Barry Manilow is Wrong!

March 11, 2010 — 4 Comments

Ok, so this morning I’m on the treadmill listening to my iPod and…somehow…a Barry Manilow song found its way onto my “Workout” play list, but not just any Barry Manilow song–it was the Copa Cabana.

My first instinct was to reach up and skip to the next song, but I thought to myself….”It’s been a while since I’ve heard this song” and decided to let it play.

For the first time, I really listened to the words and I found myself shocked by Barry’s summation of the lessons Lola (the showgirl) learned.

In case you’ve forgotten, here are the lyrics (you might want to sing along…and a slight latin accent will make it even more fun):

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would merengue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star, Tony always tended bar
Across a crowded floor, they worked from 8 till 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?

At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana)
The hottest spot north of Havana (here)
At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa….they fell in love

(Copa Copacabana)

His name was Rico, he wore a diamond
He was escorted to his chair, he saw Lola dancin’ there
And when she finished, he called her over
But Rico went a bit too far, Tony sailed across the bar
And then the punches flew and chairs were smashed in two
There was blood and a single gun shot
But just who shot who?

At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana)
The hottest spot north of Havana (here)
At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa….she lost her love

(Copa. . Copacabana)
(Copa Copacabana) (Copacabana, ahh ahh ahh ahh)
(Ahh ahh ahh ahh Copa Copacabana)
(Talking Havana have a banana)
(Music and passion…always the fash–shun)

Her name is Lola, she was a showgirl
But that was 30 years ago, when they used to have a show
Now it’s a disco, but not for Lola
Still in the dress she used to wear, faded feathers in her hair
She sits there so refined, and drinks herself half-blind
She lost her youth and she lost her Tony
Now she’s lost her mind!

At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana)
The hottest spot north of Havana (here)
At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa….don’t fall in love

(Copa) don’t fall in love
Copacabana
Copacabana

————–

Did you catch that?  The major life-lesson that Barry wants us to learn from Lola is: “Don’t fall in love.”

When I heard that line this morning as I was running on the treadmill, I actually spoke out loud, “He’s wrong.”

The old lady on the elliptical trainer  next to me–who noticed my eyes pointing in the direction of the elected official on the screen and who was kicking my tail in head-to-head exercise competition–surely assumed I was talking about the man on the TV.  She was wrong.  I was talking about the man with the satin voice and highly-recognizable schnoz–Barry Manilow.

He was wrong.

What terrible advice!

Do you know how terrible life would be for someone who never fell in love?  Love is risky, but it’s also the key to life and the reason we have hope.

What if God followed Barry’s advice?

You know the lyrics to our song:

His name was Adam, he was created
His wife Eve was created too; they knew what they couldn’t do
She was tempted, by Satan’s false words
And then she tasted forbidden fruit, Adam quickly followed suit

That’s how they quickly fell and why we now fear Hell

They had a choice–and they chose poorly,

We must now choose well!

(It’s a silly song, not a theological treatise, so please don’t send me emails to correct any theological inaccuracies!)

We all sin and make choices that break the heart of God.    What if God followed Barry’s advice in response to our continued disloyalty and disobedience?  What if God decided to never love again?

That’s the definition of true hell: not living in the presence of a loving God.

Praise God that He never stops loving us.  As Paul writes in Romans 8:38,39,” 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Too many people I know are dealing with broken hearts.

Their spouse has deserted them.

Their family has rejected them.

Their friends have disappointed them.

Debris from this fallen world has fallen on them.

I urge them–and anyone else who has been hurt by another person–to never stop loving.  Never stop loving God; never stop loving people. Never stop loving.

Love is the answer to every meaningful question.

Barry is wrong….keep falling in love….with God and with people.

Do fall in love.

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4 responses to Barry Manilow is Wrong!

  1. 

    Oh for pete’s sake, what some people won’t do to get a blog read! This is the silliest thing I’ve read in a long time. Besides, if God really loved us so much, why would he let sweet Layla Grace die at two years old, despite the thousands and thousands of people praying for her. If there is a god, which I doubt, he’s not loving. He’s just observing. and maybe laughing at mankinds gullibility

    • 

      Interesting you mention sweet Layla because her family still loves God. You can read what they have to say here: http://laylagrace.org/. I’d direct your attention to the post “Layla’s Celebration of Life.” My Dad died of a massive heart attack when I was a teenager. He was a preacher and a man of deep faith in God. God didn’t let him die. My Dad had scarlet fever as a child. He ate a lot of greasy foods before we understood the dangers of cholesterol. He was under a ton of stress. I don’t blame God for my Dad’s death and I don’t blame him for Layla’s death.
      We are not robots. We have free will because that’s the only way to have true love.
      And because we have free will, bad things happen, but I still believe God is good and that God is love.
      I choose to praise God for allowing us to have a choice (like giving you and me the freedom to share a differing opinions) and I praise God for the strength he gives us to overcome loss in our lives.
      In light of your anger towards God about Layla’s death, I think it’s important to share a quote from one of Layla’s parents about her suffering:
      “My relationship with God has grown so much the past few months. That is all Layla’s doing. I’m so grateful that I was blessed with this angel on earth. She has taught me patience, faith, strength, grace and love. She has continued to amaze me over and over again.”
      You may think that Layla’s family and I are silly for believing in a loving God–even in the midst of suffering–but I guess we’ll just have to disagree….which, ironically, is pretty good evidence of a loving God. Blessings to you.

    • 

      Virginia,
      I once felt your pain and have seen others close to me have the same feelings. I can only suggest, from my perspective, that they were just feelings. I learned what God’s plan is in a much broader scope than I could ever imagine comprehending or explaining. I know it was all about His goodness that exists in His true people that helped bring this to light, but primarily His doing by engaging creation in this spiritual battle against deception, hatred, selfishness and greed (to list a few). God has an awesome place beyond all this ciaos/battle we wage against evil. Death is (as the bible says) the final enemy, the last stand, that was only put in place for God to find who is approved to be with Him for eternity. Think about this, I was once told there are 2 types of people in the world, some who leech off society and some who give to society. I think this speaks volumes to the fact that we all make choices that either lead us closer to one another (and God) or further from each other and further from God. Read the New Testament Gospels and see the overtones of Christ’s focus to lead us together and away from self gratification. True Love at it’s very core is humility and oneness with others perfected. That’s who God is. He didn’t make us to be robots. His plan is to teach us the result of our actions and how really following His ways leads us to a blessed life now and the hope for eternity with Him and others united. It’s a choice, one direction or another (morally) and wait for the day He appears to take us home.
      Hope this helps. You are welcome to this fellowship He calls us to anytime.

      Shawn

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