This is a tune my producer Larson Ghormley wrote and asked me to sing on a new version he was producing (he has an original version, but figured he’d make another one). Interestingly enough, the morning he had called me and asked if I’d like to sing on his track, I was just finishing being in an argument with my wife over the-you guessed it-“Dirty Dishes” (I obviously didn’t do them). When I asked him what track he’d like me to sing on, you could only imagine the grin of irony on my face when he named me the said title.
I quickly went to work; figuring out a way to approach the song, (change the melody, do harmonies, scream?) at first I didn’t know, but I prayed and asked God to help. In this process I also struggled a bit at first wether or not I should even sing the tune, due to some seemingly sinful lyrics in the song (which in light of the context is more real than anything-and any Christian that is unwilling to admit they had felt this same way before too is either lying or they have a whole lotta grace); the lyrics go,”…when Jesus and God (The Father-adding for clarification) seem fake”. Now at first glance, that seems blasphemous, but upon deeper and more honest scrutiny-that is a genuine situation and emotion; a feeling not quite talked about within modern evangelical art, but it is in this tune and what a ya know, by Gods Grace, I got to take part in that moment of genuineness.
I decided to keep the same melody ( an easier range on my voice) and express more emotion through the harmony parts-almost like the main melody is the person people see and hear speaking on the outside (normal-ish) and the harmonies, mocking-laughter, and growling-raspy-shouting are the impressions of memories and the internal battle of torment that no-one can see (‘cept God of course), but hear; here in this tune. Once I took the ideas (I had been led to) down (answer to prayer of course-praise God!) soon after completion I hit the road to the recording studio in Los Angeles to a place that is gone now (interesting story, maybe one day Larson will tell it). This was the perfect moment not only to start applying the things I’d been given in my head for the song, but also the ideas I had been theorizing at home in regard to singing; “sing it how you say it”. There I was given the grace to put this into praxis (practice for those unaware of co-opting marxist terminology-which they do to our terminology all the time, but I’m actually meaning what they say by definition here-anyway…). It was a great experience (very fun getting those laugh tracks! Thanks brother for taking the call early in the morning for jokes to make us laugh. Didn’t work to well, but thank you), and because this was an emotional tune, I did my best to channel the feelings Larson & I had in common; being musicians that gave their lives to study music so we could perform for people; which now don’t know enough about music to even enjoy what we do so they listen to trap music instead (it’s getting better-thank God for JVKE). Please Lord grant us more grace.
Lyrically (as the new story teller) the whole concept of dirty dishes became very intriguing to me. Biblically speaking, we are creatures, I am a creature and I have been made with purpose to do what God made me to do-I can’t help that; some people are born bankers, scientists, some are really proficient with customer service and getting orders spot on with a professional swagger and mature confidence on their face at only a short time on the job (Jesus at Wingstop) since this is true, the reason my life can’t be different is because God spoke it. My life. He is speaking it now-he spoke Larson’s life; our lives are grasping at the sand-vapor as Solomon describes it in The Book of Ecclesiastes-now that’s some good food (good read)! The people along our way that don’t give us the best advice, the degree that helped little in our education, but helped our distaste for creativity much while only leaving us in debt (music without God at the foundation is “…sound and furry signifying nothing” after all;meaningless-Dawkins I believe) and to whoever else bought into the lies of secularism might find any “good” art to be worthless and leave it unknown-and that sink of dirty dishes though; that beautiful metaphor-this mess was all according to Gods plan. There’s scripture somewhere that says something to the effect of, if there are no animals in the stall, it’s pretty clean. Once you’ve got much livestock, you’ve got a terrible mess on your hands, but much produce-if you’ve got a mess there is much to do and much to be thankful for; through the hardship of insecurity, failure, self depreciation, hypocritical abandon (what does that mean?), dealing with people who just don’t care-yes it’s the blues, yes it rhythmic complaint, but that’s good story. God digs it when we are honest and when we plead our cause to Him! There are eavesdropping ears judging every step we take, there are times when family and friends all seem fake even times when Jesus and God (The Father) seem fake and the only way these dirty dishes will ever get done is as soon as we trust The Lord with the dishes He’s given us, rather than thinking we are the maker and arbiter of the distinction of dishes-nope, God is Shakespeare and we are Hamlet-I’ll do one better; we are the dishwasher; we can learn to enjoy our job cheerfully or complain all the while we do it-in other words, we must trust in what God is doing in our lives-mess or not. It is not our will that will accomplish the task, but His.
Soli Deo Gloria
Songwriter: Larson Ghormley
Singers: Ronnie Blanchet
Mix&Master: Daniel _______