(I can’t say “top ten” because I will probably think of something else after I’m done, and I hate to hedge myself in that way)
1. Derek talks about how sinful he is…all the time, in everything he does: check out I Repent, I Want a Broken Heart, Crooked Deep Down, Thankful, Trouble
My current favorite lyric is “it’s not just a struggle/Well it’s the blood running through my veins/And it’s all the clothes I’ve ever worn”
2. Sandra has an appreciation for old language and old hymns. See her album The Builder and the Architect.
3. Sandra’s voice. Mmmmm. Sweet, beautiful and a little sad at times. Go listen to “Portadown Station” on her MySpace page. *sigh*
4. Derek is a rabble-rouser, in a good way. He’s shaken me out of my Christian-culture complacency more than once. Here’s a snippet from T-Shirts (What We Should Be Known For):
“They’ll know us by the T-shirts that we wear/They’ll know us by the way we point and stare/At anyone whose sin looks worse than ours/Who cannot hide the scars of this curse that we all bear”
5. Their album “thanks” sections frequently end with cute little references to each other, like “I wouldn’t trade you for all the Guinness in Dublin.”
6. Sandra’s lyrics…even though Derek has more notoriety in the US, she’s the better writer, and Derek would be the first to tell you that. I give you…The High Countries: “We are just pilgrims /of the great divorce/I am witness to the light /and I am captive to my own remorse”
(this song was inspired by Lewis’ The Great Divorce, so it may not affect you if you haven’t read that book, but if you have? Wow. And the fact that she somehow made that rhyme? Wow, just wow.)
8. One time David and I stayed after a concert to help the band load the van, and Derek told me to stop carrying things. I was about five or six months pregnant with Jonathan at the time, and I was only carrying a guitar, but still, it was nice of him. 🙂
9. You’ve gotta love a guy who just wears white t-shirts all the time. No pretense. He just wants you to listen to the music.
10. Derek’s gospel-laden album She Must and Shall Go Free has inspired countless conversations with my young children about the complicated doctrines of propitiation, the atonement, and sanctification.
In keeping with his “rabble-rouser” status, those of you who are going to the concert can expect to hear Derek use an expletive from the stage tonight. If you are sensitive, you might want to stop up your ears….