ChurchMerch is a new feature here at Challies Dot Com. Under this heading I intend to examine some of the merchandise that is being and will be marketed to Christians. I will expand a little bit beyond merchandise and may also examine movies, television shows and other media targeted at the “faith and values” crowd. As this audience grows, so too does the amount of material intended for it and we will no doubt see the good, the bad and the ugly of ChurchMerch.
Today I will take a brief look at The Original Love Song, a CD recording of the Song of Solomon.
The Original Love Song brings The Song of Solomon to life with a masterful blend of sensuous dialogue and musical imagery… tastefully weaving the most famous love poems of all time into a compelling theatrical style story with an enchanting score by Academy and Golden Reel Award winning film composer, Alan Howarth… Each line of The Original Love Song was hand-picked, word-for-word from six different translations of the Bible, retaining the charm and poetic flow of the old-world vernacular. Every verse is then complimented with its own enchanting musical composition; capturing the message and essence of the spoken word with compelling aural imagery… The Original Love Song makes a perfect wedding gift, a thoughtful anniversary gift, and a wonderful Valentines Day gift… as well as a way to help rekindle romance, share your feelings, or get couples communicating in your marriage ministry.
In other words, The Original Love Song is a recording that attempts to capture a sensuous, erotic feel with both the spoken word and the background music. According to the producers, “The Original Love Song is a moving and sensual interpretation that deals with intimacy and virtue… [that] literally whisks the listener off to a very special place of sensual innocence and spiritual passion; a place so deep and so real, that many come away deeply moved, yet spiritually and romantically invigorated.” The Tampa Tribune says “Couples who want to put a little spiritual spice in the bedroom can get it from a breathy recitation of Song of Solomon, accompanied by mood-setting soundtrack.” The words are spoken in a sultry tone clearly intended to convey sexual desire. The music contributes to this atmosphere.
The CD booklet contains a separate section for men and women, each offering gender-specific advice. For example, for women it suggests “Compliment him often. In tracks 3 and 11 in The Original Love Song, the Shulammite calls Solomon a ‘stag or hart.’ In today’s language, stag means stud. So once or twice a week when your husband comes home from work, say: ‘How are you, Stud?’ He is a stud! He’s the only stud you’ve got. I guarantee you, he’ll like it.”
Like any good ChurchMerch, The Original Love Song is available in multiple versions and with multiple options. The CD is available with two different covers, there is a Wedding Bundle (which includes “an excellent book on spiritual bonding entitled ‘A Marriage After God’s Own Heart’ by noted Christian author Dr. David Clarke” and comes bundled in a royal blue velvet pouch, de-bossed with the ‘One Flesh’ male / female symbol. There are also gift pouches that can be purchased separately.
You can learn all about it www.originallovesong.com. You can read descriptions and reviews, meet the contributors and listen to audio samples. And, of course, you can buy it for yourself.
My opinion of this piece of ChurchMerch is that there is really nothing inherently wrong with it. The Song of Solomon is clearly intended to be a book about love and sexual desire. I don’t see anything unbiblical about setting it to a bit of music and reciting it in a tone that would convey much of the book’s intent. This is not to say that I enjoyed it. The fact is that I found it more than a little corny and certainly could never use it the way it is intended. If you can listen to this without rolling your eyes or giggling with embarrassment, you’re a better man than me. I give it points for originality and for quality of presentation, but little more than that.
If you know of some ChurchMerch I absolutely need to examine, feel free to drop me a note.