Boney M, By the Rivers of Babylon (Psalm 137
Bible and Popular Culture: Old Testament and Popular Music
Write a review of one of the following songs (links for a video of each song are on the class CMS site).
Each of the songs below is based upon a biblical passage or character. Find the passage in the Bible that
the song discusses. Then compare the song and the biblical text. How is the songwriter using the Bible?
Does the songwriter change the story? How so? Why? Offer an interpretation of both the song and
biblical passage (that is, say what we can learn from the biblical passage and what we can learn from the
song). It is a good idea to find a website that gives you the lyrics for the song (the lyrics are not always
clear in the performance). Please take note of whose perspective the story is being told from, e.g. is it
Samson’s story or Delilah’s story that is being told? If a repeating chorus is used in the song, take note
of it and try to think about how that shapes the meaning of the song. Also, try to learn some
background about the song: e.g. Bob Marley’s song Exodus has something to do with Rastafarianism
and a return to Africa. Please note that I have intentionally chosen songs that are by popular artists
rather than specifically Christian artists. I am asking you to reflect a little on how the stories of the Bible
make their way into culture and shape the way that we tell our stories
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