thought i’d let you know about another recent musical discovery: a great Canadian singer, Miriam Jones. She’s made a couple of albums, both available on iTunes: sign and semblance (august 2005) and more recently being here (march 2007)
Hers is a very approachable folksy style, but one is very quickly drawn in by her raw honesty and emotional truth. This is what her website bio has to say:
Miriam Jones is a bold writer with a restorative, liberating, and whimsical voice. Her sound shares characteristics with the likes of Beth Orton, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, and Delores O’ Riordan. Miriam shows herself at home in an acoustic and harmonic geography akin to David Gray, Iron & Wine, and Simon & Garfunkel. Her work is arresting in its artistry, but also possesses a lyrical depth intent on engaging the thoughtful listener.
“…a style of heart felt yearning from a performer that compels your attention.”
I love songs that can match lyrical music with profound lyrics. And you get that here in buckets. They are beautiful and thought-provoking. One that has got me going today is from the second album, called I AM ONE. In this song, Miriam brilliantly articulates the contradictions and paradoxes of being an everyday Christian. There is a sense of progression through the song and yet at the same time, each verse equally describes a simultaneous reality. Martin Luther once described the Christian as simul iustus et peccator (the only reason for quoting the Latin is that it is so wonderfully succinct!). What Luther was on about is the unavoidable but hugely important truth that a Christian is both a saint (literally someone who has been justified or made right with God) and a sinner (someone who rebels against God) at one and the same time. Miriam’s I AM ONE gets it all. Here are a few excerpts:
I am one of his disciples; I am one who bears his name
I am one of Satan’s rivals; I am one and I am … Unashamed
I am orphan made a daughter; I am a harlot made a wife
I am a poor man called to dinner; I am a stranger recognised
Though I am the image of a hidden glory
… Alleluia – I am home to coming king
I am one of his defiers; I am one of his runaways
I have fought him to the wire; I have cursed him to his face
I am one who he has pardoned; I am one who knows his grace…
Oh and for the sake of transparency – i should add at this stage that Miriam has recently got engaged to Jez, my brother-in-law, and they are getting married this summer! Hurrah. Canada’s loss is Britain’s gain!