Only Visiting this Planet

He said in one of his most influential albums that he was only visiting this planet, and he hadn't been well for a long time, but I was genuinely saddened when I read tonight that Larry Norman had died on the 24th February. Shows how out of touch I was all through March in that I hadn't heard before now. However, it also shows that in death and as in life he wasn't as well known as his talent deserved... He was an awkward character at heart and freely admitted that he was too secular for Christians and too Christian for those in the secular world. But he influenced many people in the music industry, and indeed there are those who claim that the multi-billion dollar Christian music industry owes its origins to him... though he probably wouldn't thank you for that.

He also influenced many people outside of music... including myself, even though his heyday was well passed before I started listening to his records. But he showed me that it was possible to retain both artistic and spiritual integrity (even if it was a shakey path he often trod). In the end I never saw him live in concert... I was sitting waiting for him at a concert in 1992 when news came through of his massive heart-attack the night before. No-one really expected him to survive... But he did... Apparently he was inducted into the Gospel Artists Hall of Fame and was more recently the subject of a massive tribute concert...

Now, however he has been inducted into a more famous hall, and is participating in the concert to beat all concerts... demonstrating beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Devil does not have all the best music...

But in this humble tribute I want the last words to go to Larry himself, who, despite his artistic pride always wanted the honour to go to the one that he followed... The Outlaw...

Some say he was an outlaw,
that he roamed across the land,
With a band of unschooled ruffians
and few old fishermen,
No one knew just where he came from,
or exactly what he'd done,
But they said it must be something bad
that kept him on the run.

Some say he was a poet,
that he'd stand upon the hill
That his voice could calm an angry crowd
and make the waves stand still,
That he spoke in many parables
that few could understand,
But the people sat for hours
just to listen to this man.

Some say a politician
who spoke of being free,
He was followed by the masses
on the shores of Galilee,
He spoke out against corruption
and he bowed to no decree,
And they feared his strength and power
so they nailed him to a tree.

Some say he was a sorcerer,
a man of mystery,
He could walk upon the water,
he could make a blind man see,
That he conjured wine at weddings
and did tricks with fish and bread,
That he talked of being born again
and raised people from the dead.

Some say he was the Son of God,
a man above all men,
That he came to be a servant
and to set us free from sin,
And that's who I believe he is
cause that's what I believe,
And I think we should get ready
cause it's time for us to leave.

Check out You Tube for a video to go along with this track.


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