Called to Listen: All My Favorite People by Over the Rhine

by Sister Julie Ann on March 23, 2012

Opening ourselves to re-reading and re-living the great event of salvation history in the today of our lives as often wounded, broken people, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite you to listen and respond to Over the Rhine’s All My Favorite People. Compassionate Saint Francis imitated Christ by reaching out  to heal the wounded, to bind up those who are bruised”. As we walk this 5th week of Lent, may we renew our hope in God’s mercy, trust in the help of His grace, and grow in our love for ourselves and our brothers and sisters. Do read all of Linford Detweiler’s notes on the song.

About Over the Rhine

The Long Surrender, the new studio album from the southern Ohio-based husband-and-wife team of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Linford Detweiler and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Karin Bergquist, otherwise known as Over the Rhine, is something rare and wondrous — an intimate epic. Shot through with the joys and sorrows of modern-day existence and the unchanging fundaments of the human condition, the album has the feel of a living thing, senses alert, feet planted firmly on terra firma.

The album title “speaks to our ongoing desire to let go of certain expectations (and much of what we are so convinced we know for sure) in favor of remaining open and curious,” Karin explains. “It seems like many of our friends are currently wrestling with various forms of ‘letting go,’ so hopefully, the ideas conjured by the title feel somewhat universal. And I think the title speaks to the arc of a lifelong commitment to writing and performing regardless of recognition. Learning when to work hard and when to let go. Learning to leave room for grace to billow our sails occasionally. Learning not to white-knuckle everything.” Read more.

Linford Detweiler’s Notes on ‘All My Favorite People’

One thing worth noting about having a wife for a writing partner: you get to playfully argue about which one of you first had the idea for a song.

Karin and I can no longer remember which one of us first said, outloud, “All my favorite people are broken.” We can’t recall the particular details of the conversation, only that it took place four or five years ago in the kitchen of our old farmhouse in Southern Ohio. What we do remember vividly is that right after we heard those words we both said in unison, “Oh, that’s good.”

That’s the thing about writing: it’s often mostly about having your ear tuned, or being aware of some part of your body that begins to resonate and wake up when the universe tries to hand you a small gift. The writer who is aware of these unpredictable moments of grace then has another choice: whether or not to receive.

Think of the writer as a butterfly catcher. If she realizes a green-clouded swallowtail is drifting her way, she can gently capture it in her net, or she can let it drift on by and disappear forever. If she chooses the latter, she won’t be punished. When it comes to creativity, the universe vibrates with generosity and abundance. But my wife has a theory: that same butterfly will sooner or later land in another writer’s net.

The writer’s butterfly net is a small notebook, or handheld recorder – any device that preserves a moment for later contemplation and exploration. The writer is often an eavesdropper, a collector, a hunter and gatherer. Not everything captured proves useful in the end, but one can be hopeful.

I eventually sat down and began writing and this quickly spilled out:

All my favorite people are broken

Believe me my heart should know

This opening couplet seemed strong enough to hang a song on. It felt intuitively like it could bear the weight of a song. This was my focal point. Read more.

Lyrics

All My Favorite People

All my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know

Some prayers are better left unspoken
I just wanna hold you
And let the rest go

All my friends are part saint and part sinner
We lean on each other
Try to rise above

We’re not afraid to admit we’re all still beginners
We’re all late bloomers
When it comes to love

All my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know

Orphaned believers, skeptical dreamers
Step forward
You can stay right here
You don’t have to go

Is each wound you’ve received
Just a burdensome gift?
It gets so hard to lift
Yourself up off the ground

But the poet says, We must praise the mutilated world
We’re all workin’ the graveyard shift
You might as well sing along

All my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know

(As for) your tender heart—
This world’s gonna rip it wide open
It ain’t gonna be pretty
But you’re not alone

‘Cause all my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know

Orphaned believers, skeptical dreamers
You’re welcome
Yeah, you’re safe right here
You don’t have to go

‘Cause all my favorite people are broken
Believe me
I should know

Some prayers are better left unspoken
I just wanna hold you
And let the rest go

Websites

www.overtherhine.com

www.facebook.com/overtherhinemusic

3 thoughts on “Called to Listen: All My Favorite People by Over the Rhine”

  1. T.H. says:

    God uses music to touch my heart. I get attached to a song and put it with an event or something that happened in my life

  2. MJM says:

    God uses music to get the message across in a way that we can better understand.

  3. Sjune says:

    I think the song has a lot of depth and understanding of the human spirit. No matter who you are or what vocation you have, there is always a need to let go in order to be free.

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