The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

A drop in a different ocean, I guess.

Today, Ron Pope released a live and unplugged album. I wasn't sure I was going to buy it, because I own every song already in probably two versions, and I don't love live albums. But I listened to the preview of Drop in the Ocean, just to see how the live sound was...and my breath caught in my chest.

He added a verse.

I've been burned up by the fire that makes me wait for you, been sleeping on my side the way you used to do.
And I know just where you are -- you're not so far away -- but I can't come to you like this, so I guess I'll stay away.
There's things men learn from living -- things they'd learn in hell, things I learn because my father left -- it's probably just as well.
I've been standing here all by myself in the pouring rain.
I think there's someone I should call right now, but I can't recall her name.


Followed by the rest of the song. Umm, it's beautiful. But, umm, it doesn't fit. I hesitate to say this, but -- I don't like it. I can sort of explain. I tear up at the beginning. Ron Pope follows a theme of being away from loved ones very dearly. Being away from my family at school, away from my friends, away from Fletcher (in particular)...I get that. I get the heartache of waiting for them to come through the door, when I know they're months away from doing so.

But this verse...it's disconnected. He says he's standing in the pouring rain, but later he's wishing for rain as he stands in the desert. It's like he tried to connect the rain things, but sort of missed. And he added it at the beginning, and then sort of pauses and starts where the song usually begins. As if he knew that it was sort of an interlude or an aside. And maybe, for him, including the information about his father (which he sings about in other songs) makes Drop in the Ocean more about what it's about for him.

But it takes away from what it's been about for me. So, while I'll cry about the "sleeping on my side" thing, and the "can't come to you like this" thing...I'll feel that slight hiccup from then until the first chorus.

It's just interesting to me, because this is the first Ron Pope song that I have backed away from, and it's also the first one that brought me in. I guess I'll be sticking to previous versions of this song for my own enjoyment, but I am just perplexed by this change. I guess I'm such a creature of habit, I can't even let an artist edit his own art, hahaha.

I wish the ocean was closer to Berkeley.

I'm holding you closer than most.