Song of Songs - Introduction
"How handsome you are, my beloved. How charming and our bed is verdant"
The Shulamite to King Solomon. Song of Songs Ch1 vsw 16
INTRODUCTION TO THE SONG OF SONGS As a Multi Media Musical Dance Drama
Are you the kind who read the forwards in a book. Then I encourage you to read to the end. Those who put something in always get something out. To the rest, please at least read a paragraph or two. My experience with this book and musical was nothing short of miraculous. I am just sketching the beginnings and background here and revealing the narration start to the public ministry "performances" of this "musical".
There is very little in life more captivating than romance.
So it should not be surprising that at the very heart of our creator's inspired book, the scriptures include this love poem. It is so special, that it claims the title: Song of Songs. Few have not heard of the great King Solomon, famed for his riches and wisdom. This was His love poem for the Shulamite, an intriguing mystery woman, whom some believe was none other than the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba. It is said that the queen, who travelled far to see that of which she had heard, on experiencing it, lost all spirit within her. She was overwhelmed. But is this song more than just the love song of Solomon for the Shulamite. After all scripture is "breathed" by Elohom, according to Paul. Surely this is more that just a intimacy pointers for believers, though it is that also. Oh yes, indeed it is. It is much more than that.
PLEASE LISTEN TO THE OPENING TRACK 1
INTRODUCTORY NARRATION Narrated by Eckhard Rabie
HOW IT CAME ABOUT In the 1980's, a Hebrew of the tribe of Judah, a Jew (I say this to diferentiate from Israelites, a group of 12 tribes, one of which is Judah) a man who had found Yeshua as his saviour, Rodney Graber, came to visit me. He wanted to share a revelation he felt worthy of passing on. Yeshua he said, is Solomon and the Shulamite is His bride. He also explained that I should see that Psalm 45 as linked to the Song of Songs. A few weeks later he called me on the phone to tell me that he believed God had told him that I would write a musical on the Song of Songs. All I could say was that God willing it will be so, but in point of fact, I did not have the same hope he seemed to have then.
Yet some time later, after I had moved my family to another part of the country to involve myself in mission work, we returned for a visit to Cape Town and were staying in my parents home. I walked into Melody Inn, a music shop in Cavendish square Claremont and they were advertising the arrival of the new Roland D50 keyboard. I fiddled on it with some headphones and was quite captivated by the sounds. I had bought much from them and they allowed me to take a D50 home on trial. I was no keyboard player then and even now, many years later, I am still not. I placed it in my old bedroom moving my bible open to the back of a shelf to make room for it. Within a very short space of time, I found myself playing some chords and then singing the words in front of me to the tune I heard in my head. The bible was open at Song of Songs and the words I was singing directly from scripture was the start of what would become a 24 piece musical.
You can find more info on the creation of the album by accessing ALBUM 5 from the MAIN MENU.
I would later perform this musical together with my wife and children and two other South African women, Juanita Bradshaw, (the choreographer and much more) and Amanda. We ministered first, through the UK, from Scotland in the north then moving down to the Lake District, Henley on Thames and finally far south to Portsmouth. We also shared it twice in South Africa, in the north and at Christ Church in Kenilworth, Cape Town, the Southern Point of Africa.
I hope that you will follow the thread of what will essentially be "musical bible study" as I intend sharing some of the revelations that came to me from this book chapter by chapter, as God breathed music and revelation into me and gave me a faith that was not my own.
He said that I was to trust him and step out into the water and I would see the rock come up under my feet. He also encouraged me with a prophet who said: "I have opened a door for you among a people of great traditions....." and someone also sent me a random postcard with nothing but Big Ben on the front and "its time for you to glorify your name in England, Father" scribbled on the back. I believed he also told me that I should complete the Song of Songs music and travel to the UK on the 24 of the 9th month. This came from the book of Haggai, which speaks of the day that the foundation of the temple was laid. I also felt that I should use the temple structure for the play, where the audience were in the outer court of the temple and being encouraged through the presentation to accept the invitation of Yahweh to come into the Holy Place for he had torn the veil for those who would hear. The words that I should step out into the water and a rock would come up for my feet became my experience for the 6 months after taking the first of buying tickets with all the money I had.
We then went to say goodbye to my mother in Cape Town from where we would take our flight to Heathrow. My mom gave me 4000 rand then. It translated in the late 80's into 900 pounds worth of traveler checks. When we returned after six months I found one 100 pound check still in the bottom of my back. The four of us, my wife and two children, had lived and travelled to the UK and even through Spain, on 800 pounds. I had even bought a car for 400 or 450 pounds and sold it later back to the dealer for 250 pounds. Wherever we went God would open homes and provide food and transport for us. Never once did I even have to ask anyone for anything except God, although I did ask some ex South Africans if we could stay with them initially in the UK. They collected us from the airport and were very kind to us. They had lived near us in Constantia before relocating.
One time, a lady who had kindly given us accommodation, was busy collecting her daughter from boarding school. We had been staying in the girls loft room We had to be out by that evening by 6pm. We packed and our suitcases were at the front door, but we had nowhere to go. I kept quoting a scripture I had read. "The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night", but truthfully I was already considering sleeping in the woods with my family. While it was one of the mildest winters in the UK in 50 years, (something I also saw as a miracle for our "SPRING PLAY", it was nevertheless mid winter in the UK at the time. Suddenly we received a call at the house. The man told me that he felt a bit bad, because God had spoken to him and to his wife some time back about having us to stay, but they had delayed. "When would you like to come?" he asked. I explained our situation and we spent the next while on their beautiful sheep and turkey farm just outside Henley. When I was later invited to Spain, the same kind man paid for the air tickets from the UK to Malaga for my family of 4. Yet another miracle door had opened.
After ministering in a mountain village outside Malaga, we travelled by train to Madrid. There I sang at the City of the Universities, thanks to the mother of Juan Garriges, who had initiated this trip with his invitation. Whatever this influential woman did, I do not know, but God saw to it that it became compulsory attendance for all English Students of the university. Of all places it was held in the philosophy department building. Nuns would give me money needed to return from Madrid back to Malaga in the South, saying: "Don't tell the priests." I could keep tell you story after story, but wanted you to at least have some background to the origin of this as "musical ministry".
USE THE TAG "SONG OF SONGS" TO FIND OTHER POSTS IN THIS BLOG SERIES.