Vigilantes of Love garnered a good following in the Christiam music scene in the 90’s. Their frontman and songwriter, Bill Mallonee, is sort of a combination of Bob Dylan and Tom Petty (with the band being the Heartbreakers I guess). Mallonee is good at turning a phrase and writing honestly about truth and love and Christianity in America. I am not a huge fan of their sound, but they have a few really great songs (‘Resplendent’ off the Audible Sigh album and ‘Double Cure’ which I can’t seem to find anywhere).
One of my favorite songs of theirs is about Vincent Van Gogh (another artitst I really enjoy). The story goes that Vincent was in love with a woman who did not share the same feelings. Thus, Vincent did what any normal man in love would do and hacked off part of his ear, literally. It is an odd story about an odd artist who created some of the best art the world has ever seen. Mallonee saw in it a good idea for a song and wrote ‘Skin.’ It is a song about the difficult labor of love and the fight to persevere through the suffering it often brings. Some of my favorite lines include:
“Now I’d seen him despondent,
a few times as of late
Sometimes the answer that love gives
is the hardest one to take”
“If you’re gonna come around here
and say those sorts of things
you’re gonna take a few on the chin
You talk about sin and redemption, you
better bring your thickest skin.
Sometimes you can’t please everyone,
sometime you can’t please anyone at all
You sew your heart onto your sleeve
and wait for the axe to fall.”
It’s a great song. Give it a listen here: