‘Come Alive‘ by the Foo Fighters is over ten years old, yet it remains an example of Christ alive in contemporary culture.
“…Nothing more to give I can finally live
Your life into me I can finally breathe
I lay there in the dark
Open my eyes
You saved me the day that you came alive.”
(Foo Fighters, 2007)
‘Come Alive’ was part of the 2007, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace album.
Viewed through the eyes of a child, teenager, husband or wife the words could easily reflect the sentiment of gratitude for an abusive/self-abusive person who has changed and is in the process of recovery.
The repetitive “come alive” is about the solemn gratitude that comes from an awakening. Within it is the mixture of a cautious relief, recognition and acknowledgement that when “good turns to bad”, “good can come from bad”. Accompanying this theme of thankfulness is the apparent rescue, and the author’s proclamation that rescue from the abyss is possible.
This isn’t an optimist speaking about a positivism detached from reality. ‘Come Alive’ is a proclamation and an invitation. Sentences like, “you saved me the day you came alive” could be taken to be a reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His death and resurrection as the point of our conversion – our being saved;the reconciliation with God made possible by the free decision of God to dwell among us, showing us our freedom to reject or accept that state of reconciliation.
The message speaks of promise for the broken, from the broken, to the broken.The message speaks to the recovering and those still stuck in a cycle of abuse, reminding them that Inhaled Grace Ignites.
The song starts with clear lines of remorse, empathy and remembrance.
“Seems like only yesterday
Life belonged to runaways
Nothing here to see,
No looking back
Every sound monotone
Every color monocrome
Life begin to fade into the black
Such a simple animal
Steralized with alcohol I could hardly feel me anymore
All filled up with emptiness
Felt like everything was said and done I lay there in the dark,
I close my eyes…”
From a theological perspective, the voice of proclamation and victory (one I would confidently say is empowered by the Holy Spirit) is to be heard moving out from behind the pain, and the silent groans which rest in what the author is reflecting on.
This is Jesus Christ alive in contemporary culture.
Within the song there is an active, raw acknowledgement of grace, and the gratitude given within it is a recognition of an awakening, a personal apocalypse, now very real, and very present to the author.
Dave Grohl confirms as much, stating that ‘Come Alive’ is ‘about reawakening after becoming a father. Anyone who’s a father understands how the world becomes a different place when your child is born. I just feel and see everything differently now.’ (Fooarchive)
Although the song is in the end about fatherhood.The overall weight, tone and presence of the song, even with its lack of a clear object, is worship.
It’s the intensity of these kinds of songs, which are created outside the ”Contemporary Christian Music Machine”, that make statements like the made by Kevin Davis, all the more intriguing:
“art and artists are vital for teaching us how to live. And, therefore, art is part of the gospel, whether or not the artist is fully aware.” (Kevin Davis, ‘The Grace of Holly Williams‘)
Jesus is Victor.
‘How precious is your steadfast love O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Oh continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart! Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.’ (Psalm 36:7-11, ESV)
(Updated from a post originally published on 5th May 2014)