“So you might turn the page or you might shut the book, but the truth is still truth even if you don’t look.” – Sarah Sparks, Into the Lantern Waste
It is rare to come across an artist who eloquently combines literature with music while both convicting and bringing hope to the listener. Sarah Sparks’s album Into the Lantern Waste does just that. The songs are inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia and explore C.S. Lewis’s message of redemption through a combination of storytelling and soulful melodies.
Into the Lantern Waste can be appreciated by many age levels, making it an ideal album for families. First, it is a musical immersion into Narnia for young children as they come to know the characters and story-lines. For early teens through adults, it provides a deeper encounter with the stories. The songs hold a mirror to our faces, reflecting the Narnia characters in ourselves. This album is a perfect accompaniment to the books and can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Sparks’s vocal talent coupled with her compelling lyrics makes for a banquet of rich songs. The album enters into the struggles, questions, and epiphanies of the Narnia characters. Something I’ve noticed throughout this album is how Sparks does not shy away from confronting sin and pain, but she never leaves the listener without hope, much like C.S. Lewis in his writings.
She addresses her approach to creating music on her website: “My hope is that the hearer will be both convicted by truth and comforted by truth.” -Sarah Sparks
There are ten songs in the album: Into the Lantern Waste, Lucy’s Tale, Blood for Blood, The New Song of Trumpkin, Eustace Scrubb, Puddleglum’s Anthem, A Song for Jill, Shasta’s Complaint, Digory’s Regret, and Come Further Up. This album is infused with longing, lament, awe, and redemption.
It is hard to choose favorites among her songs, but I personally love Puddleglum’s Anthem:
In the warmth of the sun I believed Circumstance often changes The way that I see For the first the time a shadow found me I doubted the sun for the lack of heat And I ran but he ran after me
And Eustace Scrubb:
I tried to change my appearance but I am not changed I'm just tired I tried to heal myself long before I met your gaze At the water I'm at your feet Would you tear into the deep of my heart To heal me?
Into the Lantern Waste is a dose of musical, literary, and spiritual nourishment that you’ll find yourself listening to on repeat. Be sure to check out this marvelous collection by Sarah Sparks and share it with your family!
Image background photo by kjpargeter