I’ve been watching Star vs the Forces of Evil with my kids. And sometimes without my kids. I’m not ashamed, the show’s awesome.
Relatedly, during one episode Star & Marco’s cell phone goes off and you hear a snippet from Parry Gripp’s Song of the Week track entitled, “Space Unicorn.” The video is above and the lyrics are here. Let’s talk about the theological implications of the song.
Let’s go through the lyrics. “Space unicorn / Soaring through the stars / Delivering the rainbows all around the world / Space unicorn / Shining in the night / Smiles and hugs forever / All around the world.” What? That’s a bunch of silly nonsense about a mythical creature which does not exist. Where’s the theological discussion I can have on that…
Let’s keep reviewing the lyrics, “So pure of heart / And strong of mind / So true of aim with his marshmallow laser / Marshmallow laser.” It then goes back around to repeat the previous lyrics. Well, I guess we can argue that only Christ is truly pure of heart; we are all impure sinners (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8-10). This is true – but the tale is not about a person, but a mythical horned space horse who shoots marshmallows from a laser gun while delivering rainbows to all the people of the world. Does the heart purity of this mythical creature really tell us anything about the nature of God or compare the human condition?
What we have here is…a silly song. The question then arises – what is the significance of this theologically? Everything, they say, is theological in nature. Everything points us back to God. To a certain degree – this does too. It reminds us that we long for something powerful, greater than ourselves. In the song, that’s the space unicorn. In reality, we long for God – not a limited creature which can deliver us rainbows. But even that, I think, is looking too hard into something that truly is on its surface intended to be thoughtless, humorous, and silly – with no other intent behind it. There is no greater point behind it than that Parry Gripp wanted to write a song a week.
With that said, I’m reminded of my thoughts on Daft Punk’s “Around the World,” which I’ll excerpt below:
We are called to do everything to God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). Is God glorified by the song “Around the World?” As it’s more or less a piece of art to be interpreted, the short answer is maybe.
What response do you feel when you listen to Daft Punk’s “Around the World?” If it serves as a thorn and inspires you to sin, then it is not glorifying the Lord. If it reminds you of a time you did drugs or cheated on your spouse, then it doesn’t glorify the Lord in your life. If it inspires these negative thoughts, then it should be cut from your life. Christ calls us to radically cut out those things which lead us to sin (Matthew 5:30, Mark 9:43). If this song does that to you, cut it out. I heard a story about a recovering drug addict who associated anything heavier than a hymn with drugs. Knowing his own weakness, he couldn’t listen to any music apart from hymns – this includes most modern radio songs of praise. He radically cut it out of his life. It’s hard, but necessary to keep yourself from sin.
If you can still glorify the Lord in your actions while listening to this song, then it inherently will help you glorify God just as any instrumental piece could.
Now. Space Unicorn isn’t an instrumental piece, but it doesn’t actively try to provide a person with a message. It provides you with a silly image in your head of a unicorn delivering rainbows. That makes me snicker and want to listen to it again. Does it keep me away from the Lord? I don’t think so. Does it bring me closer? Well, as me dancing around to it in the kitchen while hanging out with my daughter brings me closer to her – then yes, I’d say so. It helps me, in a silly way, to improve my relationship with my soon to be 4 year old daughter. That’s a good thing.
The Bible tells us there are times to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:4), to enjoy the gifts God has given us (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13). But, what of Paul’s notion in Colossians not to set your mind on the things of God (Colossians 3:2)? This becomes the question – when is one’s mind filled so much up with silliness that you miss God? It’s a question that basically stems back to idolatry. Do you put the music or anything else before God? If you do – then it becomes an idol and you are sinning. It goes back to my original quote from my Daft Punk piece. Is the music keeping you away from the Lord? Then that’s on you and you need to be aware of this issue.
As for me? This song doesn’t keep me away from the Lord or prevent me from worshipping Him. So, for me? I’ll keep listening to the occasional Parry Gripp piece – like this one…