat business of quota retirements and deadlines and beating out the next salesman.

This kind of security is what Webb is itching for in this song. This kind of security doesn’t come with an ADT sticker or a concrete wall. It is nestled in the arms of your helpmate and head. When I have messed up royally or sinned exceedingly, God’s grace is manifest in the eyes of my wife. I pray that when she fumbles I will be as gracious and understanding with her. This is the beauty of marriage – God’s mercy overflows to sinner and sinned-against. The reciprocation is only possible is God opens the floodgates and showers such blessing down.
I was listening to NPR today where the Biologist from the University of Louisville was speaking of altruism. Try as we may to find an equation for it (as scientists have tried to do) the only pure altruism rests in the hands of God. He gives from his abundance and we constantly receive and are preserved.

Now the song…

//(vs. 1)
baby don’t give up
we’re the kind of folks who will always live
right around the corner from something big
yeah, yeah, yeah
so baby come on home
you can be the girl on my telephone
and will be your lion made of stone
yeah, yeah, yeah
come on home
yeah, yeah, yeah//

Although a little Beatle-esque with the “yeah,yeah,yeah” lines (being Beatle-esque is not necessarily a negative, mind you), he is just as enigmatic. I am not really sure about the line: “you can be the girl on my telephone and will be your lion made of stone.” If anyone has an idea, let me know. My stab at it is that it is a reference to “Table for Two” where he mentions waiting by the phone for the girl he is in love with to call.
Before you write this interpretation off, remember those days when you were young and giddy and love was ecstaticly emotional? I remember when I was in Argentina and my then girlfriend and I would set phone dates every Sunday evening (Domingo Libre on Telefonica for those who are interested…which strangely ended when I returned to the States). What joy I had that at the end of a hard week of students standing me up for coffee appointments and wondering what in the world I was doing with my life to know that there was a voice on the other end of the line that laughed at my jokes and reassured me that the sacrifice was worth it.

This would flow from the hopeful language with which he writes with in the previous lines – people who are living around the corner of the next big thing. My wife and I often quoted Psalm 126 which speaks of God fulfilling his promise to Israel when he brought/brings them back to the Land. We would follow that with Prov 13.12 – hope deferred makes the heart sick but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. These are what strengthened us when pining to sip coffee at the same table.

“Lion made of stone” – perhaps figurative language for a strong defender?

it’s been one of those kinds of days
and i feel so out of place
and i hate everything, everything
i hate everything but you//

See introductory paragraphs to this post. And, no, I don’t think Webb wants us to take the word “hate” literally. It is hyperbole…right, Derek?

//(vs. 2)
baby when we’re right
i don’t mind the sun, i don’t mind the rain
or businessmen who think they know everything
yeah, yeah, yeah
yeah, yeah, yeah//

I assume there are days when they’re wrong. But when they’re right…things are oh, so right.

no one really understands my baby, if you don’t
let’s not fight, just turn the lights off, baby you’re all i want
it’s been one of those kinds of days
and the whole world is on my case
and i hate everything, everything
i hate everything but you//

See introductory paragraph (particularly Tommy Nelson’s words).

What this song should do is drive the Christian to the Christ. I listen all day to Muzak pumping through the speakers at work and I wait for a bridge that would tie all of them together. Our culture worships love…and people worship people. The sham(e) of it all is that with all the relationships people have and all the broken hearts that have been through rehab, you would think that reason would help people see the temporary nature of human love.
Like all good things, we should be pining to know God. Marriage will cease. Puppy love will eventually get hip displesia. May our weddings and arguments point to a more permanent love. The love that doesn’t equal to comfort under the sheets…but a love that embraced the foulest rebel. The rebel who refused to see that he was returning to his own vomit like a dog. The rebel who shook his fist at God, although he never said a cuss word. The rebel whose good deeds are nothing more than dirty rags.

I will say this. After reading Harold Best’s Unceasing Worship I have been convicted as to how I use my words. I tend to embellish the facts in order to get a rise out of someone or to make something sound greater than it is. “That pizza was awesome!” “That song is awesome!” “That book is…” You know. I am not wranging with words to be trite. Rather, I was challenged to get my adjectives accurate to reality. That way when I say, “God’s works are awesome!” it means just that.

Now I can sympathize with the sentiment that there are days you want to yell at everyone and kick the wall. It probably is hatred. Let’s be honest. Let’s confess it. But given our sinful wants, there are probably days (when things aren’t righ between you and your love) that, emotionally speaking, you hate him/her. We dare not mention it, though. So why should we mention when our emotions get us in a headlock and we declare we hate everything. Is this a true statement? If so, repent.

Severe mercy is what we needed on the Cross. And severed sin is what this righteous one will bring.

  • Tony Kummer
    Posted at 15:32h, 27 December Reply

    “girl on my telephone” is a reference to cell phone backgrounds

    This is one of my favorite on the CD.

  • Matthew Wireman
    Posted at 15:21h, 28 December Reply

    Thanks, Tony. That helps. I still like my interpretation, though:) Do you have any idea of what zeros and ones refers to? I think it might be binary code – which is metaphor for our technology age. Is that right?

  • van.diesel
    Posted at 20:29h, 28 December Reply

    i wondered about that zeros-and-ones stuff too. interestingly enough, webb’s next album is called ‘one zero‘ – it’s an acoustic collection of some of his previously-released songs.

  • Tony Kummer
    Posted at 02:57h, 04 January Reply

    My guess on Zeros is about money. ‘once the cash is gone’ ‘prophet by blodd but a salesman by trade’ I might have been my isegesis but I first got the CD while dealing with my first year of FT ministry. If you have been there sometimes it feels more like a JOB than a calling. That was my take.

  • Matthew Wireman
    Posted at 18:15h, 04 January Reply

    So is that qa reference to who is #1 and those who are down and out are “zeros”? That sounds like it might be more plausible than my interpretation of digital code. Where’s Derek when you need him?

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