One of the nicer additions to the list of current top Christian songs is a ballad about someone who’s hard to miss when you pick up a newspaper or watch TV.
It’s called “Britney,” is written to, yep, Britney Spears, and is a sympathetic look at what the celebrity machine can do and has done to her.
And it’s by that nice singer-songwriter with an easy-to-take voice, Bebo Norman.
Now 35 (and, in his single days habitually named one of Christian music’s most eligible bachelors), Norman has a song that’s heading toward the top 10 in CCM song lists.
And it’s the best popular-reference look at a celebrity who has had a public trauma since Dana Key’s “Dear Mr. Clapton,” dedicated to Eric Clapton when the legendary guitarist lost his small son in a tragic fall.
Now, Norman offers us a new ballad that’s a sympathetic look at a celebrity whose ups and downs have long been tabloid fodder:
“Britney im sorry for the lies we told
we took you into our arms and then left you cold
Britney im sorry for this cruel cruel world
we sell the beauty but destroy the girl
Britney im sorry for your broken heart
we stood aside and watched you fall apart.”
But he ends with a hopeful message of where Britney Spears can truly find peace:
“Britney i do believe that love has come
here for the broken
here for the ones like us.”
This is just the lastest hit song for Bebo (his given Christian name is Jeffrey Stephen Norman).
I’ll always remember his excellent show back in October 2004 at Lancaster Bible College (opening was an early-teen Bethany Dillon, who also was impressive).
Columbus, Ga. native Norman has one of Christian music’s most underrated albums, “Myself When I Am Real,” which included his light, sometimes-soaring voice on hit songs “Great Light of the World” and “Falling Down.”
Other songs of his you may know include “I Will Lift My Eyes” and “Borrow Mine.”
He also has a sense of humor, and can be self-deprecating.
He “won” an award from CCM magazine once as the performer who most needs to talk less and sing more in concerts. He agreed to pose for a picture with duct tape (hey, a bachelor’s best friend … I used to know it well!) over his mouth.
But no one should hush him on “Britney,” a compassionate look at someone damaged, but maybe not broken, by the relentless glare of the spotlight.