This Tuesday I had the privilege of taking the funeral for a parishioner who had been a gifted musician, playing the drums. He had passed this talent onto his son, who composed and played a drum solo as we closed the curtain around his father at the crematorium. Drummers in bands can often be overlooked in favour of the “frontmen”; the guitar players and singers. But they are an essential element of the sound. There is a story, perhaps exaggerated, of the late Charlie Watts, drummer to the Rolling Stones. Allegedly Mick Jagger was heard to exclaim “Where is my …. drummer?” when Watts could not be found. On hearing about this, Watts sought out Jagger, grabbed him firmly by the throat and proclaimed “I am not your …. drummer, you are my …. singer”.
Now for one of those leaps vicars are famous for. The Bible reading for last Sunday was from a letter by St Paul to the dysfunctional church at Corinth, whose members were arguing over status. Paul used the image of a human body with many parts, some not discussed in polite conversation, but all essential to the whole, to remind them that although we may have different roles, we all need each other. Someone has to tidy the church, fix the gutters, pay the bills, organise the events, cut the grass, attend the meetings. Indeed, this is as true in wider society as it is the church. The singer needs the drummer, the drummer needs singer, as Paul would recognise.
(Google Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger to get alternative versions of this….)