We've adjusted to "the new normal" with regard to my wife's health,
these songs have lived and breathed and been audience-tested for a year,
and public interest in this project has reached the "tipping point."
The CD will be completed and made available by Christmas of 2012 if all goes well in the studio, assuredly by January of 2013. Below is a snapshot as of today:
What the songs will say -
I’ve had hope on my mind and in my heart a lot in these days. A number of trusted friends have been hearing hope in my songs, and have asked me to build a CD around hope.
How the songs will sound -
A guy and his guitar, acoustic, with a little help from his friends. Simple, like if you were there. My son Dave (the heart of many popular bands) is developing ideas for the string bass, and his brother Joshua (chances are you’ve heard him often--highly innovative jazz man) has been playing rich arch-top guitar voices behind my more folk-based Martin rhythms.
The list of songs as of 19 November 2012 -
Roses and Hope
This one was finished 9 June 2011.
“Roses and hope are milk and honey for the soul.
Love and believing always makes the broken whole.
You cry for comfort out along the stony slope.
I can give you roses. He can give you hope.”
Mother of Oceans
Begun June 9, finished 20 July 2011. My valentine to the planet..
“Mother of oceans, mother of cloud,
mother of mountains, awesome and proud,
mother of thunder, mother of rain,
mother of hope and the song in the grain.”
My dear friend and frequent creative partner, Roger Hoffman, wrote the much-loved song "Consider the Lilies."
It's helped a lot of people. That one inspired this one. Finished 16 June 2011.
“Tender mercies fall like rain.
Showers of grace embrace my pain.
Tender mercies heal my day,
steal my troubles and tears away.”
Dumb As a Hammer
Finished 17 July 2011. This is how I often feel. This how I often want to be. It will be apparent that Isaiah is my collaborator on this one.
“I am a sword, beat me flat into a blade to plow the gound.
I am a spear, bend my head to prune the barren branches down.
I am a saw, shake my teeth against the idols in the land.
Make me dumb as a hammer in your hand.”
Hope Has Wings
A free adaptation of Emily Dickinson's "Hope Is the Thing With Feathers," set to a driving treatment of the “Goin’
Home” tune by Antonin Dvorak.
“...sweetest in the gale she’s heard,
and sore must be the storm
that might dismay this little bird
that’s kept so many warm.”
Hope, Like Smoke
Finished 21 July 2011. I tried to suggest the ephemeral nature of hope. This is a descant written to ride atop a tune
composed in the 1700s by a blind Celtic harpist named Turlough O’Carolan.
“Hope, like smoke, is a fair, fragile thing,
a vapor, a shade of heartbreaking.
Hope is thin as a butterfly wing
when the thunder and lightning are shaking.”
Something Like a Rose
Robert Burns gave us the timeless song "My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose." I was reminded of that song as I pondered
the theme of this project, and wrote this song instead on the morning of 25 July 2011.
“Something like a rose, but so much sweeter,
something so much lovelier than those,
So much more than roses do I need her.
My love is only something like a rose.”
If You’re There
Written in the spring of 2011 by my long-time friend and frequent collaborator, Melanie Hoffman, for little children to
sing--but I heard it and loved it for myself. It makes me feel like the child I really am.
“When I make mistakes, please try to see
Who I really am when you look at me.
There’s so much that I can be,
If you’re there...”
Suggested 28 July 2011 by the final scene in the play "The Trail of Dreams," this is a radical theological concept I believe in.
“If you want love, you’ll get love.
If you want peace, you’ll get peace.
If you want children to cherish and dance with,
you’ll get all you can hold of these--
all you can hold of these.”
If You Leave Me
In mid-September 2011, my wife was temporarily untabernacled. She's back now, and of course there’s a song.
”If you leave me, wait ‘til November.
That’s the season when the beauties fall.
Maybe that autumn wind
will chill your skin, and my arms might be your shawls,
and warm with me,
you might not leave at all.”