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“Jonah’s Song,” by Mark Heard

Originally from Macon, Georgia, John Mark Heard (1951-1992) wrote songs that were “at once visceral and philosophical to a degree uncommon in contemporary music,” and he had the ability to “consistently integrate the sacred and the profane, the spiritual and the humane, [and provide] nourishment in a way so few others ever have.”  While he never enjoyed commercial success during his lifetime, he was deeply respected by his peers and colleagues.  

Heard’s 1979 album, Appalachian Melody, was produced by Christian rock music pioneer Larry Norman and released under his label, Solid Rock Records.  All of the songs were written by Heard, including “Jonah’s Song,” a playful and humorous take on the Book of Jonah.  The song’s chorus might be thought to refer to Jonah’s realization that God’s expansive love reaches out for even Jonah, who has run from God (2:6-9), as well as his perceived enemies; God’s grace is available to all (3:10-4:11).

Christian McIvor
Minister of Worship, Music and the Arts

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