Kenny Chesney: The Big Revival of Music and Faith

BreakingModern – Kenny Chesney: Not quite the first name that comes to mind when you think of philosophers, or even wannabe philosophers. Or the hundredth, for that matter. Not even close. Usually, you’ll find the country mega-star singing about island girls, beer and tiki bars rather than the power of faith. However, his song, “The Big Revival,” the title track of his newest album, certainly bucks that trend. Lyrics below.

Get ready for the big revival

Everybody get in the van

Theres a little church on Eagle Mountain

Its called the blood of the Blessed Land

If your faith aint strong enough child you might wind up dead

Praise the Lord and pass me a copperhead


Now Reverend Jones he struts and dances

On the guitar plays Amazing Grace

He testifies in tongues of fire

With tears of joy running down his face

He aint sure and we aint sure exactly what he said

But praise the Lord and pass me a copperhead


You wont find many hypocrites that’ll take a chance on getting bit

But a true believer can survive rattlesnakes and cyanide


When you hold that deadly viper

Keep the Holy Spirit in your mind

Do not lose your concentration

That serpents surely bound to strike

Either way you wont forget the first time that you say

Praise the Lord and pass me a Copperhead 

- “The Big Revival” (excerpt) by Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney

Copperhead: Symbol of Faith

Upon first listen, Chesney’s lyrics might make you scratch your head in puzzlement. Even as a big fan of the singer, I didn’t pay much attention to the lyrics for the first month or so. His version of a “The Big Revival” implores the listener to “Praise the Lord and pass me a copperhead.” What the heck does that even mean? What exactly is a “copperhead”? Is it the latest microbrew at BevMo? Nope. Upon further inspection, it’s actually a venomous snake.

For Chesney, the image of grabbing the “deadly viper” is a symbol of the power of faith; if it isn’t strong enough, “You might wind up dead.” Concentrating on this faith keeps the serpent at bay.

Empowerment Endures

But what drives one to risk one’s life for seemingly intangible goals? Faith, driven by the power of music and religion, seems to be the answer for Chesney. Even though Reverend Jones doesn’t fully understand what he’s preaching about, along with Chesney, the power of “Amazing Grace” creates “tears of joy.”

Chesney’s agnostic musings about Christianity and music point to a larger assertion: even if one does not fully understand or believe the stories in the Bible, they can still be empowering. The truth is irrelevant. Faith makes God and music real. True believers can survive “rattlesnakes and cyanide,” regardless of the fact that faith cannot detox poison. If one takes this leap of faith, without “losing one’s concentration,” the power of God or music can be harnessed individually.

Chesney’s agnostic views vibe with the younger audience of us millennials, many of whom opt for alternate views of religion. He also seems to be preaching a message of tolerance. Even if God might not be real, he says, there’s no reason to condone believers as ignorant.

Faith works in mysterious ways – but mostly, faith is an engine of empowerment. Music, too, is empowering. It can change lives and make precarious situations (like close contact with deadly snakes) seem routine. Chesney’s work speaks to the new big revival of faith: as the masses tend to shy away from stories of God, faith’s empowering message still thrives.

For BMod, I’m .

All Screenshots: Ben Leonard

Ben Leonard

Author: Ben Leonard

Based in San Francisco, Ben Leonard covers sports for BreakingModern. Follow him on Twitter @ben___leonard

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