When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down
When I was sinking down, oooooooh
When I was sinking down, Christ laid aside His crown, Christ laid aside His crown for my soul
Envy shares a bed with Consumerism, they like two symbiotic organisms, hers and hisms,
Poppin’ like pugilism, propping up feudalism, do you understand my [radio edit] syllogism?
Man, they like the Dream Team, envy generating all the green
our consumption-based economy needs to keep its machine clean with that sickening sheen,
Like Charlie or Martin, now I’m startin to get mean
Envy is like oil, slick, quick, thick, tricky, hard to quit, it keeps the parts from sticking,
and we just keep on licking it up, and bricking it up, build a tall wall of all the stuff
But I think I heard a way to tear the wall down
If we take the stuff we have and just share it all around
We might not end up with tons, but the truth is,
We’ll have more than enough with the five loaves and two fish
Violence is not an aberration, it’s a manifestation of a sickness in the nation
Whether Lebanese or Haitian, Russian, Prussian, Czech, Croatian
Or American, there again it could be Roman or Galatian
Violence is a symptom, like a shaking in the knees,
And at its root is a disease, attacking in ones or twos or threes
These are numbers that can hunker in a bunker, like a skunk or like a mole
Running scared into his hole, a world he can control
But we can’t control the world, ain’t that it?
Can’t protect the ones we love from all of life’s nastiest bits
And we’re afraid they might get hurt, and we’re afraid that danger’s near,
And we’re afraid of all this violence that is caused by all our fear
And the fear is near and dear to some, I fear that much is clear
It’s a devastating tool that kicks the machine into high gear
But its hand is overplayed, and its welcome overstayed
Because I’ve heard the Good News and it begins, Do Not Be Afraid!
Me, I often try to do it all on my own, you know go it alone
I’m the Ranger they call Lone, the only danger is I don’t think that Jesus condones
That kind of blindness, remember them asking ‘bout casting them stones?
Couldn’t see in themselves what they saw in others’ lives
Meanwhile my brother strives to find himself safely inside the cleft that hides
the best of why we’re blessed by community, It’s unity, but not impunity, not immunity to pain,
To heartache, to sadness, it’s not eternal gladness, There’s goodness and there’s badness
But there’s Good News, and that is The Word became Flesh and made His dwelling among us
A light shines in the darkness, and Darkness will not overcome u
“This song started before the Hymn Reclamation Project even began, way back in the days when I had first moved to Virginia and I hadn't yet started making music with the friends who would eventually become The Walking Roots Band. I was doing a little songwriting challenge with a buddy from college, and he challenged me to write a song about Envy. So I put one together real quick, sent it to him, and didn't think much more about it.
"One day when Seth and I were working on writing for the second round of the Hymn Reclamation Project, we just started jamming on the line ‘When I was sinking down’ from "What Wondrous Love is This," a 19th century hymn text from an anonymous source. For whatever reason, the first verse from the Envy song came to my mind, so I just started rapping it while we jammed. Seth got into it, and the concept was born. We wanted to pair the chorus with verses that highlighted things we see causing us to sink down. For this song we chose consumerism/greed, violence/fear, and the myth of self-sufficiency and independence.
“The writing of a rap song is a funny process for me. I'm so fascinated by the sounds of words, I kind of get into a zone of concentration where I'm strictly focused on the rhymes and following them to their next stop. I'm sometimes surprised when I step back and realize that the words actually mean something and might actually speak some truth. In this song, I'm struck by what happened in the second verse. I have been challenging myself to take notice of the places in my life where fear is the motivation for the choices I make. It is sort of terrifying and exhilarating to recognize those instances and to then remember God's love and the admonition to ‘be not afraid’, and to THEN allow your decisions to actually be shaped by the strength of God's love. So do not be afraid; the Light shines in the Darkness, and the Darkness will not overcome it.” - Greg
Michael – Lead Vocals (chorus); Rachel – Harmony Vocals; Adam – Banjo, Harmony Vocals; Greg – Guitar, Rap vocals; Seth – Cajon, Harmonica; Kristina – Violin, Harmony Vocals; Jackson – Bass, Harmony Vocals
Text: chorus lyrics from “What Wondrous Love”, Anon. c. 1811 with verses by Gregory J. Yoder, 2015; Music: Gregory J. Yoder and Seth Thomas Crissman, 2015