Stories In Red

Fear And Trembling

Based on Søren Kierkegaard’s work by the same title, this thirty minute recording of piano and voices presents Kiekegaard’s observations of Abraham and Isaac in eight, minimalistic poems.





Then He tested Abraham

Who answered “I’m listening”

God said, “Take your son”

“Take him to the land of Moriah

Take your promise son, whom you love

Sacrifice him there, on the mountain

Sacrifice your own son.”

Abraham gives way

And silent, early in the morning he awakes

To travel for three long days

Faith is not something to acquire

Faith is a long road, leading afar

so Don’t you think that you can go any further

Don’t think you don’t have to start

So Abraham takes his own dear son

And steps out on

The road to Moriah



People hoped a hero was soon to come their way

Someone who would hear, understand all their complaints

Someone who would set aside his own desires

For the people, give of his life without restraint


And the story goes and it ends a tragedy

The poor lad gave ‘way, gave his own identity

And the towns people watched and they all understood

So gather ‘round and join as the people weep for him




Here a hero did not come

To speak up, protect the son

But choosing a different way

Abraham holds on to faith

Abraham, a knight of faith


That which of him is required

Abandoned with his desire

He embraced the religious way

Abraham of righteous faith

Abraham, the knight of faith




For great is he, who more loves God than man

for he shall ne’er be forgot

For great is he, who strives with God, holds belief

for he shall be greater than all

For great is he to give up one’s desires

Greater still to hold resignation after

For great is he to grasp hold of the eternal

And greater still to hold on to the temporal

After giving it up



I come close to see your movements

and Move away from understanding

Sleepless nights all full of anguish

I see you move with fear and trembling



Faith, the paradox–Faith, the one is placed higher

Than the ethical

Faith, the individual is placed all out on his own

Apart from the world

Is there an end, a cause that is greater

Than one’s relation to the universal, the ethical

To love the son, more than the self is Abraham’s

Ethical law

Still, he puts it aside, As proof of his faith

Proof to his God

One does not start, knowing the outcome

He steps on the strength if the absurd [Oh]

And finds no release, from the agony–the paradox

And finds no relief, on the edge of the world [Oh]



He walks alone

Outside the world

And meets not a soul, a single traveller

It’s a terrible fall

He knows

To, in solitude, be born [na na... oh]

And Abraham

Renounces the world

To become the particular

And turns his ways

So absolute, to the absolute [na na... oh]



The silent talk of God and man

Can Abraham speak to us at all?

And find relief; the universal

But silence talks of God and man

What could be said, to justify

To be understood, by wife and child

In silence God communes with man

“Isaac, O my son

God for himself will provide

For the burnt offering

A lamb to be sacrificed”



All Songs ©2013 James MacKnight

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