The Welcome Wagon
Up on a mountain our LORD is afraid
Carrying all the mistakes we have made
And he knew – ohh, ohh, ohh – it’s a long way down
Do you know – ohh, ohhh – he came all the way down
Up in the heavens our LORD prays for you
He sent his Spirit to carry us through
So its true – ohhh, ohhh – that you’re not alone.
The art, like the lyrics of the Aiuto family “album”, Welcome to the Welcome Wagon, evokes memories of home, family, church. In fact, the artwork comes from old “funeral cards and vacation bible school paraphernalia” and other Sunday School materials found in Monique’s family’s attic. Much of it is childlike, humorous, and clearly from a former time – though not too former.
The above said, this is not an album simply aimed at the church crowd. There is a certain underlying humor to the work that will not be lost on non-Christians. Vito and Monique understand the clichés and even foibles of the past and are not afraid to align themselves with such – or is it gently poke fun at such? It is both. This album allows Christians to be humored by populist American religion and at the same time be moved – even deeply – by a work which is truly creative (lyrically, musically, and beyond).
If you are not familiar with Sufjan Stevens, know that the album’s “sound” is his. If parts of it seem strange at first, give it a little time. It wears well.
If you are a Sufjan Stevens fan, this is essential stuff for you.
If you want something fun, family-friendly, and strangely and wonderfully edifying, give this a whirl – and even give one to a friend. We’ll have 25 signed copies at the book table this Sunday.