Lily Allen and Ecclesiastes
A current pop song that is getting plenty of air play at the moment is 'The Fear' by Lily Allen.
Here is a link to a page with an embedded video clip and the lyrics.
(this is the clean version - other versions have some swear words)
It is a sarcastic commentary on consumerism and fame carried in a melodic inviting musical setting. Lily Allen questions the whole world she actually inhabits as a pop star. In many ways it is similar to the questioning of wealth, fame, power and success that is found in the book of Ecclesiastes.
While Ecclesiastes comes back to God even if it is only in a limited way, the song doesn't have any pointers to an alternative. Indeed I read an article where Lily Allen was asked what she did to celebrate the success of the single and she said she went out and bought a jacket!!
The title of the song is 'the fear' - the theme of the chorus. When asked what her greatest fear was, Lily Allen said dying alone. She and the song don't offer any answers to this or the many other fears that lurk in in the emptiness and shallowness of this world.
Because it wrestles with the same themes as this song, Ecclesiastes is more than ever a book for today. It is not so much to be read verse by verse but as a whole as it keeps looping back to central themes in different ways. Have you read it recently?
Listening to the song, and reading the book of Ecclesiastes are good things to do. But if all we do is question consumption and wealth and then plunge back into it again we have missed a God given opportunity to break free from the 'meaningless' things in our lives.
The song raises the question without an answer, Ecclesiastes raises the question and points to an answer, but it is up to each of us to ask the question and then walk towards the answers that God gives (most clearly in the life and teachings of Jesus).
David Wanstall, 4/21/2009