These 2 videos above both have similarity, both melancholic. And in my opinion, both have almost similar tones. When I tried to imitate these both songs on keyboard, sometimes I confused and became randomized and chaotic. Then because of curiosity I searched about “American Tune” on the internet. But before that, I already knew that “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” was composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. Then I found it in Wikipedia. It said that “American Tune” was based on the melody from Johann Sebastian Bach’s chorale from St. Matthew Passion. “American Tune”‘s melody is practically identical to that of the hymns “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”, although Paul Simon expanded on the tune.
Although I finally knew about similarity of these 2 songs. But last Saturday when I went to the church and the choir sang “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”, I still surprised when the church organ played the intro of this song. I said to myself that the intro sounded like “American Tune”.
Beside both have similarity, both have difference. “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” was a gospel song told about the sacrifice of The Son of The God to redeem human from sins. This song is often sung in the church during Easter.
While “American Tune” according to Wikipedia described a perspective on the American experience; there are references to struggle, weariness, hard work, confusion, and homesickness. The bridge conveys a dream of death and of the Statue of Liberty “sailing away to sea.” The song ends with an assertion that “you can’t be forever blessed” before the lyrics return to the idea of work, tiredness, and resignation.
To worry, weary, confuse and doubt is human. But to sacrifice is divine. Just like The Son of The God who sacrificed himself to redeem human from sins.
Happy Easter !
O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown:
O sacred head, what glory, what bliss till now was thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,I joy to call thee mine
What Thou, my Lord, has suffered was all for sinners’ gain;
mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ‘Tis I deserve Thy place;
look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.
What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
for this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end ?
O make me Thine forever; and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.
Many’s, the time I’v been mistaken And many times confused
Yes, and often felt forsaken And certainly misused
But I’m all right, I’m all right I’m just weary to my bones
Still, you don’t expect to be Bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home
And I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered or driven to its knees
But it’s all right, it’s all right We’ve lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road we’re traveling on
I wonder what went wrong I can’t help it, I wonder what went wrong
And I dreamed I was dying And I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying
We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age’s most uncertain hour and sing an American tune
But it’s all right, it’s all right You can’t be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow’s going to be another working day And I’m trying to get some rest
That’s all I’m trying to get some rest