Sunday, May 17, 2009

Music with class

I finished my first year of graduate school in theology last Thursday and, after God's grace, the prayers of my friends and the saints, and the contributions of my professors and classmates, the people I have to thank the most for my making it through are the Trouble Dolls.

They are a band I used to see when I lived near New York City who put out a solitary album* in 2002. From the beginning of my first semester at Dominican House of Studies last fall, one of their songs got stuck in my head—this one.

"I Don’t Know Anything at All": download from iTunes | Lyrics


Every morning as I got onto the Metro to go to school, the "E" note of the door chimes would restart the song in my head—the same note, in the same key, as the beginning of the Trouble Dolls' tune. (You can hear the chimes in this short video.)

The song would still be with me as I arrived at school, its Socratic spirit forming a mental undercurrent to my studies. The effect was like having the Litany of Humility on a tape loop.

It is strangely comforting to realize that you do not know everything, and even more so to realize that you do not know anything. I cannot claim to be a holy fool, but, to whatever extent I am teachable, it is thanks at least in part to the Trouble Dolls' reminder.

*If you listen to the entire album, be aware that one song, "Invitation," begins with a profanity.