breakfastinamerica.jpg When Roger Hodgson departed Supertramp in 1983, someone commented that the remaining group was reduced to being just “Tramp”. It was the end of an era for the band after releasing a number of very successful albums. Among them was the classic 1979 release, Breakfast in America. The album included four hit singles (“The Logical Song”, “Goodbye Stranger”, “Take the Long Way Home” and the title cut, “Breakfast in America”).

Hodgson was known for writing songs with spiritual or philosophical themes. Though the songwriting credit on Supertramp’s songs was commonly given jointly to Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, though they wrote alone. They had different styles, and the one who actually wrote the song sings the vocal on it. The two composers have different styles, and in the case of this week’s addition to my new series, Hymns from the Radio Dial, it is Hodgson’s voice we hear singing the lyrics to “Lord, is it Mine.”

I don’t know of an “official” meaning being given for the song, and I wonder if this is one of those where you can infuse it with a range of selected meanings which then make it all seem “obvious.” Whether this be the case or not, it fits within the range of what we’re examining in this series… “secular” songs which have an inherently spiritual theme or which may be infused with spiritual meaning when viewing the lyrics in this particular light. This song by Roger Hodgson seems to comes across quite clearly as a prayer of longing.

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The video here is Roger Hodgson performing the song on July 3, 2008 at the Lugano Jazz Festival in Southern Switzerland (Canton Ticino). The festival is “set in the heart of Lugano, in the beautiful 19th century Piazza della Riforma, and in the surrounding town of Mendrisio in star architect Mario Botta’s “Piazzale alla Valle”, [and] attracts thousands of Jazz and World Music fans each year.” Concerts are open-air, and free. Makes you want to start checking for a last-minute (this year it starts on Thursday July 2nd) seat-sale, doesn’t it?

Lord, is it Mine

I know that there’s a reason why I need to be alone
You shown me there’s a silent place that I can call my own
Is it mine, Oh! Lord is it mine?

You know I get so weary from the battles in this life
and as many times it seems that you’re the only hope in sight
Is it mine, Oh! Lord is it mine?

When everything’s dark and nothing seems right,
there’s nothing to win, and there’s no need to fight

I never cease to wonder at the cruelty of this land
but it seems a time of sadness is a time to understand
Is it mine, Oh! Lord is it mine?

When everything’s dark and nothing seems right,
You don’t have to win, and there’s no need to fight

If only I could find a way
to feel your sweetness through the day
The love that shines around me could be mine.
So give us an answer, won’t you,
We know what we have to do,
There must be a thousand voices trying to get through.

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