A New Law

Apparently, I’m about 2 1/2 years late discovering this little gem of a tune by an artist named Derek Webb. It’s called “A New Law” and is on his “Mockingbird” CD. I had not heard of him before finding this song, nor have I listened to any of his other music yet. But this song is mostly very good.

I came across the song because the White Horse Inn podcast used it as bumper music. The topic for the episode was “Shallow Waters” in which they were discussing the shallowness of the American (western?) church. Basically how evangelical churches (for the most part) aren’t encouraging their members to study the scriptures for themselves, how we in America want all things just handed to us, etc.

BTW, I recommend their podcast. Usually pretty good stuff there.

Back to the song. I find a lot of what it says and how it says it causing me to grieve somewhat for the state in which we find the church today. Here is a clip that I lifted from the podcast. Basically, it’s the bumper. I’m guessing (hoping?) that I’m not trampling on anyone’s copyright by posting that piece of the song here, since it was technically used in an over-the-air broadcast (the White Horse Inn is a radio show that also podcasts).

Here are the lyrics, copied from one of those freebie song lyrics sites:

don’t teach me about politics and government
just tell me who to vote for
don’t teach me about truth and beauty
just label my music

don’t teach me how to live like a free man
just give me a new law

i don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy
so just bring it down from the mountain to me

i want a new law
i want a new law
gimme that new law

(vs. 2)
don’t teach me about moderation and liberty
i prefer a shot of grape juice

don’t teach me about loving my enemies

don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit
just give me a new law


what’s the use in trading a law you can never keep
for one you can that cannot get you anything
do not be afraid

I hopped over to amazon.com and spent the $0.99 to get this song (DRM-free!). I’m finding myself listening to it again and again. It’s got a simple piano and guitar track which is quite effective in bringing across the message (i.e. it has good prosity).

The song kind of falls apart at the end (in my opinion). He repeats that last phrase, “Do not be afraid” over and over again for a full minute. I think it detracts from the rest of the song. I can kind of get a message of “do not be afraid to study” or “do not be afraid to require your church members to do more study” as a kind of capper to the song’s message, but putting a whole minute of a 4 minute song to just repeating that phrase makes the song seem to end in an anticlimactic way.

But other than that flaw, I think the song is just wonderful. Go spend a buck on it.

Oh, and then study something!