Soundtrack of my Life – Mr. Wendal

Soundtrack of my LifeThis is one of a regular series of articles highlighting some of the music that has played a part in my life.

You’ll find a range of songs from old to new. You’ll probably find music that has been part of the soundtrack of your life too.

You can also check out some of the other songs that make up the soundtrack of my life.

Mr. Wendal – Arrested Development

Arrested Development released Mr. Wendal in 1992. It’s a song about the homeless but instead of just talking about their plight, it asks us to consider what we can learn from those who are homeless and to see the person beyond the homelessness label.

It charted reasonably well at the time, reaching number 6 in the U.S., 7 in Australia and number 4 on the U.K. charts.

Mr. Wendal is part of the soundtrack of my life because I enjoy it musically and love the message behind it. I wonder how many of those who bought the single and the album it came from,  3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of…  actually thought about what the song is saying.

Here, have a dollar,
in fact no brotherman here, have two
Two dollars means a snack for me,
but it means a big deal to you
Be strong, serve God only,
know that if you do, beautiful heaven awaits
That’s the poem I wrote for the first time
I saw a man with no clothes, no money, no plate
Mr.Wendal, that’s his name,
no one ever knew his name cause he’s a no-one
Never thought twice about spending on a ol’ bum,
until I had the chance to really get to know one
Now that I know him, to give him money isn’t charity
He gives me some knowledge, I buy him some shoes
And to think blacks spend all that money on big colleges,
still most of y’all come out confused

[CHORUS:] Go ahead, Mr.Wendal (2x)

Mr.Wendal has freedom,
a free that you and I think is dumb
Free to be without the worries of a quick to diss society
for Mr.Wendal’s a bum
His only worries are sickness
and an occasional harassment by the police and their chase
Uncivilized we call him,
but I just saw him eat off the food we waste
Civilization, are we really civilized, yes or no ?
Who are we to judge ?
When thousands of innocent men could be brutally enslaved
and killed over a racist grudge
Mr.Wendal has tried to warn us about our ways
but we don’t hear him talk
Is it his fault when we’ve gone too far,
and we got too far, cause on him we walk
Mr.Wendal, a man, a human in flesh,
but not by law
I feed you dignity to stand with pride,
realize that all in all you stand tall

Mr.Wendal, yeah yeah yeah, Lord, Mr.Wendal


I’d encourage you to get involved too. Let me know about some of the songs that are etched in your mind. What are the tunes that bring back a flood of memories every time their opening notes start cranking out on your stereo? Are there songs you love for their music and others that speak deeply through their lyrics?

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist and blogger from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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