Though I’m not a hugely religious person, I’ve always had an appreciation for music which manages to incorporate religion in a way that I find palatable. This song relies heavily on finding grace through God, but ultimately I consider it about “rising above” and turning away from self-destructive sin.

This video gets the spotlight this weekend not entirely because of the lyrical content of the song, but also because it represents everything a music video should be. It outlines and reinforces the message of the song without simply being a literal representation of it.

Category: Church, Theater

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8 Responses to HCW: Long, Black Train

  1. stone says:

    Uh mah ghod Will, did you slip Christian music in on us? Or was it just country?

    I get a Rick Astley flashback, hearing that voice come out of that guy.

  2. trumwill says:

    It’s somewhere in between, but I would put it in Country rather than Christian by virtue of the fact that CMT played the video. CMT doesn’t play straight-up Christian music so much unless it has an appeal beyond the religious one.

  3. SFG says:

    Oh, he’s good.

    So when the lady feels the baby and survives the onslaught of the train, she’s presumably decided not to abort it?

    And the two pairs of girls? The gothy-looking one offering the other one the drugs disappears because she’s encouraging her to do drugs…what was the story with the black one and the white one? Were they prostitutes? Lesbians? I’m not sure what the implication is supposed to be, I’m not familiar with country 🙂

  4. stone says:

    It keeps freezing. I can’t get past the part about the preggo on the tracks. She looks a bit far along for an elective abortion. Perhaps she was thinking of suicide?

  5. trumwill says:

    Most of the images are of people in the process of making or having made mistakes. The question is whether or not they will own up to their mistakes or just hop on the train. Will the obese dude start eating healthier or will he just eat himself to death? What about the alcoholic? For the pregnant girl, I think it has more to do with making life changes opposed to the one that got her pregnant in the first place.

    Even Nashville gets antsy about pro-lifery and the abortion issue on the whole. So I think the intent was to put something out there that could be taken multiple ways. My initial impression was that it meant that she should grow up. The second impression was suicide. Abortion came third, mostly because as Sheila points out she was so far along (though I suppose that could be creative license).

    As for the black and white girls, I think the implication is prostitutes. More generally, I think the implication is that there are people that accept and embrace their shortcomings and “hop on the train” while there are others that fend for themselves (presumably by trying to improve themselves.

    Alternately, perhaps Josh Turner (or the director) is a Calvinist and believes that some people are just inherently to be saved while others will be left behind on God’s whims. I like that interpretation less.

  6. SFG says:

    Are there real Calvinists still running around? I always figured most of these guys were evangelical Christians, and they think *everyone* can be saved.

    Thanks for the explication–I’m not that familiar with the culture.

  7. stone says:

    Isn’t Phi a Calvinist, or with a religion with Calvinist underpinnings? I think there are still some back East.

  8. trumwill says:

    The Calvinists that I know tend to be old school Presbyterians, which I think Phi is. I didn’t think Calvinists were still around, either, until I made an impolite comment a few years back within earshot of a Presbyterian friend.

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