Thursday, February 3

A Belated Grateful Farewell

I know that no-one to whom this is directed will ever read this blog. But I need to say it anyway:

Five Iron Frenzy, thank you. For all the years that you gave us good, fun music, thank you. For all the songs that made us laugh, thank you. For all the insane bonus tracks and live goofs, thank you.

To those of you who don't know who or what Five Iron Frenzy is, let me explain.

Five Iron Frenzy is a Christian ska band that specialized in silly songs (such as the These Are Not My Pants rock opera) juxtaposed with incredibly insightful songs (such as Every New Day). They played for years, and got better all the time. They were very real, about the good things and the bad things.

I wrote them a letter after my first year in college, thanking them for their music. A member of the band wrote back to me several times, and even e-mailed me once or twice. They are good people, with a crazy sense of humor.

Their last tour has been over for a while now. The band Five Iron Frenzy, technically, no longer exists. But I sit here in the library, listening to a live track from their last tour.

They were singing the song Every New Day:

When I was young, the smallest trick of light,
Could catch my eye,
Then life was new and every new day,
I thought that I could fly.
I believed in what I hoped for,
And I hoped for things unseen,
I had wings and dreams could soar,
I just don't feel like flying anymore.
When the stars threw down their spears,
Watered Heaven with their tears,
Before words were spoken,
Before eternity.

Dear Father, I need you,
Your strength my heart to mend.
I want to fly higher,
Every new day again.

When I was small, the furthest I could reach,
Was not so high,
Then I thought the world was so much smaller,
Feeling that I could fly.
Through distant deeps and skies,
Behind infinity,
Below the face of Heaven,
He stoops to create me.

Dear Father, I need you,
Your strength my heart to mend.
I want to fly higher,
Every new day again.

You are not alone
You are not alone
You are not alone
You were never alone.

Man versus himself.
Man versus machine.
Man versus the world.
Mankind versus me.
The struggles go on,
The wisdom I lack,
The burdens keep pilling
Up on my back.
So hard to breathe,
To take the next step.
The mountain is high,
I wait in the depths.
Yearning for grace,
And hoping for peace.
Dear God...Increase.

Healing hands of God have mercy on our unclean souls once again.
Jesus Christ, light of the world burning bright within our hearts forever.
Freedom means love without condition,without a beginning or an end.
Here's my heart, let it be forever Your's,
Only You can make every new day seem so new.

At the end, the crowd--knowing that the end was near--simply began chanting "Thank you," over and over again. The band ended the song, and slowly moved into "Amazing Grace." Then the lead singer, Reese, began to talk about ending, and passing on the mantle to the next generation. Then, mentioning the snow falling outside, the track ended with Five Iron Frenzy and the concert crowd singing "Silent Night."

Thank you, FIF. We will miss you. A bright spark of humor and insight has passed.

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