Sunday, 25 November 2007

Pulp>Common People

I love this song whichever angle you approach it from. The lyrics are clever and quirky, it has a great tune, the music builds brilliantly throughout and even the video is pretty good. In fact the album it's from, Different Class (1995) is an excellent all round effort.

Apparently the song is Jarvis Cocker's take on those who attribute glamour to poverty. Well, living in the East End of London you come across a fair bit of that. Wierdly this is a phenomenon amongst Christians of a certain sort, too, who get competitive about how 'poor' the area is where they live. There is definitely some theological reflection that can be done with this song and concepts of 'incarnational mission'. Ultimately, of more concern to the person who takes Jesus seriously, must be the haunting words 'You'll never live like common people, you'll never do what common people do, you'll never fail like common people, you'll never watch your life slide out of view, and dance and drink and screw, because there's nothing else to do.' Now how do you respond to that?


Cosmo said...

This is a great, great song (based on a true incident I think?). It reminds me of my part-time job working in a kitchen while at college - I guess it was on the radio alot.

My respect for Jarvis Cocker increased after him storming the stage at the 1996 Brit Awards in protest of Michael Jackson's messianic moment. You want find the video on YouTube as it's been pulled by the British Phonographic Industry for copyright reasons. However, you will find it here:

Anyway, I agree with your sentiment about bragging rights for doing ministry in the poorest neighbourhood. I think if you really wanted to do that then you would go live in the flood plains of Bangladesh. Although, even then, like the rich girl in the song, you would know that one phone call could bring you back home.

As you say, further theological reflection on the issue of incarnational ministry would be helpful. Even Jesus was reminded that he could "make the call home" so to speak, although he never acted on this option.

Nick Coke said...

Yeah, i remember that Jarvis Cocker moment, too. Thanks for the vid link, it was fantastic that he was being chased around the stage!

Perhaps we should do a joint theological reflection on this sometime - the song, not the Brit incident!

Cosmo said...

Joint theological reflection sounds do we do it?

vale said...

I love this song...every saturday night I dance it with some friends in some..disco? of my city.
Good blog! saludos! ;)