David Gray: Ain't No Love

David_grayI've barely even heard of David Gray before a couple of weeks ago, but I'm glad that I found him through his newest CD, Life in Slow Motion.  I'm impressed.  Several good songs, but one of my favorites is Ain't No Love, which is basically an atheistic ballad. 

I was playing it in the car on Monday for my wife to hear, and she asked why I would like and want to listen to a song that is atheistic.  My response was that it is a beautiful song with powerful and thoughtful lyrics.  As art, it's good.  But I also consider it essential to ministry to understand the worldview of those who don't know Christ.  And guys like Gray are writing and singing songs that express something deeper than the glazed over reality most of us admit to.  Though honest struggling, this song is a great place to discuss essential and eternal things.  Notice below especially the last verse, the hopelessness found there.

Here's a very good article on Gray that includes some thoughts on this song.  Colorful language in this excerpt...

Gray has crafted a song called Ain't No Love that really soars, where the denial of God implicit in the chorus line - "ain't no love that's guiding me" - becomes paradoxically uplifting. This is the essential tension at the heart of Gray's work, which has never been as simplistic as some critics imply. Gray deals with dark material, but his singalong melodicism and Celtic spirit imbue it with a rich and ultimately uplifting sense of humanity.

"This sort of mess of illusions that people are clinging to and all the bullshit that it spawns which we're supposed to imbibe without complaint, I find depressing," he says. "I think we'd have a far more constructive society if people were more honest about things. But that's my point of view and music is really an escape from that. You're creating a sort of refuge for yourself first and then for others second, so it's a place to celebrate."

"We've got our lives to live, so nothing's changed there. We've still got to get on with it. But hopefully you can take all the stuff that's whirling around your particular universe and turn it into something that is uplifting."

"I think there's a sense of relief when someone writes a song that you can really connect with."

"That someone else has said something you felt or you've tried to say - that is uplifting in itself, it doesn't matter how sad or bitter it is."

Ain't No Love
by David Gray

Maybe that it would do me good

If I believed there were a God
Out in the starry firmament
But as it is that’s just a lie
And I'm here eating up the boredom
On an island of cement
Give me your ecstasy I'll feel it
Open window and I'll steal it
Baby like it’s heaven sent

This ain’t no love that’s guiding me

Some days I'm bursting at the seams
With all my half remembered dreams
And then it shoots me down again
I feel the dampness as it creeps
I hear you coughing in your sleep
Beneath a broken window pane
Tomorrow girl I'll buy you chips
A lollipop to stain your lips
And it’ll all be right as rain

This ain’t no love that’s guiding me
This ain’t no love that’s guiding me

No it ain’t no love guiding me
No it ain’t no love guiding me
No it ain’t no love guiding me

This ain’t no love that’s guiding me
This ain’t no love that’s guiding me

On winter trees the fruit of rain
Is hanging trembling in the branches
Like a thousand diamond buds
And waiting there in every pause
That old familiar fear that claws you
Tells you nothing ain’t no good
Then pulling back you see it all
Down here so laughable and small
Hardly a quiver in the dirt

This ain’t no love that’s guiding me