Larry Norman (1947-2008)

Back in the 1970s when I became a Christian there was hardly any Christian music scene – but there was an American guy with long blond hair and a raunchy guitar playing style called Larry Norman. OK, the eschatology of I wish we’d all been ready (probably his most famous song) has never really reflected my views but the social comment in The Great American Novel and Six O’Clock News really impress me as does the simple straight forward message of Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus and When I Was Up In Canada. In fact, apart from some medieval stuff and some Bach, Larry Norman is still the only Christian musician on my MP3 player. His song Servant is in many ways my own testimony…

I am a servant, I am listening for my name
I sit here waiting I’ve been looking at the game
That I’ve been playing and I’ve been staying much the same
When you are lonely you’re the only one to blame

I am a servant, I am waiting for Your call
I’ve been unfaithful so I sit here in the hall
How can You use me when I’ve never given all
How can You choose me when You know I quickly fall

So You feed my soul and you make me whole
And you let me know You love me
And I’m worthless now but I’ve made a vow
I will humbly bow before You
Oh please use me, I am lonely

I am a servant, getting ready for my part
There’s been a change, a rearrangement in my heart
At last I’m learning there’s no returning once I start
To live’s a privilege, to love is such an art
But I need Your help to start
Oh please purify my heart

I am Your servant

It’s good to know that when this day came, Larry was ready!

Hat Tip: Tall Skinny Kiwi

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2 replies on “Larry Norman (1947-2008)”

I saw Larry Norman play at a Christian gathering (Expo?) in London during the early 80s. The earlier acts were OK, but when Larry came on he just blew them away. He had so much presence – just stood centre-stage and sang. The first half was songs from his new album ‘Something New Under the Son’ which were mainly Blues songs. Then he came on second half and did a whole gospel set. It was awesome. I really give thanks for him, Rez Band and others who play great music and still walk the walk…

I saw Larry Norman live back in the mid-70s. I was in high school.

I’ll never forget what he said. It was the peak of the cold war with Russia. Everyone was worried about the world being blown up by nuclear weapons. He said something like, “No worries. God won’t come back to little bits of earth floating in outer space.”

His music? Well, he has a whiney little voice, but his message was powerful. I don’t like what he did enough to actually listen to any of it today.

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