Annotated Lyrics to “New Rain” — One “See The Crowds”



John’s Song

See the crowds
See how they love to be told
That the end is at hand


Crowds remain most folks’ definition of success, certainly on-line! The more the better we might win over the few. It’s a numbers game. In John’s song, his attitude toward this becomes a classic put down of the concept and where it leads.

The current offering of Christianity on television is almost a parody of what we are discussing. The preoccupation with end times is a seizing on the suppositions of creedal Christians who absolutely love anything to do with apocalypse, doom and the capacity to transfer to the deity anything that might approach human responsibility.

But of course loving to hear that the end is at hand is not to be compared to actually experiencing it! In Haiti today hundreds of thousands are in the very grip of an entirely explicable apocalypse. Explicable with twenty explanations, but all of them salient, from the island’s heroic beginnings, through the punishment it has received from various powers, including the United States, to the fact that it, like California, sits upon a formidable fault.

“New Rain” was written in the 1970s at a time when I understood theology to be best expressed by attempting to turn the Biblical texts into music. There is no soupy praise music in “New Rain”. It is an open-eyed look at the reality that exists now and existed then.

I find most amusing the way Christian academics are used by NatGeo and the History Channel and other outlets, including, have mercy on them, public tv. Their little sound bites are orchestrated to make whatever point the program wants to make. Generally it points to supposition, superstition and the turning of shaky traditions into live possibilities. It makes no difference whether we are trying to celebrate the role of women or the effusions of Nostradamus or the subject matter of Revelation. TV goes for the crowds and they know what the crowds love.

If the end is at hand, it has nothing to do with supposition and everything to do with the idiocies we have wrought and with our own lack of humility in the face of things.


“New Rain” — The Story of Jesus in Song

“New Rain” is a collection of songs about the life of Jesus that I wrote in the early 1970s. These recordings were done with a group including me, Lois Rose, Irene Vassos and Larry and Alice Spatz. Alice did much of the arrangement and composed the tune of the initial and closing lyrics (Example: He rode to the city …). We performed this all throughout New England for about two years. It was pressed as a record. Click here for a look at the cover and a review of the album.

Here are my recordings of the album in four sections. The entire work runs around 50 minutes or so.

New Rain — The Story of Jesus in Song — Part One

New Rain — The Story of Jesus in Song — Part Two

New Rain — The Story of Jesus in Song — Part Three

New Rain — The Story of Jesus in Song — Part Four

music, new rain, original music

A Nice Review of New Rain with a Download Link

New Rain has new life at Heavenly Grooves

The winds of rebellion are blowing once again
The people are a’stirrin’they are wondering when

— From John The Baptist’s Song, New Rain, The Story of Jesus In Song

New Rain: The Story Of Jesus In Song is one of the very few to explore the more progressive hippie grassroots style you’re accustomed to finding on labels like Rounder, Philo and Flying Fish.


new rain

new rain


Listen to New Rain.

This is a recording I wrote and made in the 1970s. It is over 50 minutes but worth a hearing, I believe.

Just Click the play button. Adjust volume on your computer. Enjoy.

new rain

New Rain — The Life of Jesus in Original Music

This is the formal publication of New Rain, a recording that appeared during the 1970s, but which remains a definitive presentation of the life of Jesus in original music by Stephen C. Rose who wrote both the music and lyrics, with the exception of the ballad of Jesus, God’s Outlaw, whose melody was composed by Alice Statz. Alsice also arranged the entire composition.

The performers are Alice Spatz, Stephen C. Rose, Irene Vassos, Lois Rose and Larry Spatz. Some 17 instruments are used.

The recording takes approximately 50 minutes as this online version contains cuts that were too long to include when the original recording was made.

To play simply click the > button on the BYO Audio link below. YOu will need to keep the page open while the music is playing.