This article continues our review series on Derek Webbâ€™s latest CD. Over the next two weeks, we will review and offer cultural analysis on every song from the â€œThe Ringing Bell.â€ This post is written by Southern Seminary student Andy Williams. Previous posts from this series can be found under the category Derek Webb.
â€œI Want to Marry You All Over Againâ€ is a lighthearted love song. If taken as a secular song, it would be among the cleanest and least offensive fare. I wouldnâ€™t read too much into this addition to The Ringing Bell. Itâ€™s basically the tale of the meeting and courtship of Webb and his wife, Sandra McKracken. Whether or not every detail in the song is true, it shows a playful side of Derek, and a willingness to reveal what he was thinking at the time. He apparently enjoyed the process and would do it all again.
I wanna marry you all over again
I wanna meet you and I wanna be friends
I wanna chase you all the way to Tennessee
Iâ€™ll meet your parents at the airport bar
Iâ€™ll take you out in my rental car
I wanna court you on the record labelâ€™s dime
Most of the lyrics are simply about various, unrelated events pertaining to chasing her around on music tours form Tennessee to Kansas City. Upright pianos, rental cars, airport bars, and diamond rings . . . all reminders of the dating days. He recalls awkward moments of running into an ex-girlfriend or falling in love while insisting that â€œweâ€™re just friends.â€ Even the line about courting her on the Record Labelâ€™s dime seems to simply recall the reality of dating while touring.
I wanna buy you an old upright
I wanna accidentally stay all night
I wanna read the Bible and I wanna make out
I wanna marry you all over again
I wanna fall in love and say weâ€™re just friends
I wanna race you all the way to Kansas City
The two main lines that will make Christian listeners do a double take are, â€œI wanna accidentally stay all nightâ€, and â€œI wanna read the Bible and I wanna make out.â€ Itâ€™s difficult to know whether Webb is defending these behaviors, encouraging them, or simply re-telling what happened without offering any moral commentary. I tend to think it is the last option.
I wanna give you a diamond ring
and then weâ€™ll run into my ex-girlfriend
oh, I wanna sing songs while the sunâ€™s going down
The early months and years of a dating relationship are full of mixed thoughts, feelings, and desires. It is very possible to have conflicting desires to both read the Bible and make out with your girlfriend, realizing that one of those should be cultivated and the other one held off. Derek Webb is known for inserting lyrics for shock value â€“ to keep the listener from listening without thinking. While I donâ€™t think he wrote these lines without knowing their effect – It doesnâ€™t seem that he was trying to make any profound statements in this song.
come on baby letâ€™s go back to the start
take it back sugar then gimme your heart
donâ€™t you know baby I would do it all over again
On the Whole, It seems like this song, along with â€œCanâ€™t be without youâ€, are simply included to lighten the lyrical mood of the album; a little lighter love mixed in with the more predominant â€œtough loveâ€.
Posted By Andy Williams