Bweinh! Soundtrack — Rich Mullins

May 5, 2007, 12:30 pm; posted by
Filed under David, Music  | 9 Comments

Every weekend, a different Bweinh!tributor will discuss a song or songwriter that inspires or interests them. Read the first five soundtrack entries here.

The Day The Music Came Alive Again
It was the mid-’90s. Michael W. Smith had wimped out on national TV, doing everything he could to avoid being seen as a Christian artist. Amy Grant whined in a Good Housekeeping interview about missing all the good parties in college because she was a Christian (this was before she dumped her husband for a country singer). Dion DiMucci followed Bob Dylan’s lead and returned to secular music, Michael English had an affair with the girl from First Call, and Sandy Patty took up with her backup singer. I wasn’t yet mature enough to view these as fallen soldiers on the front lines, so I just despised them all, and called them “Temporary Christian Artists.”

So I turned off the radio, I put away the tapes, and the music died.

All that survived was my wife’s music, which consisted mainly of a whiny guy named Rich Mullins whose tapes droned on endlessly whenever we got in the car. She played it too low for me to hear well, so I just endured it — until one day when I heard the end of Jacob and Two Women and asked my daughter, “What the heck is he talking about? Who stole the moon and must be made to pay for it?”

“I don’t know,” she replied.

“And her friends say ‘My, that’s tragic,’ and she says…’Especially for him…’?”

“Especially for the moon…” My 8-year-old daughter corrected me.

“Oh… especially for the moon. And that’s the world as best as I can remember it? What is with this music your mom lets you listen to?”

She just stared back at me.

She didn’t have any answers either, but together Rachel, Philip and I set out to figure out what that song was about. We never did find out, but we found Rich Mullins, and music meant something to me again. At first it was the beauty of The River, by far the loveliest piece of music I had ever heard. Then it was Jacob and Two Women and Boy Like Me/Man Like You. I was hooked.

And the more I read, the more I found out about Rich himself. He lived what he preached and sang. He never saw his large royalty checks; they went to an independent ministry that paid him only what the average guy in America was making. He sang barefoot in work shirts and blue jeans. He started a group called Kid Brothers of St. Frank, named after Francis of Assisi, where they took an oath of poverty, chastity and the third thing that always goes with those — they lived their faith.

He singlehandedly ended my self-imposed exile from music and gave me back something I had loved and lost.


9 Comments to “Bweinh! Soundtrack — Rich Mullins”

  1. Hutch on May 5th, 2007 1:11 pm

    I had never heard of him before, but was fortunate enough to get to see him perform a free show at my college during my freshman year. Good stuff.

  2. Rose on May 5th, 2007 1:19 pm

    You’ve found number two on my aforementioned list of marrige-quality singers.

    Although, Steve was pretty close.

  3. dsweetgoober on May 5th, 2007 1:24 pm

    There was someone ahead of Rich Mullins? Let me guess, CARMEN!!

  4. dsweetgoober on May 5th, 2007 1:36 pm

    I finally remembered what that third vow is…obedience.

  5. Rose on May 5th, 2007 4:47 pm

    Hah, they weren’t in any particular order. I just mean that Jeremiah said Keith and now you’ve said Rich. Only two left to discover.

    Although, Carmen was up there.*

    *That was a joke for those of you who don’t actually know me.

  6. Aaron on May 6th, 2007 8:14 am

    He still is, for me, giving me something I love and lose every day. I very much enjoy his music.

    Favorite Rich story: my parents attended a concert of his one time. Halfway through and stoppped and asked if anyone wanted to come up on stage and join him. Several did. And that was the concert.

  7. dsweetgoober on May 6th, 2007 8:35 am

    My favorite story is when they brought him to Nashville with Amy Grant, Michael W Smith and all the other “rising stars” of Contemporary Christian Music to parade show them off. They all wore tuxes and evening gowns to this fancy hotel for the big bash. He wore his normal jeans and work shirt and felt really out of place. After a while no one could find him anywhere and after a long search they found him in a white servers outfit (complete with chefs hat) standing behind a buffet table serving people. It was the only way he could find to feel comfortable.

  8. Steve on May 7th, 2007 12:02 am

    He wrote my favorite poem, probably ever. You can read it here.

  9. 'Scared of the Dark' : Bweinh! on September 20th, 2007 8:45 am

    […] years ago yesterday, Rich Mullins died in a car accident. He was a singer, a songwriter, a poet and a prophet, an honest and authentic man of God. He was […]

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