Song Writing and Listening

Music has always been a part of my life.  I remember singing some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs as I was swinging on my backyard swing when I was 4 or 5 in 1970.  I loved listening to my oldest brother’s techno space-age music then, too. When I was about 7 I had two older sisters in High School listening to ’70’s tunes, and Barbara Streisand’s showtunes as well as Montovani were played regularly on our family’s 8-track console stereo.

I remember loving the music to Star Wars in 1977-1981-ish and playing the theme music on the aforementioned stereo.  My sisters and I convinced our mother to purchase Queen’s latest LP that featured “Another One Bites the Dust” on her monthly record program.  She didn’t know what the words were and the artist’s reputation and my sisters and I didn’t either.  We were pretty innocent during those earlier years, but we enjoyed music.  My dad regularly listened to county western music with artists such as Hank Williams and Merle Haggard.  He liked Patsy Cline (and so did I) and Sam Cooke was also one of my favorites.  My mom’s tastes were more modern pop, and she seemed to listen to instrumental and Burt Bacharach.  She also introduced us to The Andrew Sisters.  Did I mention that we regularly watched The Lawrence Welk Show every Saturday evening?

I also was exposed to Vivaldi’s “The Gloria”, and Felix Mendelssohn’s “I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes to the Hills” as well as many other classical composers that we performed in my public High School choir.  We sang old black slave spirituals that are still in my mind and on my lips.

So, this is only part of how I’ve come to my eclectic music tastes.

I’ve written lyrics to about 4-5 songs in the past 6 months and am struggling to find tunes within me that don’t sound too much like anyone else’s songs.  It’s difficult to find the time and frame of mind to write, but I’m receiving help from a Christian Songwriting course I’m taking from my friend, Joel Harris. 

Please listen to some of the music preferences I’ve chosen for my music player, and let me know which one is your favorite.  Just click the Launch Standalone Player below to listen.

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9 Responses to “Song Writing and Listening”

  1. choseninhim Says:

    Jesus Freak

    What will people think
    When they hear that I’m a Jesus Freak?
    What will people do
    When they find that’s it’s true?]
    [oh oh]

    Separated, I cut myself clean
    From a past that comes back in my darkest of dreams
    Been apprehended by a spiritual force
    And a grace that replaced all the me I’ve divorced

    I saw a man with tat on his big fat belly
    It wriggled around like marmalade jelly
    It took me a while to catch what it said
    Cause I had to match the rhythm
    Of his belly with my head
    ‘Jesus Saves’ is what it raved in a typical tattoo green
    He stood on a box in the middle of the city
    And he claimed he had a dream

    (chorus)
    What will people think
    When they hear that I’m a Jesus freak
    What will people do when they find that it’s true
    [oh oh]
    I don’t really care if they label me a Jesus freak
    There ain’t no disguising the truth
    [oh oh oh]
    [ain’t no disguising the truth, no I ain’t hiding the truth]
    Kamikaze, my death is a gain
    I’ve been marked by my Maker
    A peculiar display
    The high and lofty, they see me as weak
    Cause I won’t live and die for the power they seek

    There was a man from the desert with naps in his head
    The sand that he walked was also his bed
    The words that he spoke made the people assume
    There wasn’t too much left in the upper room
    With skins on his back and hair on his face
    They thought he was strange by the locusts he ate
    YOU SEE The Pharisees tripped when they heard him speak
    Until the king took the head of this Jesus freak

    chorus

    People say I’m strange, does that make me a stranger
    My best friend was born in a manger
    People say I’m strange, does that make me a stranger
    My best friend was born in a manger

    (repeat chorus 2x)

    What will people think
    [What will people think]
    What will people do
    [What will people do]
    I don’t really care
    [What else can I say]
    There ain’t no disguising the truth
    [Jesus is the way]

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    Oh my, yes, Lawrence Welk. I was with my grandparents during most of my younger childhood, and they NEVER missed Lawrencce Welk. 🙂

  3. choseninhim Says:

    My sisters and I would sit and watch The Lawrence Welk show and sing and dance along with the show.

    One time they featured the bloopers of the show, and in the audience interaction part (you know, when Lawrence Welk would invite one lady to dance with him on stage), the woman her invited had a wig and as she danced her wig came off! She quickly grabbed and put it in place but I laughed so hard! Good times 🙂

  4. K. Says:

    I LOVED Lawrence Welk. I also loved Barry Manilow – and I liked Queen a lot. (Bohemian Rhapsody – but now I listen to the words nad I cringe – didn’t know back then what I know now . . . beezlebub – yikes!)

    How about Johnny Horton? Here in the South he is popular and I have the Battle of New Orleans on my cell phone ring. He has some great historical ballads – I listened to him as a little girl and forgot about him until our Georgia friend was listening to his CD and then I had to get some of his music off Napster – Sink the Bismarck is good – it is about the sinking of the Bismarck and of course The Batlte of New Orleans – with Colonel Andrew Jackson. There is “Johnny Reb” too – those are the three I really remember. . .

    Oh and I liked Glen Cambell, Johnny Cash and the Capt and Tennille – did you know they have been married 30+ years? Really neato. In fact, Toni Tennille has her own blog – you can see an interview she and “the Captain” did – it is pretty cute.

  5. choseninhim Says:

    Daybreak – by Barry Manilow

    Well, it’s daybreak, if you wanna believe …. 🙂

    I know what you mean about some of those songs’ words. I cringe, too.

    I also listened to Johnny Cash (still like his music). Glen Campbell (Southern Nights) was a catchy tune to me. And CAPT. AND TENNILLE WERE SO PART OF MY LIFE!! At least when I was in 3rd grade, anyway 🙂

    Don’t forget Donny and Marie (my sisters and I LOVED to watch their show every Saturday night). We had some 8-track cassettes of them that we wore out.

    Don McClean was another singer that was of my older sisters’ choice, but he was sort of a mellow-sounding poet to me as a child. I do NOT like, to this day, however, that song “American Pie”. I listened to it too much growing up and the words seem drug-induced or something to me.

    I wish I knew the songs you referenced 😦 so that I could reminisce with you. I do have a homeschool tape that has some Civil War songs that I just love the guitar and snare drum playing. Thanks, K.! That reminds me to dig it out.

  6. choseninhim Says:

    Just to clarify: The ‘Daybreak’ song didn’t have questionable lyrics; it was the Queen song that definately had them.

  7. choseninhim Says:

    K., take a listen to the first song on my player:

    Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy I love this song: Thanks to Amy Grant, Fernando Ortega and Joseph Hart. It has a very good message.

    Come, ye sinners, poor and needy
    Weak and wounded, sick and sore
    Jesus ready, stands to save you
    Full of pity, love and power

    I will arise and go to Jesus
    He will embrace me in His arms
    In the arms of my dear Savior,
    O, there are ten thousand charms

    Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome
    God’s free bounty glorify
    True belief and true repentance
    Every grace that brings you nigh

    Come, ye weary, heavy-laden
    Lost and ruined by the fall
    If you tarry ’til you’re better
    You will never come at all

    I will arise and go to Jesus
    He will embrace me in His arms
    In the arms of my dear Savior,
    O, there are ten thousand charms

    View Him Prostate in the garden
    On the ground your Maker lies
    On the bloody tree, behold him
    Sinner, will this not suffice?

    Lo! the incarnate God ascended,
    Pleads the merit of His blood:
    Venture on Him, venture wholly,
    Let no other trust intrude.

    I will arise and go to Jesus
    He will embrace me in His arms
    In the arms of my dear Savior,
    O, there are ten thousand charms

    [Let not conscience make you linger,
    Not of fitness fondly dream;
    All the fitness He requireth
    Is to feel your need of Him.]

  8. choseninhim Says:

    Of course, I really love Breath of Heaven performed by Amy Grant on her Christmas album in the nineties. It is beautiful.

    It really speaks to us carrying Christ in us while walking through any really difficult situation.

    Amy Grant – Breath Of Heaven

    I have traveled many moonless nights,
    Cold and weary with a babe inside,
    And I wonder what I’ve done.
    Holy father you have come,
    And chosen me now to carry your son.

    I am waiting in a silent prayer.
    I am frightened by the load I bear.
    In a world as cold as stone,
    Must I walk this path alone?
    Be with me now.
    Be with me now.

    Breath of heaven,
    Hold me together,
    Be forever near me,
    Breath of heaven.
    Breath of heaven,
    Lighten my darkness,
    Pour over me your holiness,
    For you are holy.
    Breath of heaven.

    Do you wonder as you watch my face,
    If a wiser one should have had my place,
    But I offer all I am
    For the mercy of your plan.
    Help me be strong.
    Help me be.
    Help me.

    Breath of heaven,
    Hold me together,
    Be forever near me,
    Breath of heaven.
    Breath of heaven,
    Lighten my darkness,
    Pour over me your holiness,
    For you are holy.

    Breath of heaven,
    Hold me together,
    Be forever near me,
    Breath of heaven.
    Breath of heaven,
    Lighten my darkness,
    Pour over me your holiness,
    For you are holy.
    Breath of heaven.
    Breath of heaven.
    Breath of heaven.

  9. choseninhim Says:

    Yay!

    I just completed (at least I hope so) my first official song! Joel Harris gave me some really good help with the chord progressions after I put the last verse of the lyrics on this afternoon.

    I’ll be performing with my fellow songwriters in October during a song showcase for the congregation. Three other women and some christian college-age band members, Soul Principle, have written and liscensed their own songs from just our own little congregations. It’s really getting exciting to watch the music taking off.

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