I built another temple to a stranger
I gave away my heart to the rushing wind
I set my course to run right into danger
Sought the company of fools instead of friends

You know I've been unfaithful
Lovers in lines
While you're turning over tables with the rage of a jealous kind
I chose the gallows to the aisle
Thought that love would never find
Hanging ropes will never keep you
And your love of a jealous kind
Love of a jealous kind

Trying to jump away from rock that keeps on spreading
For solace in the shift of the sinking sand
I'd rather feel the pain all too familiar
Than to be broken by a lover I don't understand
'Cause I don't understand

One hundred other lovers, more, one hundred other altars
If I should slow my pace and finally subject me to grace
And love that shames the wise, betrays the heart's deceit and lies
And breaks the back of foolish pride

Lyrics submitted by stef999

Jealous Kind Lyrics as written by Dan Haseltine Charlie Lowell

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Jealous Kind song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis is perhaps one of the hardest Jars songs to listen to, even harder to sing-- to recognize the willful rebellion, willful betrayal. For we'd all "rather feel the pain all too familiar
    Than to be broken by a lover [we] don't understand."

    There's something almost scandalous about love, how it disregards propriety and reason, and simply pursues the object. What is it that scares us from God's love, why do we "choose the gallows" even after tasting Life?

    Personally, I find the heart of the (altogether deep) song in the last lines. The barriers, whether the need for intellectual justification of faith (the hardest struggle for me), the spectres that call us unworthy of this love, or simply the desire for self-sufficiency--- all crumble in the force of this unrelenting love. Emotions of worthlessness, the arguments for or against God are deemed insignificant in the face of Truth.

    And so, I am "finally subject...to grace."

    I love that image, that grace, so freely humbly offered in Jesus' death, commands my humility in response. Perhaps that is what I fear most, perhaps that's why I flee-- the idea of finding myself as a subject scares me. To be loved by anyone, most of all God, requires loss of control, requires acceptance of the strange, life-altering gifts he'd like to give us. Gifts like joy and peace, so foreign and rare that we've discounted them as illusions and settled for pursuing less.

    But... he's still running after us. What if, this time, we stopped?
    pyrohearton December 28, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGod's love is a jealous sort of love, like the love of a man for his wife - he desires the undivided attention of his bride. I completely agree with you pyroheart, this song is hard to take in because it describes to a T my own unfaithfulness to God at times, his anger and disappointment and my inevitable chastisement.

    It's a hard message to digest, but necessary.

    The song itself is beautiful in arrangement, but the message is a real whopper!!!!

    10 out of 10
    preshpearlon March 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is just totally beautiful and will totally cripple you when you can relate to the subtle Scripture-inspired lyrics.

    "Turning over tables" of course refers to Christ and the cleansing of the temple. He desires the same with our temples, our own hearts. When we put things or even people above Him He jealously envies our time and affection. (James 4:5)

    This song speaks of the so called "hard love" we go after when we seek the things of this world and end up at the "gallows" instead of the aisle, on our way to the great marriage of the Lamb and the Church.

    We are so unfaithful, like the wife of the prophet Hosea, a picture of us to Christ. As Derek Webb would say, I am a whore I do confess, I put you on like a wedding dress. That He would still love us jealously in spite of all this is just mind blowing.

    I also agree with the comments of pearl and pyro. This song is awesome lyrically and very thought provoking on a subject I don't know if I've ever heard on any other song.
    Icarus Fixiuson August 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe only part I don;t understand is the line "hanging ropes will never keep you". What is he refering to? Or is it that simple, tying Him to ropes will not hold Him away from us.
    martincr70on August 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the greatest songs ever. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you cannot listen to this song and not be moved.
    martincr70on January 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGod is not jealous of our love or affection. Jealousy is not a trait of our just God. To say that God is jealous would mean that he desires something that he doesn't have. He doesn't leave our salvation in our hands and hope that we seek him.
    starlight41on May 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe is a jealous God...i know it may be hard to understand at first, but he's only jealous for one thing, our love....

    Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    He has given man free will to choose to love him or go their own way. He can't/won't make us love him, a love he is jealous for...he's created us to have fellowship with himself...it's his desire to save/have fellowship with everyone of us....too bad satan/the world have made sure that there is only "few" that will actually accept his love and turn to him.
    nilluminon June 06, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI absolutely love the depiction that comes to my mind when listening to this song. "I'd rather feel the pain all too familiar, Than to be broken by a lover I don't understand" hits home, as I'm sure it does for many. How often are we overwhelmed in the greatness of God's precense? Sometimes, we'd rather face the pain we deal with on a daily basis then attempt to understand how God can still love us even when we turn our backs on him. Grace comes into play because God never turns His back on us, so instead of facing that all too familiar pain, let us be broken open in the safe arms of our Savior.

    If anyone would mind sharing their thoughts about "One hundred other lovers, more, one hundred other altars" and the repeated verse that says "lovers in lines" that would be great.

    This song, no matter how many times played on repeat, will continue to bring me peace.

    God Bless.
    lt0418on December 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis song is about my fickle heart. I'm like a weather-vein that turns with the gentlest of breezes. I'm a magpie in Claire's Jewelry store and my eyes are only for the plastic rhinestones. But I'll leave the metaphors for the songwriters. Going back to my favorite word "fickle": I love this word primarily because of its association with "mediocre" or "two-faced." Then there are those lovely things we call "good intentions."

    I have so many temples in my life. Music, appearance, relationships, even people I look up to or try to emulate become focuses and drives, those "rushing winds" in my life. And I'm the weather-vein, well oiled with my need to belong and be liked and that elusive idea of "something more." Wherever the breeze blows, I'm there, even if I don't want to be. I've found myself among fools, though the biggest is myself. Indeed, some of the ones I look up to are just foolish comedians running towards cliffs shouting "revolution" and all those things I admire. "Twitterpainted" is another good word for me.

    Fickle, Unfaithful. Those are the words for me. Line em up, I'd shoot em down. Which one's for me, God? Let me try them on. Just holding hands, just hugging. It's all cool. I'll find her. Eventually. But spend time with you? Love you? Oh I do, don't you know? I love you with all my heart, just not the heart I gave to everyone else. I gave you the heart I wear to church and in bed when I pray or when I "testify" to your name. Amos 5 can sum up my worship.
    God has every right to be angry with me. I am a Gomer to God if He was Hosea. I kiss His feet, then spit in His face. He has every right to turn over tables, crash down the walls of my world, take everything He ever gave me away, and completely forsake me. But He over turns those tables to GET TO ME. He sees me at the gallows, and runs to stop me. God is love, but He is a jealous God. So this "love of a jealous kind..." my my. I can't understand.

    And I think that's my problem. I don't want to understand. Wisdom is fearing God, and forsaking evil is understanding, so Job says. So in understanding, I must forsake or at least recognize my evil, my harlot ways, and I'm disgusted with myself. I fear His grace because I cannot believe it, I cannot accept it. But running from God is like running from the sun. He's the rock under my feet, and He'll catch my when I fall, no matter how far from the cliff I jump. His truth is unyielding, no matter how much I'd rather lose myself in the subjective ambiguity of Salinger, Camus, Nietzsche, Melville, or Vonnegut. I can't hide myself behind excuses of ignorance or experience. This world I understand. Its pains I can understand. That's all i want to know because i can face the "infinite void" like any other good existentialist and somehow get a sense of superiority out of it. Funny how we find vindication in nothingness. "Vindication." Also a good word for me. I'd rather feel this pain than the pain I would feel coming to understand the God who died on a cross for my sins. Understanding that would be to accept it. This God of a jealous kind, on a cross for a harlot who didn't even know his name. I don't want it because I don't want to understand.

    So I keep on running. In running, you can't stop. The runner's mind says NO COMPROMISE. The lungs ache, the legs are lead, the heart pounds, but you can't slow. Regret is at your heels, along with defeat, inferiority, and broken promises. But the real danger behind me in this race is grace. His grace. Once again, I'm jumping from the cliff, losing myself in the sand, I can't slow down or it will fall on me and I'll realize how much I need it. I'll understand. It's this grace that is the danger, because in it is "love that shames the wise." The one thing Salinger and Vonnegut couldn't understand was Love. And I think it not too arrogant to say any of us did. When Salinger was staring into the abyss, he said "i'll make my own value." Vonnegut said "I'll just watch the good parts." They missed the point that all those mushy singers like Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Buble were all singing about. We don't want a love for now, a Gatsby's Daisy at the end of our dock, or someone to know us inside and out, we want that FOREVER. "A love that will last" as Norah sings. We can't reason our way out of this. No existentialism, transcendentalism, or carefree hedonism will ever get us beyond our own existence. Our hearts will always lead us astray because they too fear the grace we do not understand. Our mountains crumble, our statues fall, our wax wings melt, our pride shatters and we fall flat on our face. Funny, how thats the only way we see it.

    I slow down. I stop running. The finish line is... somewhere, but not here. Not yet. But I'm done. I'm gagging. I'm dry heaving. And I can't stop. I'm lying in bed. Trying to pray. Trying to see the God I'm running from. Trying to mean the words and the name and the conviction but I'm only wanting vindication. I'm repeating the name, because it's the only way of worship I can find now. "God of Love. God of Love. God of Love.” The world rushes at me, finally catching up. It hits me like an overturned table, and suddenly it's all gone. He's busted down my door, shattered all my walls, he's come to take His Israel back home. "You are mine." No more running. No more trying. Just, acceptance. Conviction. Understanding.
    BrotherGambiton April 13, 2011   Link

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