Lab Track: All This Time

Lab Track: All This Time

This weekend, a bunch of skeptics from Illinois, Minnesota, and Iowa converged at House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Not only did we take a look at the mind-bending, reality-twisting “exhibits” (if you even call them that) at the House, but we had the pleasure of listening to George Hrab play a full concert for us. I also had the pleasure of jamming with him on my sax, but that’s for another post.

George obviously is a champion of writing skeptical and atheist-themed songs, but he also played a cover that night. He introduced All This Time by the Police as a tune he had listened to for years and years, only to hear it one day and suddenly realize that it’s all about atheism. Take a listen and check out the lyrics — one line he liked in particular was “Men go crazy in congregations; they only get better one by one.”

All This Time
Sting and The Police

I looked out across
The river today
Saw a city in the fog
And an old church tower
Where the seagulls play
Saw the sad shire horses
Walking home in the sodium light
Two priests on the ferry
October geese on a cold winter’s night

All this time
The river flowed
Endlessly
To the sea

Two priests came round
Our house tonight
One young, one old
To offer prayers for the dying
And to serve the final rites
One to love, one to teach
Which way the cold wind blows
One fussing and flapping in priestly black
Like a murder of crows

All this time
The river flowed
Endlessly
To the sea

If I had my way
I’d take a boat from the river
And I’d bury the old man
I’d bury him at sea

Blessed are the poor
For they shall inherit the earth
Better to be poor
Than be a fat man in the eye of a needle
As these words were spoken, I swear
I hear the old man laughing
What good is a used-up world
And how could it be worth having?

All this time
The river flowed
Endlessly
Like a silent tear

All this time
The river flowed
Father, if Jesus exists
Then how come he never lived here?

Teachers told us
The Romans built this place
They built a wall and a temple on the edge of the
Empire garrison town
They lived and they died
They prayed to their gods
But the stone gods did not make a sound
And their empire crumbled
Till all that was left
Were the stones the workmen found

All this time the river flowed
In the falling light of a northern sun
If I had my way
I’d take a boat from the river
Men go crazy in congregations
They only get better one by one
One by one
One by one, by one
One by one

I looked out across
The river today
I saw a city in the fog
And an old church tower
Where the seagulls play
Saw the sad shire horses
Walking home in the sodium light
Two priests on the ferry
October geese on a cold winter’s night

This has been another installment of Monday Lab Tracks. Send us your musical recommendations through our contact link at the top of the page, and tell us what you think of the song in the comments below!

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) lives in Chicago where she plays jazz saxophone, writes stuff, and does a lot of skeptickin'. She is currently recovering from being raised in the wooiest city in California and then living in Megachurch Texas, USA. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.
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