Dispatches for Luna & Max (#20): “I Want to Be in Love With You” by Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir

I’ve always had a soft spot for gospel music. Even if I’m not all that religious, it’s the joy of the whole thing.

(I think that’s probably the point.)

When I get up in the mornings to rouse you both from your cribs, the tunes we play are usually female voices contemporary and old: Selena and Violeta Parra and Jazmine Sullivan and Fiona Apple and Remi Wolf and Rihanna and Mickey Guyton and Gloria Estefan and Nelly Furtado and Jill Scott and Aretha and Jenni Rivera and Japanese Breakfast and Selena Gomez and Kali Uchis and Speedy Ortiz and Downtown Boys and Charli XCX and Illuminati Hotties and and and

and the only real exception to the female voices of it all is gospel.

So I’ve been playing the latest box set release of Pastor T.L. Barrett & The Youth For Christ Choir a lot.

And so, there’s not much else to say except that a love song written about faith in lyrics that speak plaintively to human desire and to redemption and to compassion and to seeing the world through the eyes of someone else is a song that I am pretty okay teaching the two of you to two-step to.

There is a wild turn throughout the lyrics that makes it clear that the song is actually the desire of God to be in love with the singer—with you. I think about that humanizing element sometimes, as the two of you futz with books and sketchpads and stuffed animals in the morning: that knowledge that you are both loved universally and that nature is being ordered around collective efforts to make this world wholly for you.

By the time Barrett is losing his mind Mariah-ing about the Bible in the second half of the song he’s already won me over and, honestly, I’m probably starting the song over from the beginning.


(I think the recent-re-release of this music is at least somewhat due to Kanye’s substantial use of Father Stretch Hands on Life of Pablo but the song isn’t even the brightest of the many gems here.)

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