The Piper

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Guitars, keyboards (real & virtual), main and back vocals: Alan Humm
Bass, Drums, back vocals: Shawn Foerst


© 2019 Alan Humm

Lyrics (in PDF)


This piece is definitely written from a Christian perspective, but I realize that it is unlikely that a non-Christian listening to it would get that. Still, you have probably guessed by now that I am not of the opinion that every song has to contain an obvious Christian message.

It makes reference to two stories. The one is familiar to most people over the age of five—the Pied Piper of Hamelin. The other, well, I was surprised to find out that it is not as well known as I thought. It is the Allegory of the cave from Plato's Republic (514a–520a). I am including a descriptive link for anyone who does not know it, and happens to be interested.

Of course, this is my song. So, exercising what semiologists1 refer to as ‘the tyranny of the author's intention,’ I'll just tell you that I was thinking of the difference between true and false revelation. But as the final interpreter, you are welcome to do with it as you please. In this case, I am exercising my right as an interpreter of other people's works as well. However, I make no claim to be accurately portraying here the intention of the story teller(s) of Hamelin, or of Plato's Socrates.2

1Semiotics’ is the actual academic term for what novelist Dan Brown, and before him Ursula LeGuin called “symbology.”

2In the case of The Republic, this interpretive net gets further tangled by the fact that the speaker in the Plato's work is his teacher, Socrates, who, unfortunately never wrote anything himself (or, at least, nothing that survives). So the character Socrates is actually telling the story within the narrative, and scholars can't agree on where the historical Socrates ends and author Plato begins.

© 2019 Alan Humm