Brooke Fraser on C.S. Lewis (Friday Feature)

I have talked before about how musicians are influenced by C.S. Lewis (hereherehere, and here). Another one of these is New Zealand superstar Brooke Fraser.

Church folk might know Fraser from her role in the Hillsong United music ministry. “Desert Song” became a standard in our local church for a couple of years, and Brooke Fraser’s voice is on that track. Most, however, will have encountered Fraser in her pop music. One of her songs caught my ear by its first two lines:

If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here

I had to look up the song title, and readers may not be surprised that it is simply called “C.S. Lewis.” The rest of the song is not Lewisian in imagery, using sexual, creational, resurrection, and second coming images that would not have come from Lewis’ pen in exactly this way–though he talked about each of these things. But the influence of C.S. Lewis on Brooke Fraser is clear.

I first heard of Fraser’s music not in this C.S. Lewis tribute, but in her hit single, “Something in the Water.” Staff at my son’s camp were playing the song to gather kids around for mealtime and it caught me. The video is particularly well done, integrating beautiful art and fashion elements and drawing us into Homer’s Odyssey. I wouldn’t dig too deeply into the meaning of the song: it is just a fun LA-style love song. But I like the video.

While Brooke Fraser’s style of music is not one that I am immediately drawn to, I appreciate her ability to tell stories in her songs, as in her character piece “Betty” and in mission inspired, “Albertine.”

Fraser also has the ability to capture atmosphere, a key storytelling device according to C.S. Lewis–though it is often forgotten (see here). Perhaps the best example of this among her singles is “Coachella.” Plus, that’s one of the coolest drummers I have ever seen.

Brooke Fraser’s work is an interesting study to challenge the contrasts we make in our mind. This is a local church worship leader with an international pop career, a Christian with inlfuence in the red carpet scene of her home land, and a pop artist who is smart. It is also another testimony of Lewis’ influence in the pages of other people’s work.

I hope you enjoy this Friday Feature!

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About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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13 Responses to Brooke Fraser on C.S. Lewis (Friday Feature)

  1. robstroud says:

    Thanks for introducing me to Brooke’s music. (I usually listen to groups like Switchfoot, Thousand Foot Krutch, Fireflight, and Flyleaf… among others… not so much to “worship” style music.)

    I enjoyed her C.S. Lewis song so much I bought the Albertine album and am listening to it now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad you enjoyed. The list you give is much more like my school. I’ve been enjoying 21 Pilot and We Came as Romans too–both a bit on the aggressive side.
      I actually have stopped updating Windows 10 because it wants to cut me off from my old music, mostly scanned in from CDs, including Christian music from the 90s and early 00s.

      Like

  2. Hanna says:

    Great post! Brooke Fraser is one of my favorite artists and C. S. Lewis is one of my favorite writers, so I was excited to find the connection between them. She also has a song called “Shadowfeet” which she says was inspired by Lewis’s book The Great Divorce. In case you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4XELEJi2Hw

    Like

  3. wanderwolf says:

    I had t heard of her before, but I like her music and knowing a little bit more about the background of if. Thanks!

    Like

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