Guinness uses "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" in "Empty Chair" commercial

of the dedicated empty POW\MIA chair at every Legion Post meeting and dinner.

R.K. Fall

Sergeant at Arms, A.L. Post 238, Pacifica, CA

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Anyone know why they picked that song?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Will churches now quit singing “Leaning” because of its association with beer?

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Oh, what fellowship

Oh what joy divine.

[Chip Van Emmerik]

Anyone know why they picked that song?

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

The song IMHO means they are leaning on the long arms of the soldiers…kinda blasphemous or catchy, depending upon how you look at it.



The song IMHO means they are leaning on the long arms of the soldiers…kinda blasphemous or catchy, depending upon how you look at it.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

From the book summary on amazon:

“The history of Guinness, one of the world’s most famous brands, reveals the noble heights and generosity of a great family and an innovative business.

It began in Ireland in the mid 1700s. The water in Ireland, indeed throughout Europe, was famously undrinkable, and the gin and whiskey that took its place devastated civil society. It was a disease ridden, starvation-plagued, alcoholic age, and Christians like Arthur Guinness—as well as monks and even evangelical churches—brewed beer that provided a healthier alternative to the poisonous waters and liquors of the times. This is where the Guinness tale began. Now, 250 years and over 150 countries later, Guinness is a global brand, one of the most consumed beverages in the world. The tale that unfolds during those two and a half centuries has power to thrill audiences today: the generational drama, business adventure, industrial and social reforms, deep-felt faith, and the noble beer itself.”

I have no problem that in 1750 a group of Christians brewed beer because the alcohol killed the pathogens (maybe they boiled the water as well???) and that beer was less worse than whiskey. The thing is, it is 2014, and chlorine does that now! No more excuses!

The Mormons use the KJV…does that corrupt a good thing? No. When the world steals your good thing, that is not association. When you drink a Guiness beer because you think you are supporting missions…that is bad association.

agency that commissioned the commercial and the production that made it are no doubt American, the ad its self reflects the differences between American and Irish beer cultures. As best as I can find, Guinness is only brewed in Ireland.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

“Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” is also featured in the soundtrack of the recent “True Grit” (2010, I think) remake. There are a few other Gospel songs featured, but “Leaning” is the most prominent piece of music in the movie. It is sung over the closing credits. The ad makers might have gotten their idea from that movie. The style and pacing is very similar.

By the way, if you haven’t seen Guinness’s “wheelchair basketball” ad, it is inspiring as well:

No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel will prevail against the LORD. Proverbs 21:30

The commercial, while Guiness (ie Irish), is meant for an American audience. That is why it is an American bar and an American military member who is gone. Therefore, it is built on the standard media and cultural line that EVERYONE drinks a cold one to be cool and relax. We have clean, treated water. Drinking beer and other alcohol is a worldly behavior in our culture.

The song was also used in the Jeff Bridges remake of True Grit in 2010. The song gained notoriety then.

I find the beer aspect to be less interesting than the simple fact that hymns are used in advertising and movies at all. This reminds me of how Tim Keller likes to describe America as a “Christ haunted” place. A good portion of the audience wouldn’t know that tune at all, but those who did would immediately be transported to a certain feeling of faith, trust and hope, even if they didn’t remember the words to the song. At very least, it’s nice to have a peaceful commercial.

I also think the commercial is great for returning vets. About at year ago in DC I was getting out of the metro on my way to work, and I was stopped by a soldier who was clearly just back from Afghanistan, duffel bag and all. He urgently asked me where McDonalds was, and he had tears in his eyes. I pointed to it and he almost jogged. I say let the soldier have a Guinness. These guys have been through a lot.

I have a son who returned from Afghanistan in early June. He was away from his wife and daughter for 11 months. I can attest that as a parent we “leaned on everlasting arms” as we prayed for him throughout every day of his deployment. 5 in his unit of 90 were injured in combat (a single incident of an incoming RPG attack). One of those five was severely injured to the point of death but thankfully survived (but with serious life altering injuries). Moments before that attack my son was at the point where the RPG landed.

There was absolutely no beer drinking from the time of his leaving (July 2013) until his return. He enjoyed a cold one (he requested a Pabst Blue Ribbon). Good for him!