TS10: Broken Heart Needed

One of the beautiful aspects of creating art is the lasting impact a given piece of art can have, regardless of where the artist goes after that piece is created. Derek Webb is one of my favorite songwriters ever. His impact on me was built on honest lyrics, direct questions, and a penchant for being a necessary pain in the ass to the evangelical establishment here in the U.S. Those things were part and parcel of Webb’s vibe for much of his solo career.

Over the past few years, Mr. Webb has undergone something of a personal paradigm shift. I don’t understand the nuances of that shift. I don’t know the man personally. But, what seems to be clear, is that the faith that once was the foundation for so much of his honesty, questioning, and provocation has either dramatically changed or is simply gone. He seems like a different guy than the one who penned the songs on his first few albums. But, that doesn’t alter the truth of those early lyrics or the poignancy of his questions, his longing, his provocation.

The last song on this week’s TS10 is I Want a Broken Heart from his I See Things Upside Down album. No matter where Derek Webb is personally these days, the honest truth in this song stands.

I’ve got faith in the bank and money in my heart
I’ve got a calloused place where your ring used to be, my love

I’ve traded naked and unashamed
For a better place to hide
For a righteous mask, a suit of fig leaves and lies

I thought the cattle on a thousand hills
Was not enough to pay my bills
And I fell in love with those who proved me wrong
And now I want a broken heart

Now there’s a great pad lock
On the place where I was free
And I’m feeling bad from swallowing that key
Now I work real hard but I mostly call in sick
Of a broken back from the ground fighting back at me

I cannot look you in the eye
So I check the knots on my disguise
‘Cause I fell in love with fashion in the dark
And now I want a broken heart

I’ve got alibis for every crime
A substitute to do my time
‘Cause Your heart breaks enough on both our parts
So now I want a broken heart
Now I want a broken heart
Now I want a broken heart