“Authority Song” by John Mellencamp (1983)

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music by Fr. Nick F. Lalog II, 31 January 2021
Photo by author, sunset at NLEX-Pampanga, 06 January 2021.

Glad to be back with our Sunday blog on music and the Gospel which speaks today of the people of Capernaum so amazed with Jesus speaking with authority as he preached to them and exorcised a man possessed by an unclean spirit (Mark 1:21-28).

We usually think of authority as having power over people, of subjugating and controlling them for our selfish motives. So often, the word and concept of authority is something we take with disdain and suspicion.

That is exactly the meaning of John Cougar Mellencamp’s Authority Song from his 1983 album called Uh-Huh.

The song is so typical of Mellencamp’s rebel attitude that made his music artistic and unique, making him the leading figure of the second generation of “heartland rockers” in the mid-80’s.

A very interesting part of this song whose video portrayed Mellencamp as a boxing underdog fighting for the ordinary people against the rich and powerful says something about authority’s real essence so close to our gospel this Sunday:

I call up my preacher
I say, “Give me strength for round 5”
He said, “You don’t need no strength, you need to grow up son”
I said, “Growin’ up leads to growin’ old and then to dyin’
Ooo, and dyin’ to me don’t sound like all that much fun”
And so I’ll say
I fight authority, authority always wins
Well, I fight authority, authority always wins
Well, I’ve been doing it since I was a young kid
I come out grinnin’
Well, I fight authority, authority always wins

From the Latin verb augere, augeribus which is to make something to increase, authority implies making things and persons better because in essence it is service. A person in authority is actually vested with powers to serve and help others become better by en-abling and em-powering them.

That’s the authority of Jesus, so powerful in bringing out the giftedness of everyone.

Jesus comes to us with authority to set us free from darkness and sins, fears and anxieties, angers and resentments that hinder us from appreciating the beauty of life and of being alive. He came with all authority from the Father to enable us to become the true persons God wanted us to be (https://lordmychef.com/2021/01/30/the-authority-of-jesus/).

At least, Mellencamp fought the wrong concept of authority; in his music video, it is implied he had lost but the kid who admired him so much was portrayed at the end as pulling his sleeves to indicate of continuing Mellencamp’s fight.

That kid represents us too, that we must continue to fight this wrong concept of authority as power to control people than serve as Jesus had shown us in the gospel.

Enjoy your Sunday with family and friends in Jesus!

Music video by John Mellencamp performing Authority Song. (C) 1984 John Mellencamp under exclusive license to The Island Def Jam Music Group.

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