The Napoli

I’m listening to an album at the moment, on loan from a friend, by a band called Show of Hands. It’s kind of folky earthy story telling music – I’m quite partial to a bit of folk angst. One particular song on the album struck me for it’s analysis of human nature. It’s a song recounting the Napoli container ship’s wreck at Branscombe beach in 2007. Two lines from the chorus are:

“Scratch Joe Public and what lies beneath
A looter, pirate and a thief”

It’s an initially striking and pessimistic view of human nature but on reflection, given the opportunity, could we, hand on heart, say we’d behave any better. What the Napoli reveals, and the song observes, is that human nature isn’t basically good with the odd hiccup; we’re basically bad with the odd glimmer of the imago Dei.


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