Using contemporary songs to illuminate Scripture and life

Sunday, April 25, 2004

"Thanks to You" performed by Chris Smither (written by Jesse Winchester)

Connect with Scripture: Titus 3:3-8
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

Small Revelations
Today’s Song: “Thanks to You,” Written by Jesse Winchester, This version by Chris Smither from the album, Small Revelations

1. I know, I’m a sinner
And I ain’t some beginner,
I’ll uncork a pint of trouble,
And sit down, and drink a double.

2. I’m thirsty for somethin’ lighter,
That could get me even tighter,
And tighter, ‘til some day,
I swear I hear angels play.

Goodness, is it really real,
It would take a child to know the way I feel,
Oh my, floatin’ in the blue,
I could take the credit, but it’s thanks to you.

3. Someday, up in glory,
I’ll weep and I’ll tell my story,
To someone, who will smile,
And say, “You’re a mess, but you’re my child.”

Goodness, is it really real,
It would take a child to know the way I feel,
Oh my, floatin’ in the blue,
I could take the credit, but it’s thanks to you.

Repeat Stanza 2
Repeat Stanza 3

Chorus (2 x)

© Jesse Winchester

Chris Smither: guitar, vocal
Chris Maresh: bass
Brannen Temple: drums
Stephen Bruton: rhythm guitar
Riley Osbourn: keyboard

Behind the Music
1. Stanza 1, what does this line mean, “I ain’t some beginner”? How does that connect with the drinking metaphor?
2. Stanza 1, where does Titus 3:3-8 make a reference to a pint of trouble?
3. Stanza 1, what do we do in our daily lives that uncorks a pint of trouble?
4. Stanza 2, is this stanza about drinking? What are we really thirsty for?
5. Chorus, what is the feeling that only a child could know?
6. Chorus, he says that he can’t take the credit. Who is he thanking for this feeling?
7. Stanza 3, how does this stanza describe Judgment Day?
8. Stanza 3, how does this stanza match what Paul says in the reading from Titus?
9. Stanza 3, this stanza perfectly explains the Gospel. Agree or disagree?
10. Stanza 2, how does the Titus 3 passage get us tighter and lighter?
11. How does this blues song bring out what’s really behind the Confession of Sins in a worship service?

Lyrics reprinted with the kind permission of Jesse Winchester.
Thank you also to Chris Smither.

Blues and the Gospel
For more about the connection between the Blues and the Gospel, please click on the following links:
My sermon from June 6, 1999
My music review of Kelly Joe Phelps