After recently posting the lyrics and MP3 of THE VANITY SONG (from ZOMBIES, 2007) , a number of people wrote and asked what inspired me to take the brutal prophesy of Isaiah 3:16 (I always felt that number to be ironic) and turn it into a pop tune.

It happened like this: It was sometime in 1983 shortly after I had become a Christian. I was hanging out at my then-girlfriend-who shall-remain-nameless’ nifty apartment in Hollywood, California.  We had just gone garage/yard sale hopping and  had stopped by her place to drop off our “loot” before heading to Togo’s for sub sandwiches.

After 20 minutes or so had gone by, I realized lunch had been forgotten and my beloved had fallen into the New Clothes Triangle. Yep, scarves, sashes, hats, bangles, beads… had all conspired to keep me from my much needed sustenance. But since man does not live by bread alone,  I grabbed a Bible off the shelf and decided to do my daily reading in hopes that it would manipulate God to speak to Miss Thing so we could leave and get me some grub!

I randomly opened the Bible to Isaiah chapter 13 and read…

“Moreover the LORD said, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet…”

I looked up and I could see into the bedroom, see the reflection of this young, beautiful, vapid flower basking in her own nifty and laughed in my heart as I ran to pick up a nearby guitar. My thinking? I will start singing this as a song and see how long it takes for her to realize it’s about her and I’m doing this because I’m hungry and peeved.

She never noticed. And I never ate. But I got one of my most enduring songs from the ordeal. I was thrilled to include it in my ZOMBIES collection (in a neo-rockabilly form) and on LEADING HORSES as an industrial attack on lazy, American Christians.

THE VANITY SONG has always been on of my favorite performance pieces as not only do I get to connect with the audience on such a visceral level but the prayer at the end just sends me straight to heaven…

“We’ve adorned ourselves in shame. Please call us by Your Name.” The desperate plea to be grafted into God’s family, for His stamp of approval to be upon us.  It’s amazing how God can take a grouchy stomach growl and turn in into life-giving, life-sustaining, Holy Spirit-convicting ministry.

I love my job.




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The entire Paisley Yankolovich catalogue is available for free download in the AUDIO section of this website.

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