Today’s Song: “Waiting for the World to Change” – John Mayer

Context:  Two seasons ago.  That reality dance show “So You Think You Can Dance.”  Each contestant performs their own spin on the same general choreography to Mayer’s song.  And the next day…

Yes, I know I just talked about this song in an earlier post.  I’m not done yet.  Almost, but not quite.

If you aren’t a fan of “SYTYCD,” you probably missed this entire controversy.  The day after the show aired, critics erupted with a roar about the anti-war stance of the show.  Their issue – The choice of song, coupled with the attire of the dancers (revolving around peace signs, mostly) and the reaction of one of the judges (who was clearly enthused by the performance and held up her own two-finger peace sign).

Now, admittedly, I’m a big fan of the show.  I think that they consistently ask the dancers to perform complex, beautiful, and emotional choreography.  In watching this particular episode, I’ll admit that I was strongly emotionally impacted.  Part of the choreography involved the dancers letting out a primal yell right as the song says, “If we had the power to bring our neighbors home from war, (pause – yell) they would have never missed a Christmas, no more ribbons on their door.”  I teared up every time a dancer did it.  In fact, I’m tearing up now just thinking about it (although I AM pregnant).

I’m not going to get into my point-of-view on Iraq, etc., since I don’t really think it’s important here.  I will say that I believe that in a fallen world, there are times historically when war for the sake of freedom, for the sake of others, has been necessary.  However, when people got so outraged about this show segment, I thought, “Why are they not hearing it like I hear it?  This is outrage over nothing.”

Every time I hear this song, particularly this part, I don’t think anti-this-war.  What fills my heart is the deep sadness that we do live in a fallen world, a world where war and sacrifice like this is necessary.  If we/you/I had the power to bring our neighbors home from war, to see peace on Earth/good will toward all men, of course we would do it, wouldn’t we?  Who doesn’t want a world at peace?  Christians especially should, I think.  Of course, it’s not within our power to end war, to bring peace on Earth.  That’s all wrapped up in what Christ did and what the fulfillment of God’s work will eventually do.

So, this is one of many situations that is teaching me to not be easily “outraged” or to join a media (left or right) bandwagon.  Just because the way I hear it first strikes a nerve, it never hurts to take another look from another perspective and see what of value I’m missing.


2 responses to “Today’s Song: “Waiting for the World to Change” – John Mayer”

  1. Listener says :

    My wife watches that show, and I happened to see most of that episode. It wasn’t even that great — it was almost literally exactly the same each time, and not a single one stood out to me. I’m surprised they did it because it was BAD TELEVISION.

    The fact that it was anti-war didn’t help.

  2. twangskitter says :

    I saw a great (if less moving) example of this on CNN’s page today… there are tons of comments denouncing Rick Perry for his (admittedly radical) comments about Texas seceding. But in all the ones I read, only one person addressed the fact that there are a great number of Texans (and Americans in general) who are radically upset by the spending policies of the new administration. 1 also happens to be the number of posts I read suggesting that racism was the root of the matter.


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