I'm a Lizard, Baby...
Lately, five-year-old son has been singing a song from my youth but changing the lyrics, just slightly. “I’m a lizard baby,” he grins mischievously, “so why don’t you kill me.” I realize it is kind of disturbing that he likes to sing this song – and I know that I am to blame. We should probably listen to nursery rhymes or Sunday school songs in the car, but we don’t. We listen to 104.5 and, you know, sometimes we get an education. I remember a friend of mine’s mom in high school critiquing our music by roughly quoting this Beck song. “Kill myself, kill myself,” she ranted in a southern drawl. “That’s all your music is about these days – kill myself!” We laughed at her interpretation of Beck’s “Loser,” but her sentiment was not completely false. 90’s counter culture, including its music, was full of malaise, sarcasm, melancholy and despair. It’s probably why I loved it so much.
When I first started observing Lent, I came to see that there’s a season in the church year that might be a close cousin to 90’s counter culture, and that made me (surprisingly) happy. I call them “cousins” because they are different. The despair of Lent eventually leads to hope. But even a favorite Lenten Psalm could be turned into grunge rock: “But I am a worm,” says the Psalmist. “And my heart is like wax.” (Psalm 22:6,14) I guess we probably shouldn’t go around morbidly promoting our own self-destruction all the time, but to “hold our death close” might actually be a way to keep a holy Lent – knowing that resurrection is soon on the horizon.
One day when my son was probably getting a little too carried away with his “Lizard” singing, I suggested we change the lyrics again slightly. Kiss me? No. Love me? Hmm, too far from the original message. Pray for me? Yes. We landed there. “I’m a lizard, baby,” we sang together. “So why don’t you pray for me.”
Thanks for Reading.