In some aspects I do not have a pony in this race. Which type of building I don’t go to and which type of ritual I avoid is not of major consequence to me. But I cannot help but notice that Islam has made music out-and-out illegal, often punished by death, except for the dirge-like call to prayer they use, a sort of bad carbon copy of the also dry but scholarly and technical Hebrew tradition of singing the prayers by a ‘Cantor’, not himself a religious leader such as a priest but closer to an opera star who specializes in Torah. As for popular Jewish music you have what, the draydel song, Have a Tequila, my favorite Jewish song after Oy! My back is killing me, ‘You Should be so Lucky Esther’ or the all time classic, ‘Mountain Shmountain You Want You Should Get a Nose Bleed?’ But let’s be honest. Christians have the absolute win, place, and show in religious music. If the war between the so-called ‘Abrahamic’ faiths must happen, then for the love of Pythagoras, please let the Christians win it.
I would dare say that all- yes all- the finest pieces of music penned by a human being in the history of the world, at least those that survive to this day, are written by Christians and refer to their pantheon.* From Beethoven’s perfect Ninth Symphony to Pentecostal gospel music heard in churches across the USA, from early Christian folk to modern Christian rock. Ok, wait a moment: I take back the Christian rock stuff cause most of that is like UHT milk.
*I must correct myself, a great deal of truly excellent Christian music as well as gospel is written by Jews*
All of this, dear reader, to bring you this fine song by one of my very favorite artists singing one of my favorite songs, Leevon Helm singing Angel Band by the excellent Stanley Bros.
Eeyore for Vlad