Lyrical Review: Ole by Jimmy Gait ft Holy Dave & Chuchu

I have to admit that this song is at the top of the list of songs that finally made me decide to start writing these lyrical reviews. As I mentioned in the introductory post, I will not go into addressing the music style or even the video content. I’ll just go straight into the lyrics. Here is a link to the lyrics, please use it to confirm the lyrics being reviewed.

The song begins by the phrase “tuna make it or make it” and this seems to encapsulate the overall theme of the song. The implication of these words is that “we either succeed or succeed”. The “we” in this case could mean the guys singing the song, or it could mean all Christians, since the song is done by Christian artistes. It could also mean anyone listening to the song. But these are just my speculations. I choose not presume who the “we” refers to, but will let the rest of the lyrics reveal it to us.

The first verse basically outlines this basic train of thought: “I see you have a big dream, and this dream is to make it or make it (to succeed), but you have no money and no one to help you.” This is the problem being addressed. The solution to the problem is equally straightforward: “Just believe in Papa, and believe in you, anything is possible,” and the rest of the verse basically says that God will put a smile on your face. The message is clear, if you have a big dream and this dream is one that requires money to achieve, and there is no one to help you (monetary help or otherwise) achieve this dream; just believe in God and in yourself and you will succeed (attain your dreams).

I am compelled, at this point, to presume that the success being addressed is not specifically financial success, but the second verse makes it very difficult to deny that this is what the song is focusing on. The basic message in the second verse is this: “Why are some people rich while others are poor?” and this question is immediately followed by “what you believe is what you get, don’t cry anymore, God will put a smile on your face.” I think it is obvious what the verse is saying, some people are poor because they believe they are poor and those who are rich are thus because they believe they are rich. I know it is too early to come to any definitive conclusion, but this is the classic Prosperity (health and wealth) Gospel tagline: If you believe it, you can achieve it and if you don’t achieve it you didn’t really believe it.

Holy Dave w”RAPS” up the message in the final verse. A lot is revealed regarding the speaker’s attitude from the words in this verse, and I will leave the reader to discern that attitude for him/herself. The verse basically says, “They (possibly non-Christians or ‘haters’) are kinda off-course, we are winners of course. We are connected to the source (presumably Jesus) and that is why we never run out of resources. I smell success. They say I have the marking scheme, they say I cheated the test. I can’t wait till I’m forty, no, success is my forte. You think I’m bragging, sue me. You can watch me or join me. Perfect timing so Divine. Make it or make it, it’s time to shine. Young people it’s about that time, go big or go home. Showtime.”

Do I really need to critique this verse or is the reader’s conscience sufficient to detect the attitude within it? But I will say a few things as a brief critique and as a conclusion:

It is true that Christians are winners. But our victory is not ours, but Christ’s. Furthermore, this victory is not victory over material health and wealth (although sometimes even this is gained), but the assured victory is over sin and death. (1 Corinthians 15:57).

It is true that we are connected to the source. Jesus is our source. But He is not primarily the source of financial resources, but the source of spiritual resources. He is the Way to God, the Truth of God and the Life in God. It is these three resources that we ought to boast in. (John 14:6, Romans 8:38-39)

It is also true that it is our time to shine. But we are not commissioned to shine our blings or flash our wallets; but we have been called to bless others through our good deeds (Matthew 5:14-16). We are the light of the world, a spiritual light to be exact.

Furthermore, the “us” in this song (as Holy Dave clarifies in his verse) refers primarily to young people and they are being told to go big or go home. I highly doubt if Jesus would agree.

I will conclude this review by responding to a statement made in the last verse, “you think I am bragging, sue me.” Yes Holy Dave, I do think you’re bragging, and wrongfully so. But I will let God, through Paul, tell us what He thinks about such bragging:

“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand,so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”  [2 Corinthians 10:12-18]

In His Service and for His Glory,
Cornell

10 Comments

  1. ‘Hatutakufa, kifo, kishindwe
    hatutakufa hadi tutimize ndoto zetu.’
    That’s the chorus to one famous (I guess I it is now, though I would hope it is not) song I heard early this year.

    The kind of gospel you get in ‘gospel’ music is appalling. These guys are NOT gospel artists. They continuously prove by their lyrics to know nothing of the hope of the gospel, but ‘success’, which really means wealth/fame/worldly comfort.

    Thanks for this.

  2. I appreciate the critique, and how much you did not just state your thought but rather led on to a conclusion that I find reasonable. I am a believer in not strictly having christians sing on orthodox christian themes, ‘golden-motorcycle-types’, but if you are to put a theology in your lyrics dont blame me when I critique your work, this brings to mind MOG ‘let him go’ the grammar was off and made the theology questionable…

    • Thanks Edu,
      One thing I have learnt in my experience as a writer who is a Christian is that, as long as I am trying to express any idea (however abstract it is) using words, I am making a theological statement and revealing my own personal theology. I guess this is a call to more biblical accountability in what we say, leave alone how we live.

  3. Pingback: What Constitutes Christian Lyrics? | Alien Citizens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s