I Just Wanna Talk About Jesus

from the album: 
I've Been Freed (MP3)
Freed cover art
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Audio excerpt: End of chorus into verse 2
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Lyrics & notes

19 Jul 1974

don't make me talk about weather
please don't make me talk about trends
and don't ask my opinion of the latest style
can't we talk about something
that's never gonna end?

I just wanna talk about Jesus
I just wanna talk about His love
how it frees us
I just wanna talk about Jesus
and I just wanna talk about His love
He's the one we should all be talking of

don't make me think about fortune
don't make me think about fame
don't make me think about the friends that fail me
I'd rather think of someone who'll always stay the same

I just wanna think about Jesus
I just wanna think about His love
how it frees us
I just wanna think about Jesus
and I just wanna think about His love
He's the one we should all be thinking of

and I wanna think about paddlewheel boats
and rivers that run forever
and a captain that smiled at me once in a dream
(oh, you know, oh, you know it's not a dream)

I just wanna sing about Jesus
I just wanna sing about His love
how it frees us
I just wanna sing about Jesus
and I just wanna sing about His love
He's the one we should all be singing of

℗ © Creative Measures (ASCAP) (originally Trinity Sound Corporation, 1976)

1977 Notes:

I guess I just don't want to waste any time. I want you to know from the very beginning why we recorded this album—and more than that, why we live. I don't want you to have any doubts.

We've all been in situations where there seems to be a constant flow of conversation and light talk about every subject imaginable—except Jesus. One time I sat through about two hours of such non-stop nonsense when suddenly I got really fed up. "Why can't they ever talk about something that's gonna last forever?" I asked myself in disgust. Whereupon the Lord gently reminded me that He had given me a mouth, too, and that it might help if I would use it to change things instead of complaining.

Oh, I know there are many other things of value that we can and should talk about. Don't misunderstand me. But if we would call Him Lord, then He must truly be Lord of every conversation. And if we would name Him as our King, then He must indeed by King even of our deepest dreams.

Matthew 12:35,36

2006 Notes:

It seems to me now that the central thought in that whole Matthew passage is really at the end of verse 34: "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Whatever is in your heart will be communicated, one way or another. I think maybe what I should be saying is, "Lord, let my heart so overflow with You that I can't help but talk, and think, and sing about You." But I have to give you a little background info on this song...

We performed this song a lot with the Good News Circle, but never performed the bridge. We used the song as an opener, and the slower, more dreamy bridge would have dragged everything down, I guess. When it came time to record the song on the We Are His People album, I wanted to include it, but we ended up leaving it out then, too. I could understand the decision, but reserved the right to record the entire song as written at a later date. The bridge is included in this version.

That little story illustrates the problem with this song: Put the bridge in and it slows down an otherwise catchy, straight-ahead tune and complicates a simple message. Leave it out and the song becomes more one-dimensional. And if there's one thing truth is not, it's one-dimensional.

It's kind of like the difference between law and grace. You can approach things either way. You can (1) keep track of everything you say and think and try to control everything so it comes out right, or you can (2) just make sure your heart is right and let things flow. Since the verse says we'll speak what's in our hearts, seems to make the most sense to do the latter. Trying to control things only seems to work anyway. Even if you get the right words coming out in the right order, you just can't manufacture the meaning.

I took a trip to an amusement park with friends and was taken by surprise on the paddlewheel boat ride. The captain smiled at me, afternoon sun filtering sideways through the fake Spanish moss, and I just couldn't forget it. It haunted me, that smile haunted me, and it showed up in this song. It wasn't a dream, not really, yet it represented one. It was one of those divine moments that somehow manage to break through the routine and remind us of all the things we hope for.

So there it is, all wrapped up in a little bridge only a few bars long. The Lord made us human beings, not angels. Experience and communicate that humanness as only you can. Be real (and hold that thought for the next album).