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secretly Christian: Fire In The Hole

Like many people of a certain age I sort of gave Van Halen a miss after about 1985, so I totally missed the Van Halen III/Gary Cherone era. Here’s a live version of Fire In The Hole:

The last verse starts at about 4:48 and goes like this:

Rudder of ship which sets the course

Does not the bit bridle the horse

Great is the forest set by a small flame

Like a tongue on fire no one can tame

Which a gloss on James 3:3-5

Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! [link, KJV]

Sadly the performance in the clip above is disjointed and kind of a mess. These guys don’t really look like a band; no wonder this lineup didn’t last.

To my taste a far better treatment of the same lyrical material can be found on the opening track of Third Day’s self-titled 1996 album:

Careful listeners will note that the same verses get a similar treatment in a similar part of the song. Funny; Van Halen III wasn’t recorded until the following year. Hmmm.

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