Having a presentation coming up at a conference I was looking for a Todd Rundgren song to play and came across his greatest hits CD on sale. As I was listening to the cd the song, Just One Victory, came on. Then I went to YouTube to watch a few of the videos pertaining to the song. I noticed in the comments several people who were battling with cancer or addictions had used the song as a motivator for their struggle. This is one reason over the years I appreciated and enjoyed Todd Rundgren’s songs. Of course there is his amazing musicianship and talent but his messages in the songs he writes have a positive feel about them. Well -- there is Bang On The Drum All Day. I am unsure of the philosophical message behind that.
Just One Victory is a great song looking at the issue of Resilience. There are thoughts of battling with weakness and struggles in life. With true perseverance and prayin’ there is no sign of giving up or giving in. As usual take time to listen to the song and meditate on the lyrics before going further. As you click on the title I have embedded a live concert link of Todd Rundgren and his band performing the song.
Just One Victory by Todd Rundgren (click on the title)
We've been waiting so long. We've been waiting for the sun to rise and shine
Shining still to give us the will, Can you hear me, the sound of my voice?
I am here to tell you I have made my choice
I've been listening to what's been going down There's just too much talk and gossip going 'round
You may think that I'm a fool but I know the answer
Words become a tool, anyone can use them Take the golden rule, as the best example
Eyes that have seen will know what I mean
The time has come to take the bull by the horns We've been so downhearted, we've been so forlorn
We get weak and we want to give in But we still need each other if we want to win
Hold that line, baby, hold that line Get up boys and hit 'em one more time
We may be losing now but we can't stop trying So hold that line, baby, hold that line
If you don't know what to do about a world of trouble You can pull it through if you need to And if you
believe it's true, it will surely happen Shining still to give us the will
Bright as the day, to show us the way Somehow, someday
We need just one victory and we're on our way Prayin' for it all day and fightin' for it all night Give us
just one victory, it will be alright We may feel about to fall but we go down fighting
You will hear the call if you only listen Underneath it all we are here together shining still
From the beginning phrase “We've been waiting so long We've been waiting for the sun to rise and shine” along with other phrases; “We've been so downhearted, we've been so forlorn” “We get weak and we want to give in”. I see the picture of people going through struggles, cancer, addictions, and depressions make people feel this way. The sense of waiting and wondering if the sun will ever shine again in their lives. I have had those times in my life. As I stated many of the YouTube comments related to cancer patients and addicts but I believe those going through the grief process of losing a loved one can find encouragement in this song. Any of these struggles make the person going through them think with a forlorn heart, “Is it worth going on??” “Maybe I should just give up and give in?”
That is where I appreciate the football analogy that comes in – “We get weak and we want to give in But we still need each other if we want to win Hold that line, baby, hold that line Get up boys and hit 'em one more time We may be losing now but we can't stop trying So hold that line, baby, hold that line.” Those lines made me reminisce back to high school days back in Barberton, Ohio being in the marching band during football season. I could visualize in my mind the crowd shouting, “Hold That Line, Hold that line.” Think of the analogy. If a football team is down by two touchdowns at halftime. Does the coach tell the team during the break, “Boys, you look pretty tired and we are behind. Let’s just give up and call it a night. I will tell the other coach we give up. There was a good movie on tv I wanted to see anyway!” No way! He motivates them with “The time has come to take the bull by the horns…” and “we still need each other if we want to win”. “We need just one victory at the beginning of the second half to get us going now go do it!!!” When going through life struggles we need to be our own coaches giving that kind of a pep talk. It also helps if you surround yourself with friends that can give you that kind of pep talk as well. The key to resilience is to keep on fighting for that victory!
We need to be disciplined and do our part, but as you know from my Christian worldview, I believe there is a spiritual element to our battles. I do not know if Todd Rundgren meant it this way, but with my spirit colored glasses I want to point out a few spiritual ideas I see in the song to consider. From the very beginning I see it with the phrase, “We've been waiting for the sun to rise and shine. Shining still to give us the will.” Granted physical sunny days can brighten our moods but does the physical sun give us the will to go on. From my view the Son, Jesus Christ gives us the will to go on through the battle or struggle. Of course to someone else reading this blog the phrase may relate to another spiritual force. I am just stating where I come from.
The same spiritual idea for me is found later in the song, “You can pull it through if you need to And if you believe it's true, it will surely happen Shining still to give us the will” If you believe it is true makes me think of the principle of faith and belief that is vital for our relationship and walk with God. The light of the Son continues to shine to give us the will to continue the fight. Right after those phrases is the phrase “Prayin for it all day”. Prayer is an instrument to being resilient in life’s trials for those who believe in a spiritual side to this life journey. We need to work hard for the victory and pray hard for the victory.
The last spiritual element I wish to point out is his mention of the Golden Rule early in the song. Todd Rundgren says, “Take the golden rule, as the best example” as to show us how to act as we fight through the struggle we may be facing. It is not do whatever it takes to win, instead it is act in an ethical manner. In Mathew 7:12 Jesus states, “So in everything, Do to others, what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets.” Living that life helps us keep relationships strong through the difficulties of life. Words are easy -- it is the actions that are important.
In the end how we deal with our life struggles comes down to our choice as Rundgren states in the song, “I am here to tell you I have made my choice.” To gain that just one victory we need to make the choice not to give up in the middle of the game.
Reflection: Think over a victory you had in your past. What actions did you do to win the struggle? Who helped you during this time? Are you battling with something in your life right now? How are you going to hold the line to gain your just one victory?