Category Archives: Music

A Beautiful Piece of Heartache

In the midst of the non-stop election news and the beating our collective psyches take from campaign season, I needed this hymn for election day from Over the Rhine.

“What a beautiful piece of heartache
This has all turned out to be
Lord knows we’ve learned the hard way
All about healthy apathy”

Thanks to Chris Smith. Original Source: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slowchurch/2012/11/06/a-hymn-for-election-day/

And Now For Some Lite Muzak…

So, I also enjoy playing, writing and performing music. I’ve been writing songs for almost 20 years now, but that only means I’ve written enough bad songs to get lucky a few times. I’ve written a couple of songs, since moving to Bolivia and thought it would be nice to share them with the thronging masses… mostly my mom and a couple friends, but I can dream. Considering they were all recorded on Garage Band on my Macbook, the quality is not too bad. I used a cheap guitar we bought here in Bolivia and did all the songs in one take. I monkeyed with levels, filters, compression etc. on Garage Band to get the best sound I could from a laptop microphone and our kitchen.

The Last Supper
I actually wrote this song when we lived at the World Hunger Relief farm. It’s kind of a summary of my theology of food and the Eucharist.

Thought of Something Else
This is the first song I wrote in Bolivia. It’s based on a poem by Wendell Berry.

I’ll Fly Away
This hymn is fun to play in a fast-paced bluegrass style, but it always made the words and theology sound very escapist. I made my own arrangement and slowed it down. I think it reflects a better theological outlook about the hope of heaven more in the vein of slave songs of the southern United States and black liberation. I really enjoy playing this song this way.

A Good Place to Start
I just wrote this song in the last couple of weeks after listening to a lot of Avett Brothers and thinking about how followers of Jesus live in two worlds, or kingdoms. Living out faith and trying to make the world a better place seem to be inherently messy endeavors. This song is an attempt to find a good place to start.

Flower in the Cracks

sidewalk-flower.jpgI ‘ve been inspired of late and written a couple songs. This one is a reflection on both the Easter season and the practice of resurrection I’m involved with called urban gardening.

March 21 and the bitter chill is a fading memory
The air wakes up with a new scent and a feeling of harmony
With a skip in my gait I whistle my mind
Walking through the city leaving everything behind
Out of nowhere something stopped me in my tracks
In the midst of the concrete jungle there’s a flower in the cracks
I never thought Spring such a powerful thing
Until I saw the sidewalk give way
The moment my illusion of control was unmasked
I prayed, “Lord hasten the day!”

It’s not my fault if you can’t see the resurrection around you
There is life right under our feet.
Don’t let the concrete drown you.
The worms and the weeds, the birds and the seeds
The roots and the shoots will ground you
Listen to the song of life and the God of creation surround you

What lies beneath the concrete is life and beauty awaiting
Jackhammers and grass are both anticipating
The Great Beyond, a new dawn, a life that’s more than skating
When we patch that sidewalk flat there’s something that we’re trading

It’s not my fault if you can’t see the resurrection around you
There is life right under our feet.
Don’t let the concrete drown you.
The worms and the weeds, the birds and the seeds
The roots and the shoots will ground you
Listen to the song of life and the God of creation surround you

Another World

This is a song I wrote recently and played today at our church. We’ve been spending time in Isaiah 40-66 and this is my summary of Isaiah’s vision.

Long ago my people went down to Egypt
Long ago they lived in slavery
Long ago my people cried out
Long ago I set them free

Another world is possible
Another world is coming
Another world is possible
Another world is here

Long ago my people came from Africa
Long ago they lived in slavery
Broken bodies and bruised souls
Long ago slaves built the land of the free

Another world is possible
Another world is coming
Another world is possible
Another world is here

I will gather the outcasts
And all those who walk in mercy
Beat your swords into plowshares
And I will bless your hand
Loose the bonds of injustice
Break the yoke of oppression
Share your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless into your homes
Then your light will break forth like the dawn

Another world is possible
Another world is coming
Another world is possible
Another world is here

The Last Supper

I wrote my first farm song this weekend. In other words the first song that I’ve written at the farm, but also the first song about all that I’m learning at the farm. Here’s the lyrics. Perhaps a rough cut will follow soon.

I went to church and I ate a meal
To keep me safe it was hermetically sealed
I ate a meal and I was all alone
I ate a meal over the telephone

Stuck my hands in the earth
And i was born again

I ate a meal while I was watching TV
No one was even sitting next to me
I ate a meal while I was driving my car
One day I realized it had gone too far

Stuck my hands in the earth
And i was born again

I ate a meal that I grew myself
I ate a meal that gave me new birth
I ate a meal and I was justified
I ate a meal and I didn’t lie

Stuck my hands in the earth
And i was born again