Using contemporary songs to illuminate Scripture and life

Monday, March 01, 2004

"Find Your Way to Prague" by Jonathan Rundman (Transfiguration)

Note: Last week we used Jonathan’s song for this week, because it had to do with Ash Wednesday. This week we jump back to Jonathan’s song for Transfiguration, the Sunday before Lent.

Connect with Scripture: 1 Peter 1:16-19
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Sound Theology
Today’s Song: “Find Your Way to Prague” by Jonathan Rundman, from the album, Sound Theology - Disc One)
1. so you're getting old just standing in your field
with many acres left behind the plow
you're feeling like you've said all this before
and you need to sort it out once and for all

there's a place for you
it's what you gotta do
you gotta find your way to prague

2. so you wanna get yourself out of the dust
and you're needing some perspective on it all
when you're standing in the eastern bloc
the whole wide world starts looking small

there's a place for you
it's what you gotta do
you gotta find your way to prague

3. set out on the 50th parallel
feel the change with every step down the track
Czechoslovakia hello
never be the same when you get back

there's a place for you
it's what you gotta do
you gotta find your way to prague

Lowell Michelson: drums
Jonathan: drum loop, electric guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals

Jonathan’s comment on “…Way to Prague”
This one was written back in 1993 while I was assembling my Wherever album during my serious geography-song phase. My original demo recording of it was sort of a country-rock thing which seemed to fit with the farm imagery in the verses. My wife, Dawn, inspired the Swedish-disco arrangement of the song by reminding me of bands like the Cardigans and Ivy that we’d been listening to. The lyrics tells of my own personal “transfiguration” during a 1991 solo trip to the then-country of Czechoslovakia…I think it was on this trip that I became an adult. [Ed. Note: Jonathan was born in 1971].

Jonathan’s Questions to Ponder
Are there single days in your life that have altered your whole existence?
Can you pinpoint your change from youth to adult?

Behind the Music
1. Stanza 1, what are the questions being pondered in the field?
2. Chorus, how is Prague different from the field?
3. Stanza 2, what kind of perspective does Jonathan seem to get from being in Prague?
4. Chorus, do you think he really thinks his place is in Prague? What does he mean by finding your way to Prague? What is your Prague?
5. Stanza 3, what is it about traveling that causes someone to “never be the same when you get back”?
6. He says this song is about his personal “transfiguration.” At the Transfiguration, Jesus reveals His divine nature to Peter, James, and John. How does becoming an adult reveal your true self? Does your true self reflect something from the Mount of Transfiguration?
7. Do you think the Transfiguration was like Prague for Peter, James, and John? What fields had they left behind? Were they never the same when they got back?
8. In 1 Peter 1:16-19, Peter describes the effect the Transfiguration had on him. How did it change his mission and message?
9. Have you had a Prague experience in your faith?
10. How is God’s Word “like a light in a dark place” that we need to pay attention to, as Peter says? How could a transforming experience remind us of that light?

Lyrics, comments, and questions reprinted with the kind permission of Jonathan Rundman.

Jonathan wrote these songs with an eye to the Lutheran Book of Worship appointed readings for each week of the church year but has told me that he does not necessarily connect a specific reading with each song. Therefore, the reading I have selected to use for reflection is my choice and not Jonathan's.

Click here to find out about Jonathan Rundman or his record label, Salt Lady Records
Click here to read my review of Sound Theology.