Song of the Day: Joy Electric - The Cobbler

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I’ve been listening to Ronnie Martin’s music since the late 80s, when he and brother Jason (of Starflyer 59 and many others) were known as the duo Dance House Children. That group reveled in synth-pop, but with a super quirky edge. There was nothing in the Christian nor secular markets quite like it. After two underrated albums, the pair split. Jason started the legendary indie rock monster Starflyer 59, while Ronnie carried on with synthesizer-created music in the form of Joy Electric.

Picking up where Dance House Children left off, Joy Electric took the quirkiness to extreme new levels. Lyrically Ronnie has almost created an entire new universe where fairy tales, extreme happiness, candy canes and so forth all serve as intense metaphors for the Christian faith. As strange as it all sounds, it works in profound ways. Part of the reason for its effectiveness, is just how blurred the lines are between fantasy and reality. A great example of this, and one of my favorite Joy Electric songs, is “The Cobbler,” from the 1996 EP Old Wives Tales.

Take my hand
To the wondrous land
Of lollipop trees
Of peppermint flowers
All things make believe

Come with me
Said a man
With eyes that sparkled with glee
And rainbow lips that smiled up at me

(chorus)
Oh tell me where he roams
The cobbler
Light of good hope
The cobbler

Say hello
To gumdrops and trolls
And fountains of gold
And teacup boats
On saucers of foam

Then we stole away to his home
Of wafers and cream
And he told me
This wasn’t a dream

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