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The Cross & the Jukebox: Vampire Weekend’s “Harmony Hall”

In today’s episode of The Cross & the Jukebox, we talk about Vampire Weekend’s “Harmony Hall.” There is a dissonance between the dark lyrics of the song and the exuberance of the melody. Koenig’s lyrics speak to the way that anger can create a false sense of harmony, but also how that harmony can lead to injustice creating an incongruence between words and actions or a person’s public and private personas. Further, the imagery of the song points to some of the deepest longings in the human condition, especially the way that the pursuit of power can be the result of trauma and shame and end up replicating abuses of power. Though the temptation is to become cynical, Christians must instead recognize the pernicious effect of sin and at the same time not become apathetic to the injustice around us. 

Join me each week as I think about some of my favorite songs. I hope you’ll subscribe and leave a review or a comment.

Episode Notes

Song Exploder Interview with Ezra Koenig:

“Are We the Baddies?” Clip:

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).