While I was considering a music- oriented post for Spring Snow Publications, the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear with His melodic tongue of fire, “You’re a rainbow.” My first thought was, “The Holy Spirit likes The Incredible String Band?” Of course He does. Regarding the Incredible String Band, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, states:
“There was no one quite like them . . . it was a discovery of the holy; not the solemn, not the saintly, but the holy, which makes you silent and sometimes makes you laugh . . .” (The Best Music You’ve Never Heard by Nigel Williamson, p.145).
In the summer of 1968 after finishing my overseas tour of duty with the Naval Air Corps (12 months in Guam, 6 months in Chu Lai, Vietnam) I was ready to be discharged from the service. I arrived in San Francisco not to the sound of “The Ride of the Valkyries” (by Wagner, from the movie Apocalypse Now) because the movie hadn’t been made yet but to the sound of a hippie’s radio blaring “It’s gettin’ near dawn . . .” (“Sunshine of Your Love”). Hoping to exchange the emotional “wounds of war” for a college degree, I checked out the college scene and immersed myself in the music of the 60s. That’s how I discovered The Incredible String Band.
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“Rainbow” is the last track on the double album U, released in October 1970. Its playing time is 15:40. Music critic Allan Frewin says:
“All I will say is that, if U were surgically removed from my life, I would be diminished by the loss. Thirty years on, and I wouldn’t change a single note, even if I could” (beGlad: An Incredible String Band Compendium, p.215).
Music critic, Andy Roberts, states:
“Rainbow is a glowing suffusion of the String Band at their very best . . .” (ibid. p.217).
Even though The Incredible String Band was influenced by Scientology during the recording of this album, let their music be their legacy.
Rainbow is the last track on the double album U.
“Rainbow” was written by Mike Heron. On one level it appears to be a love song. On another level it could be thought of as a song about having a loving relationship with the divine (a la St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, certain other Christian mystics). “All around me, saw your love come shining brightly, you’re a rainbow.”
The rainbow could symbolize an evolving individual who has a full feeling life and is able to accept and experience the full gamut of the emotional spectrum (the rainbow). This is achieved through allowing emotional tensions (the opposites), suffering them, and allowing the personality to reach a higher level of integration. This is way different from Scientology’s auditing.
In Norse mythology there is a rainbow bridge between the world and heaven (the kingdom of the gods). So becoming a complete human being allows a person to access both the spiritual realm and the material realm. An individuated person can be a rainbow bridge that facilitates God’s work in the world.
Christian Signs, Jungian Synchronicities
If you have heard “Rainbow” recently or are reading this article, then there is possibly a message for you. Maybe you’re being asked by life to develop emotionally and/or spiritually in order to help bring God’s love into the world by being a rainbow bridge. And in the words of The Incredible String Band: “[May] the pure light within you, guide you all the way on.”
Modifications made by Spring Snow Publications.
Photo by Joy Jumiyo