Category Archives: Bible and Theology

#346: The Song “If We Don’t Tell Them”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #346, on the subject of The Song “If We Don’t Tell Them”.

Reaching song number fourteen in our publication efforts, I should mention that this was actually tied for thirteenth, but I had to choose.  Last month’s Joined Together had been number 17 for the song itself and number 9 for the quality of the recording, and this one was number 8 on quality of recording but 18 on the ranking of the song, so I went with the ranking of the song.  Tristan did not list either song on his choices.  (The ranking system is explained in connection with the first song, linked below.)

I don’t recall when I wrote this, but I know it was early.  The five vocals on the recording were the parts as sung by The Last Psalm with Peggy Lisbona on the melody, backgrounds (SATB) by Ruth Mekita, Ann Hughes, yours truly, and Jeff Zurheide; we lost Ruth, Ann, and Jeff in June of 1974 and never had five vocals again, so the song dropped from the repertoire.  (It would be remiss of me if having named all those people I did not mention that we had John Mastick on drums and Andy Nilssen on bass, with Dave Oldham and Ralph Bruno doing sound and lighting.  Jeff and I played guitars; Peggy and I covered piano, but not on this song.)

Astute Bible students will recognize that the lyrics closely (but not exactly) follow Romans 10, where Paul is saying that the church needs to send people to preach the gospel so that the world can hear it and turn to Christ.  The first two verses echo the importance of delivering the message, while the bridge and final verse actually do so.  Remember, The Last Psalm ministered during that time when every Christian musician was expected to do evangelism, and so the song is evangelistic in part, although it is primarily an exhortation to evangelize.

I have one minor memory about this song.  When I was teaching it, Peggy said she could not possibly leap up to sing “tell me” in the middle of the chorus (it’s a jump from a low G to an octave higher), so I sang those two words, while she sang the rest of the melody.  I thought it silly at the time–she sang the higher G twice on the bridge–but my singers were volunteers and I wasn’t going to push them to do what they didn’t think they could do.

The song is here.

If We Don’t Tell Them.

So here are the words:

Oh but how can they call on what they don’t believe,
And how can they believe in what they do not know,
And how can they know of what they have not heard,
And how can they hear if we don’t tell them?
Tell me how can they call on what they don’t believe,
And how can they believe in what they do not know,
And how can they know of what they have not heard,
And how can they hear if we don’t tell them?

There are many many people, they’re in every place and time,
People of all continents and people of all kinds,
People of all races looking for some peace of mind.
Just call on the Lord and be saved.

Oh but how can they call on what they don’t believe,
And how can they believe in what they do not know,
And how can they know of what they have not heard,
And how can they hear if we don’t tell them?
Tell me how can they call on what they don’t believe,
And how can they believe in what they do not know,
And how can they know of what they have not heard,
And how can they hear if we don’t tell them?

Many people ev’rywhere are dying to be free.
Many people say that that’s the way they’re meant to be.
Many people look, but not so many seem to see:
Just call on the Lord and be saved.

Oh but how can they call on what they don’t believe,
And how can they believe in what they do not know,
And how can they know of what they have not heard,
And how can they hear if we don’t tell them?
Tell me how can they call on what they don’t believe,
And how can they believe in what they do not know,
And how can they know of what they have not heard,
And how can they hear if we don’t tell them?

Jesus came and gave His life,
He died for you and me.
He said that if He set you free,
Indeed you would be free!

Someday you will recognize He came and died for you.
Someday you may realize the things He said were true.
Then I hope that you will know exactly what to do:
Just call on the Lord and be saved.

Oh but how can they call on what they don’t believe,
And how can they believe in what they do not know,
And how can they know of what they have not heard,
And how can they hear if we don’t tell them?
Tell me how can they call on what they don’t believe,
And how can they believe in what they do not know,
And how can they know of what they have not heard,
And how can they hear if we don’t tell them?
Oh but how can they call on what they don’t believe,
And how can they believe in what they do not know,
And how can they know of what they have not heard,
And how can they hear if we don’t tell them?

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal” | #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods” | #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe” | #320:  The Song “Free” | #322:  The Song “Voices” | #326:  The Song “Mountain, Mountain” | #328:  The Song “Still Small Voice” | #334:  The Song “Convinced” | #337:  The Song “Selfish Love” | #340:  The Song “A Man Like Paul” | #341:  The Song “Joined Together”

#349: The Song “I Can’t Resist Your Love”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #349, on the subject of The Song “I Can’t Resist Your Love”.

This fifteenth song on our list was started by my wife.  It has to have been 1979 or 1980, as I remember her sitting in the dining room of the apartment we had in Pennsville working on it.  She was stuck for a chord and asked for help, and suddenly I was contributing words and music.  She didn’t like all my contributions, and we still argue about who wrote what, but ultimately we were pleased with the outcome.  I listed this the number twenty song on my list, and although there are a few places where I didn’t get the vocals exactly right (and embarrassingly it is the tenor–my part–that has the mistakes) I put it number 11 on performance/recording quality, probably largely for the vocals.  Tristan ranked it tied for fifteen.  (The ranking system is explained in connection with the first song, linked below.)

It was always envisioned with at least four vocals, which is what is used here, a guitar providing a fifth at the end.  We used this as our closing song in TerraNova, where we had five vocals, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sing the soprano (which was an added part anyway, as Debbie Kregger was not an original member).  It is a rock anthem, with the intention that the ending chorus would keep repeating more than it does in the recording, but it’s a long song with two instrumental verses (one of them done with contrapuntal vocals) and two bridges, and for the recording I thought it was long enough with four choruses.  (It is a short chorus.)

My wife gets full credit for the concept, that the world is very alluring, but ultimately the love of Christ outpulls anything offered elsewhere.  She also gets credit for the truly unique rhyme and meter scheme on on the verses.

The song is here.  It is again a wav file, and so a large download, but I think worth it.

I Can’t Resist Your Love.

So here are the words:

I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist, I can’t resist Your love.

So many times I see
The world is rushing by me,
And everything I see
Looks so good.
I only want a part–
I feel it tug on my heart,
And that is when I start
To wish I could,

But I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist, I can’t resist Your love.

People are getting high,
And life is passing me by,
And so I wonder why
You call my name.
I’d like to be a star
And drive a fancy sports car,
But I know Who You are
And why you came,

And I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist, I can’t resist Your love.

And I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist, I can’t resist Your love.

I don’t need you for your money:
I will serve you without pay.
‘Though you may think it sounds funny,
I just wanna hear you say,

“Welcome home thou good and faithful servant;
Over few things you have proven true.
I will make you ruler over many.
Enter in the joy I have for you.”

Now when I look around
I see the joy that I’ve found
While all the world is bound
In chains of sin.
They need to turn to You–
If they could see what You’d do,
Then they would know You’re true,
And let you in.

How I wish that they could hear me
Telling them You are the way.
If I let Your Spirit steer me,
One day I will hear You say,

“Welcome home thou good and faithful servant;
Over few things you have proven true.
I will make you ruler over many.
Enter in the joy I have for you.”

I thought that I was free,
But You reached out and drew me,
And though I tried to flee, where could I go?
I couldn’t resist Your love,
The kind of stuff I dream of.
I want you far above
All things I know.

And I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist, I can’t resist Your love.
I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist, I can’t resist Your love.
I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist, I can’t resist Your love.
I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist Your love,
I can’t resist, I can’t resist Your love.

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal” | #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods” | #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe” | #320:  The Song “Free” | #322:  The Song “Voices” | #326:  The Song “Mountain, Mountain” | #328:  The Song “Still Small Voice” | #334:  The Song “Convinced” | #337:  The Song “Selfish Love” | #340:  The Song “A Man Like Paul” | #341:  The Song “Joined Together” | #346:  The Song “If We Don’t Tell Them”

#341: The Song “Joined Together”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #341, on the subject of The Song “Joined Together”.

This is the thirteenth song in our publication efforts, and you might think that given our methodology (explained in the first song post, linked below) all the best ones are gone.  Indeed, I ranked this song number 17 for the quality of the song, and Tristan did not include it on his list at all; it was helped by the fact that as midi-instrument recordings go it was pretty good, coming in number 9 for performance and recording quality.  So maybe the really good ones are done.

On the other hand, I have a set of CDs in the car which have all these songs in this order, and when my wife is driving she will insert this CD and advance it to start with this song.  There are others she likes better, and she doesn’t dislike any of the first twelve, but she finds the string of songs starting with this one to be particularly good.  (I invited her to contribute to the selection process, but she never did until after it was completed.)  Maybe it’s because I had a couple friends perform this at our wedding; maybe it’s because it’s the first Christian marriage song I wrote–but she often complains that I didn’t write it for her (we were engaged at the time) but for our good friends David and Jess Oldham (nee Sue Parliman), who were getting married before we were.  They did not ask me to sing it at their wedding.  I offered to sing it at my sister’s wedding, who wanted me to sing something, but there was a line in it she didn’t like, insisting that death parts us.  I don’t know that we know that, exactly, but she makes a point.

I wrote it at Gordon College, between the fall of 1975 (or possibly late that summer before I left for school) and that Christmas; Dave and Jess got married right around Christmas, and I had a recording ready for them to hear before that.  It was written on the piano, the piano part probably the most complicated I had written to that point (mostly for the use of the left hand).  I later figured out how to play the same chords in similar positions on the guitar, and made a recording of it to play for Dave and Jess prior to their wedding.  I had recently installed a third pickup on my Harmony Rocket guitar so that I could reach the volume control and do cry effects (I had first heard and seen this done by the lead guitarist in Rock Garden (I think his name was Eddie Newkirk, but I never knew him) using a pedal, and later seen Phil Keaggy do it with the volume control on the guitar), and so I improvised the lead guitar part on a one-shot through recording.  (I was using two stereo reel-to-reel decks at the time.)  Decades later when I was doing the midi instruments I realized that I didn’t have a cry guitar, but that the effect approached the sound of a violin, so I used a midi violin instead.

The song is here.

Joined Together.

So here are the words:

Nothing else in Father’s plan
So affects your life:
Will you take him for your man?
Will she be your wife?
There is now a covenant
As love makes one of two.
Love will teach you what you meant
When you said, “I do.”

Love is patient, love is kind.
Never leave your love behind.
Love each other more each day
‘Til you’re old and grey.

Who knows what is yet to be?
We may spend eternity
Joined together, you and I,
Still as one when we die.

Bridegroom, stand beside your bride;
Keep her always by your side.
She has been God’s gift to you;
You are her gift, too.

Submissive to each other,
And bound with cords of love.
We know our loving Father
Ordained this up above.
Let no one ever separate
What God has joined as one,
But work out day by day this great
Thing God’s already done.

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal” | #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods” | #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe” | #320:  The Song “Free” | #322:  The Song “Voices” | #326:  The Song “Mountain, Mountain” | #328:  The Song “Still Small Voice” | #334:  The Song “Convinced” | #337:  The Song “Selfish Love” | #340:  The Song “A Man Like Paul”

#340: The Song “A Man Like Paul”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #340, on the subject of The Song “A Man Like Paul”.

I can pinpoint fairly precisely when this song was written.  I was at Gordon College, and Pope Paul VI had just died.  The process of electing a new Pope had begun; it would result in the appointment of Pope John Paul (who died a month later, the process repeating with the appointment of Pope John Paul II).  Recognizing the significance of the appointment of so public a leader in Christendom, I was contemplating that, and my mind made some connections.

The Apostle Paul by Abraham Bloemaert

Peter, of course, is said to have been the first Bishop of Rome, and so the first Pope.  (That’s contested–James appears to have been head of the church when it was led from Jerusalem, and the Eastern Church has never accepted that any individual was the head of the church, holding to a first-among-equals view.)  I began my song with a verse about that first Pope, thinking that the church needed someone like him in particular ways, willing to stand for the message.

I also remembered that the Pope prior to Paul VI was John XXIII, known for his efforts to extend an olive branch to Christians outside the Roman Catholic Church, and I connected that to the writings of John the Apostle, who wrote so much about love in his short epistles.  My second verse unfolded carefully in a way that could be identified with either of these Johns.  So, too, my third verse, as radio news commented that Paul VI had focused on spreading the message and expanding the church, and the connection to the missionary work of Paul the Apostle was at that point obvious.  I thus pieced together a song about five men, under three names.

That the song was about selecting a Pope was never obvious on its face, but the first person for whom I played it, one of my fellow students, knew that was what I had in mind.  His response was that we had to find a way to deliver a copy of the song to the Vatican.  I could not imagine any way to do that, and did not expect that the Vatican would pay any attention to anything I sent.  A month later when the selection of John Paul was announced he came to me and said it appeared that the church got the message, but of course it had nothing to do with me.

Without the backstory, the song is a challenge to all of us to be imitators of the great men of the faith.

Written on the piano, it was probably the most complex chord progression I had created to that point, each verse beginning with the same half line and then diverging into its own unique music, diminished chords coming into the third verse, and the opening line becoming the closer.  Playing it on the guitar was a challenge.  I think I surprised myself when I was able to bring the third verse back to the opening chords for the last couplet.

This is another recording done in an office with midi files for instruments, and it is a .wav file so it is rather large.  It was number ten on my list for the quality of the song itself, number nineteen for the quality of the recording and performance due in significant part to the fact that it uses the midis and lacks the flavor of a live piano.  It made Tristan’s list, tied for fifteenth, and so falls twelfth here.  The recording can be found here.

A Man Like Paul.

So here are the words:

A man like Peter, a man like John, a man like Paul.

A great confession gave this man the keys,
The man who opened up the door.
The Jews and gentiles both came to believe–
I ask, could God have used him more?
And when it counted, he took up his cross,
And like his Lord before him, there he died.
We need more men like that, who count this world as loss,
And take the pain God calls them to with pride.

A man like Peter–such a man was John,
A man who gave himself completely to the King.
A church divided, and soon it would be gone.
Love for each other was the most important thing.
A man of faith, a man of prayer,
Waiting just to hear what God would ask.
We need more men like that, for only those who dare
To live for God are equal to the task.

A man like Peter, a man like John,
Someone must be found to spread the word,
In all the land, to every man,
Making sure that ev’ryone has heard.
God needs a man of faith and prayer,
Someone who will answer to His call
And for his Master would go anywhere–
Only such a man could reach them all.
Such a man was Paul.

A man like Peter, a man like John, a man like Paul–
Only such a man could reach them all.
A man like Peter, a man like John, a man like Paul.

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal” | #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods” | #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe” | #320:  The Song “Free” | #322:  The Song “Voices” | #326:  The Song “Mountain, Mountain” | #328:  The Song “Still Small Voice” | #334:  The Song “Convinced” | #340:  The Song “Selfish Love”

#337: The Song “Selfish Love”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #337, on the subject of The Song “Selfish Love”.

This song, like Time Bomb, was inspired by the people I worked with when I got into the secular work world after being cloistered in Christian colleges and radio ministry.  The attitudes they had toward going out with each other caused me to recognize that for them physical love was a way of getting something, not giving something.  The concept gave me this song.

This was my number thirteen song, and I put the recording and performance quality at twenty-five.  That low ranking was partly because this is another that I recorded using midi instruments and I’m not entirely happy with that aspect particularly with the percussion, and also because although the four voices here are pretty good they’re not great, and when we did this with TerraNova we had a soprano that I recognized was outside my range, so I feel like the song is missing something in spots.  On the other hand, I think this recording is better than the one on Collision Of Worlds.  That one is rushed a bit, Kyle forgot what he was going to play on the instrumental and played something very disappointing, there were only two voices, there were problems with the rhythm in spots, and overall I was rather disappointed with it but didn’t see an easy repair within the time constraints.  Tristan, meanwhile, put this as tied for number one on his list, one of his undisputed favorites, which kicked it up quite a few steps to place as number eleven overall.

This version has the bass guitar duet on the instrumental (and behind the last chorus) which I particularly like.  The Andrews-Sisters-like vocals on the second verse came into existence because in TerraNova I wanted to have each verse sung by a different vocalist but my wife, our contralto, refused to sing a solo verse so I had to innovate by creating the trio there.  I like it, so I’ve kept it.  I think my wife didn’t like this song, at least then.  She and Barbara used to call it Shellfish Love and do the little clam things with their hands that I remember as the Clam Cheer from scouts.  It was another attempt to do the rock guitar thing (of which Passing Through the Portal was the success, Walkin’ In the Woods and Convinced appearing as other good songs that failed in that), but it came out more pop than rock, I think–but I still like it.

The recording is here

Selfish Love.

So here are the words:

Lookin’ for a love, for a love that’s true.
Lovin’ isn’t lovin’ if there’s more than two.
Askin’ what a lover’s gonna do for you.
That isn’t love, that isn’t love,
That isn’t what lovers are s’posed to do.

You’ve got a selfish love,
That’s not what love is made of.
You’ve got a selfish love,
What will you do with your selfish

Love is still the answer to your achin’ heart.
When it comes to lovin’ you just play the part.
Lovin’ ’em and leavin’, you think you’re so smart.
That isn’t love, that isn’t love,
That’s the kind of lovin’ that tears apart.

You’ve got a selfish love,
That’s not what love is made of.
You’ve got a selfish love,
What will you do with your selfish, selfish love?

Love is never measured by the things your heart can feel.
Love is never anything unless it’s something real.
Love is not a miser seeing how much he can take.
Love is a commitment you will never ever break.

When you fall in love, you never fall too deep,
Makin’ all those promises you never keep.
What you sow today you’re gonna surely reap.
That isn’t love, that isn’t love,
That’s the kind of love that will make you weep.

You’ve got a selfish love,
That’s not what love is made of.
You’ve got a selfish love,
What will you do with your selfish

Selfish love,
That’s not what love is made of.
You’ve got a selfish love,
What will you do with your selfish love?

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal” | #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods” | #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe” | #320:  The Song “Free” | #322:  The Song “Voices” | #326:  The Song “Mountain, Mountain” | #328:  The Song “Still Small Voice” | #334:  The Song “Convinced”

#335: Bob Bennett’s First Matters

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #335, on the subject of Bob Bennett’s First Matters.

Bob Bennett’s debut album, First Things First, reached the radio station not too long after I did, and I was immediately greatly impressed.  From the opening cut Carpenter Gone Bad he shot straight for the mind, with solid arguments for believing in Christ set to comfortable light folk-rock music heavy on the guitar picking.  My fond memories include Whistling in the Dark, You’re Welcome Here, I Belong to You, and the closing Healings.  This was a gentle but heavily intellectual collection, and I was captivated by it immediately.

When an artist or band releases a great first album, the fear is that they have have done their best work, and that which is ahead won’t measure up.  Yet three years later he appeared again with a disk that was in one sense completely different, and in another a great continuation of what he had already done.  From the smooth processed sound and emotional message of the opening title song, Matters of the Heart again impressed as it talked about life in songs like Falling Stars, 1951, A Song About Baseball, Madness Dancing, Together All Alone, Beggar, and Come and See, then wrapping up like bookends with Heart of the Matter.  He had topped his debut impressively.

What really surprised me today was how many of these songs I remembered–not just recognized, but could sing along in sections of the words.  They were well written and got inside powerfully.  I have omitted songs that I would include simply because I have included so many from two albums.  Somewhere I have both of these on vinyl; I’m going to have to find them and transfer them to CD so I can listen to them in the car.  They are great collections throughout.

That was the last I heard from him, but he continued releasing albums every few years, the most recent in 2016 making ten in all.  Everything I heard impressed me, and that’s rare.

*****

The series to this point has included:

  1. #232:  Larry Norman, Visitor;
  2. #234:  Flip Sides of Ralph Carmichael;
  3. #236:  Reign of the Imperials;
  4. #238:  Love Song by Love Song.
  5. #240:  Should Have Been a Friend of Paul Clark.
  6. #242:  Disciple AndraĆ© Crouch.
  7. #244: Missed The Archers.
  8. #246: The Secular Radio Hits.
  9. #248:  The Hawkins Family.
  10. #250:  Original Worship Leader Ted Sandquist.
  11. #252:  Petra Means Rock.
  12. #254:  Miscellaneous Early Christian Bands.
  13. #256:  Harry Thomas’ Creations Come Alive.
  14. #258:  British Invaders Malcolm and Alwyn.
  15. #260:  Lamb and Jews for Jesus.
  16. #262: First Lady Honeytree of Jesus Music.
  17. #264:  How About Danny Taylor.
  18. #266:  Minstrel Barry McGuire.
  19. #268:  Voice of the Second Chapter of Acts.
  20. #272:  To the Bride Live.
  21. #276:  Best Guitarist Phil Keaggy.
  22. #281:  Keith Green Launching.
  23. #283:  Keith Green Crashing.
  24. #286:  Blind Seer Ken Medema.
  25. #288:  Prophets Daniel Amos.
  26. #290:  James the Other Ward.
  27. #292:  Rising Resurrection Band.
  28. #294:  Servant’s Waters.
  29. #296:  Found Free Lost.
  30. #299:  Praise for Dallas Holm.
  31. #302:  Might Be Truth and the Cleverly-named Re’Generation.
  32. #304:  Accidental Amy Grant.
  33. #312:  Produced by Christian and Bannister.
  34. #315:  Don Francisco Alive.
  35. #324:  CCM Ladies of the Eighties.
  36. #329:  CCM Guys at the Beginning.
  37. #332:  The Wish of Scott Wesley Brown.

#334: The Song “Convinced”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #334, on the subject of The Song “Convinced”.

At one time this was my favorite song.  It still ranks number 4 on my list, because I’ve written a few songs I like more.  Tristan placed it tied for 9, which is pretty high on his list.  The problem is in the recording.  I think the vocals are near perfect, and the instruments, done as midis, are pretty good, but the mix is terrible.  (For what it’s worth, it’s better in headphones than on speakers; played on CDs in the car and such the instruments are almost completely lost.  Even so, I’m not really satisfied with the balance between the instruments, either.)  It ranked 24th in recording/performance quality, entirely because of my dissatisfaction with the mix.

I was at the radio station.  I recognized that I had written a lot of “songs of doubt”, as I mentioned in connection with That’s When I’ll Believe, and I wanted to write something that expressed faith.  After all, I was putting doubt behind me and knew what I believed pretty firmly.  I wrote this song with that in view.

My wife wanted to sing it with me, so I wrote a second vocal part.  Then when we included it in the repertoire for TerraNova we wanted Barbara to sing also, so I wrote a third part.  In the recording, the original second part was the top part on the chorus but the middle part on the verse.  My wife still complains that when I wrote the third part I made her sing the middle part all the way through, so now when she hears it she doesn’t know which part to sing, but I didn’t want to be crossing the girl’s parts and Barb had the higher voice.

The recording is here

Convinced.

So here are the words:

Convinced.
Lord, You’ve got me convinced.
I will never doubt You
Since
I found out You
Can be trusted more than I knew.
Ev’rything You said has proved true.

You said that I was a sinner,
And hopelessly enslaved.
I thought that I was a winner,
So why should I be saved?
But when a habit tried to break me,
I was in a bind.
I tried to change and couldn’t make me,
So I’ve changed my mind.

Convinced.
Lord, You’ve got me convinced.
I will never doubt You
Since
I found out You
Can be trusted more than I knew.
Ev’rything You said has proved true.

You said that freedom was in You–
I saw it in Your Word.
I couldn’t even begin to
Believe what’s so absurd.
But when I found no other answer,
You set me free.
You changed a mourner to a dancer.
Now you’ve got me

Convinced.
Lord, You’ve got me convinced.
I will never doubt You
Since
I found out You
Can be trusted more than I knew.
Ev’rything You said has proved true.

You said you’d meet my needs if I would put you first,
Yet when I trusted you, I waited for the worst.
But then you brought me through a very trying time,
And worked it all for good, so now I’ll say that I’m

Convinced.
Lord, You’ve got me convinced.
I will never doubt You
Since
I found out You
Can be trusted more than I knew.
Ev’rything You said has proved true.
All you said is true.
I will put my trust in
You
Because just in
Time I saw such clear evidence.
Lord, You’ve got me convinced.

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal” | #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods” | #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe” | #320:  The Song “Free” | #322:  The Song “Voices” | #326:  The Song “Mountain, Mountain” | #328:  The Song “Still Small Voice”

#329: CCM Guys at the Beginning

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #329, on the subject of CCM Guys at the Beginning.

Last time we covered the ladies of the eighties, a conglomerate article to help us get through everyone I think ought to be mentioned.  This time we’re doing the same with some of the guys.  This is a very broad shot here.  Some of these gentlemen had virtually faded into obscurity by the time I reached the radio station, others were barely on the scene when I left it.  Undoubtedly some of these people have a much bigger place in contemporary Christian music than would appear from my coverage of them; they simply weren’t that significant during the years when I was immersed in the industry.

I am starting with Randy Matthews, because he was someone known to me for one song long before I reached the radio station, from whom I never heard anything else.  Yet his Didn’t He, released in 1973, was a classic in Christian rock music maybe before there were contemporary Christian radio stations.

For years I knew of Randy Stonehill only as one of the early Christian musicians connected to Larry Norman.  I still don’t know any of his early work.  However, when I was at the station we received his album The Sky is Falling, and for some reason we focused on the rather goofy song Bad Fruit as the song to play.  I remember nothing else from his career.

Richie Furay was a very successful secular rock musician before he started doing Christian material, having been a founding member of both Buffalo Springfield and Poco.  I remember his Myrrh releases I’ve Got a Reason and Seasons of Change, but not well enough to recognize any of the titles on them; I find very few in video form, and none that I remember.

Darrell Mansfield also appears here as a name I remember without any other information.  He released several records with his self-named band, and was in the band Gentle Faith.  I’m not sure we ever had any of his work at the station.

We did have a couple albums from Denny CorrellStandin’ In the Light, How Will They Know, and Something I Believe In.  His bluesrock sound is captured in this song, the last cut on the last of those albums, Changin’ My Heart.

Mylon LeFevre was born into one of those Southern Gospel family bands, and sang with them.  His first song was picked up by Elvis, and then by many others, making him wealthy overnight; he sang with other bands, but in the sixties was attempting to launch something in the vein of Christian contemporary/rock music, for which there was not yet a market despite the rising Jesus movement.  He became involved in drugs which nearly killed him, and then returned to a clean life, and in 1982 released the first album with his new band, Broken Heart, entitled A Brand New Start.  I was unable to find any recognized cuts from this online, but the band continued producing albums through 1990.

I encountered them on stage at Creation ’82, where I was working stage crew and reporting for the radio station.  In setting up the band had placed a small amplifier behind LeFevre for his electric guitar; there were two other guitarists in the band who were working with the sound crew.  The head of the sound crew asked about plugging LeFevre’s guitar directly into the main system, which the guitarist declined, and then the suggestion was made that the amp could be miked, again declined with the explanation that LeFevre’s drug use had seriously damaged his ability to play, and the guitar was really more of a prop so he would have something in his hands while he sang.  Still, the band was impressive, and he could still sing.

Every morning during the times when we weren’t twenty-four hours our radio station came on the air with Johnny Fisher, and his All Day Song from his 1974 release Still Life, reportedly his third album but his first on a recognized label (Light).  I remember the release of his 1982 Dark Horse album on Myrrh, which I remember was good, but can’t find any cuts from it online; in a drawer somewhere I have a promotional T-shirt from that album which no longer fits.  I might have the album itself on vinyl somewhere, but I’m afraid I don’t have a good catalog of my record collection.

Carman first reached us with his self-titled Priority Records release in 1982.  It had a neo-rock-‘n’-roll sound reminscent of Elvis, of which Some-O-Dat was the memorable cut.  Then sometime within the next year we received a promotional single of a live version of a really clever and rapidly popular song, Sunday’s On the Way.  Not long after an album was released with that title, but the studio version of the title song lacked the life and excitement of the live single, which does not appear to be available anywhere.  The link here is to a similar live performance worth hearing.  I put this down as the best song Carman ever did, although I don’t know most of his career for which there is an album release as late as 2014.

Jazz fusion guitarist James Vincent had released four albums through secular labels before Sparrow Records delivered his 1980 disk Enter In to us.  The title song typified the style, and several other songs from the album are available in online videos.

According to his discography, Tim Sheppard had a couple albums out in the 70s before the release of 1979’s Songtailor, and a couple more in the 80s plus some appearances with other artists in collections, and then one more release in 2017.  I only ever heard Songtailer, and I only remember one song from it–but I remember it, one of the great songs that I still sing in the car decades later, The Fiddler.

Joe English made his name as the drummer for Paul McCartney’s Wings, but in 1980 he released the first of five Christian solo albums (with many often well-known supporting artists), Lights In the World.  I vaguely remember songs like Get Ready, and that for the time the production values were impressive.

I have the impression that Bob Ayala was very popular in other places.  I remember the album cover from Joy By Surprise, which had very strong Narnia imagery.  I was also impressed by the more subtle Narnia imagery of the next album, Wood Between the Worlds.  Unfortunately, I recognize none of the song titles.

Wayne Watson also goes down as someone popular elsewhere, but was one of those “just another solo act” guys for us.  However, his cover of Touch of the Master’s Hand still brings tears to my eyes when I try to sing it, and his later New Lives for Old, while not as memorable, was still good.

I’m not quite old enough to remember Dion and the Belmonts, but I do remember his 1961 rock-‘n’-roll solo hit Runaround SueDion DiMucci had a long and reasonably successful secular career, and then in 1980 hit the Christian contemporary field with the Dayspring release Inside Job.  I am embarrassed to say that I don’t remember any of the song titles from that or the next two albums, both of which were sent to the radio station while I was there, because I not only played cuts from them, I attended a small concert at a local church and had a chat with him afterwards, which I only remember as something we did (my wife with me at the time).  I do remember that he was good, talented and worth hearing.  He has continued to release albums nearly to the present, of which I of course know nothing.

What I remember about Michael W. Smith is that from the beginning with The Michael W. Smith Project in 1983 my mind connected him to Amy Grant.  I can’t even tell you why.  I can tell you that he is still around, and I hear him on the local Christian stations from time to time with new material.  The track lists from his early albums ring no bells.

I’m sure there were a lot of other male vocalists at the time; these are the ones that came to mind for whom I didn’t think I could do a whole article, but I’ve got more on the list ahead.

*****

The series to this point has included:

  1. #232:  Larry Norman, Visitor;
  2. #234:  Flip Sides of Ralph Carmichael;
  3. #236:  Reign of the Imperials;
  4. #238:  Love Song by Love Song.
  5. #240:  Should Have Been a Friend of Paul Clark.
  6. #242:  Disciple AndraĆ© Crouch.
  7. #244: Missed The Archers.
  8. #246: The Secular Radio Hits.
  9. #248:  The Hawkins Family.
  10. #250:  Original Worship Leader Ted Sandquist.
  11. #252:  Petra Means Rock.
  12. #254:  Miscellaneous Early Christian Bands.
  13. #256:  Harry Thomas’ Creations Come Alive.
  14. #258:  British Invaders Malcolm and Alwyn.
  15. #260:  Lamb and Jews for Jesus.
  16. #262: First Lady Honeytree of Jesus Music.
  17. #264:  How About Danny Taylor.
  18. #266:  Minstrel Barry McGuire.
  19. #268:  Voice of the Second Chapter of Acts.
  20. #272:  To the Bride Live.
  21. #276:  Best Guitarist Phil Keaggy.
  22. #281:  Keith Green Launching.
  23. #283:  Keith Green Crashing.
  24. #286:  Blind Seer Ken Medema.
  25. #288:  Prophets Daniel Amos.
  26. #290:  James the Other Ward.
  27. #292:  Rising Resurrection Band.
  28. #294:  Servant’s Waters.
  29. #296:  Found Free Lost.
  30. #299:  Praise for Dallas Holm.
  31. #302:  Might Be Truth and the Cleverly-named Re’Generation.
  32. #304:  Accidental Amy Grant.
  33. #312:  Produced by Christian and Bannister.
  34. #315:  Don Francisco Alive.
  35. #324:  CCM Ladies of the Eighties.

#328: The Song “Still Small Voice”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #328, on the subject of The Song “Still Small Voice”.

I liked this song, ranking it number 7 for quality of the song; Tristan had it tied for his number 5.  The problem was in the quality of the recording and performance, which was hampered by a number of foolish mistakes.

There is a version of this available on Collision Of Worlds which is probably better than this.  I opted against it because Jonathan sings it, and while it’s good, that was 2012 and he was a much better singer a few years later–and although I’m including some recordings from that album, it didn’t seem right to use one I didn’t sing and he didn’t sing quite as well as he would later.

The problem was I didn’t have another recording that wasn’t buried in a long concert tape, and I needed one.  I recorded this in my living room, and made a couple of rookie mistakes.  One is that I was a mere few days out of the hospital and not fully recovered, and it’s a demanding song to do solo; I’m not sure it’s a great performance.  The other is that I recorded it on a recorder with automatic level control (ALC) in a room in which an air purifier was running.  The air purifier wasn’t really noticeable as background noise, but when the music stops it comes to the foreground fairly quickly.  I should have anticipated that, but I didn’t realize that the recorder had ALC (which I also should have realized).  I think I was twelve or thirteen when Jay Fedigan and I recorded something on a cassette deck with ALC, and we hit a cold ending which was immediately followed by the ticking of a clock we had not even realized was in the room.  Put it down as stupid of me.

The recording is here.  It’s not a bad recording, but that I wrote the song, with help from Tyler Choniger, for 7dB, where we had three vocals, and so it’s missing at least two, not to mention a rhythm guitar and other instruments.  We only had two of us singing for the Collision recording, although we were going to add a third.  If I were doubletracking in a studio I would make it four.  As it stands, You’ll have to imagine at least one more.

I had written most of the chorus, but for the last line, when I brought it to Tyler, and I thought it was going to echo some of the ideas from Walkin’ In the Woods, about churches failing to deliver what people need.  Tyler suggested that the opening words should close the chorus, and then I started writing the verse.  He wanted to include the D69add4, so we slid up to it in the middle of the verse; I thought that sliding from the CM7 to the D69add4 was becoming almost cliche (I did it in Holocaust, that I clearly remember) and so on the bridge I decided to go the other direction, which gave us the descending feeling in the chord progression, which went well with the overall theme of struggles in the song and gave the idea for the “sinking feeling”.  Its history is told in slightly more detail on the Collision website notes on the song.

In the original version we counted out the beats for a measure’s pause after the bridge.  Jonathan didn’t like that, so eventually I changed it so that he would start that last chorus when he felt it and we would all come in on his cue.  That’s more the way I do it in this recording.

The vocal cadenza at the end was intended to be a freeform ad lib cadenza, and I hope it sounds like that, but I don’t really do improvisational cadenzas all that well and find I do much better by experimenting with the music and writing one.  Thus this is the cadenza as I always sing it, although I suppose technically if someone wanted to sing something different that would be within the parameters of the song.  I happen to like this one very much.

Still Small Voice.

So here are the words:

There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.

The pressures of life are closing in;
Temptations are luring me to sin.
My problems are tearing me apart.
I feel like I’m dying in my heart.

There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
It’s not in the thunder, not in the pyre,
Not in the lightning, not in the fire,
Not in the sermon, not in the choir.
There’s a still small voice.

The deadlines are coming way too fast;
Before I can reach them they have passed.
I’m struggling to get things up to speed,
With too many mouths I need to feed.

There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
It’s not in the thunder, not in the pyre,
Not in the lightning, not in the fire,
Not in the sermon, not in the choir.
There’s a still small voice.

I know that God is on the throne,
And yet I have this sinking feeling.
I know He calls me for His own,
And so I reach to Him for healing.

There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
It’s not in the thunder, not in the pyre,
Not in the lightning, not in the fire,
Not in the sermon, not in the choir.

  There’s a still small voice, God is calling to me
There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
  Ev’rything is in control.
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
  He is on the throne, calling for His own, He will not abandon me,
There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
  He calls my name, He leads me on, tells me where to go,
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
  I can hear that still, small, still small voice speaking to me speaking to my
There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
  Soul, the still small voice of God, Holy Spirit, let me hear your
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
  Voice, loud and clear, small and still, from the heart of God,
There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
  The still small voice I hear.
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
It’s not in the thunder, not in the pyre,
Not in the lightning, not in the fire,
Not in the sermon, not in the choir.
There’s a still small voice.

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal” | #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods” | #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe” | #320:  The Song “Free” | #322:  The Song “Voices” | #326:  The Song “Mountain, Mountain”

#326: The Song “Mountain, Mountain”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #326, on the subject of The Song “Mountain, Mountain”.

I ranked this number 15 as far as best songs go, and number 16 on quality of recording and performance, and wonder that I placed it so low, but there were a lot of good songs from which to choose; Tristan, who has learned to play this one of all my songs, had it tied at number 1, which brought it to number 8 on our combined list.  (The ranking system is explained in connection with previous web log song posts, linked below.)    The recording is here.  That’s a WAV file, so it’s rather larger than the mp3s I usually post.

Mountain, Mountain.

It is hard to know where to begin, but I suppose it has to begin with Barry McGuire.  If anyone out there knows him, please tell him that the song I wrote about him is here, and I would love for him finally to hear it.  I wrote about Barry in my history of Christian contemporary and rock music series in #266:  Minstrel Barry McGuire, where I mentioned the advice he gave me reported, after a fashion, in post #163:  So You Want to Be a Christian Musician.  He is also mentioned in some detail in #268:  Voice of the Second Chapter of Acts and #272:  To the Bride Live, and he will be mentioned again.  Yet it is that first concert, the first time we met, that matters here.

After the concert I joined the throngs crowding around Barry, who had come down from the stage into the audience area to interact.  Barry was then probably the biggest name in contemporary Christian music, but apart from that he is a large and imposing presence both for his size and for his character.  I asked the question I had asked many others, about what someone should do who wanted a career in Christian contemporary music, and he took several minutes to address it.

I returned to my dorm from the concert and immediately wrote this song.  The first verse, the verse about the mountain, was about Barry.  From there I looked for, and found, three other nature images which conveyed something people desire.

I took my guitar to a common area where there would be more students, and played it for several.  I remember Angelic Andy (and I wish I remembered his name, although I have many memories of him otherwise including his parka which matched mine) heard it, and asked me to play the verse about the sun again.  I have found this to be true of the song, that those who like it generally have a favorite verse (mine will always be the mountain) which touches some part of themselves.  My son Tristan insists that the second and third verses should be switched, because the river is connected to the mountain, but I keep them as they are because glory is connected to greatness.

I have met Barry twice since then, as I elsewhere have mentioned.

I opened for him at the Gordon College March Thaw, which I think must have been 1977.  That was something of a fiasco.  Jeff Zurheide and I and a drummer named Ken Spear (or Speer?) were supposed to play backup for Reverend Harold Bussell, former RCA piano recording artist and then our Dean of Christian Life.  Someone had claimed there was a piano in the banquet hall, but when we got there it was a disaster, and although I rushed back to the school to borrow an electronic piano from a friend, Harold wouldn’t perform on an instrument he’d never played.  That left the three of us, and Barry had specified that there shouldn’t be a male vocal band before him so we were faking instrumentals–me on keys, Jeff on guitar, with Ken on drums.  We also discovered about the same time that the school’s portable public address (P.A.) system had been burned out by some previous user, and was not available, so at that point I had to cobble together a makeshift P.A. from a couple of instrument amplifiers and my microphones.  When Barry took the stage he made a joke about how one day he was going to come into a place that had a tin can on a mike stand with strings running to cans on all the tables.  I confess the joke stung, because all things considered it was a decent bit of rigging to get a sound system up and running for him and no one ever thanked me, that I recall.  After the show I caught up with him, guitar in hand, but he asked that I just give him a chance to get out and get some sleep.  This was the second time I had seen him in a year; I figured I would see him again.

It was most of a decade before that happened.  In the early 80s when I was a disk jockey on contemporary Christian radio station WNNN-FM he was playing a concert hosted by one of our bigger supporters, and at the last minute someone arranged an interview with me on the air.  I don’t remember a lot of that interview, but after it I put on something that would play for a few minutes and walked him to his car.  I didn’t have a guitar, and it didn’t occur to me to sing the thing a capella, and shame on me for that.  I have not seen him since.

We performed this with Cardiac Output, and so there is already a page of lyrics for it here.  Perhaps the reason this is low on my performance list is because of that–in Cardiac Output I sang the first verse, Lori sang the second, we did the third in a sort of Simon & Garfunkle duet in which we kept passing the melody back and forth, and the fourth verse was done as a trio reminiscent of Peter, Paul, and Mary.  I didn’t have the sheet music for those, didn’t take the time to recreate them, and wasn’t sure I could make the soprano sound good if I tried, so this recording does not have the vocals which I really did like.

So here are the words:

Mountain, mountain, great and tall,
Can you teach me anything at all?
I see your greatness, your majesty;
How can greatness grow in me?
The mountain answered, calm and sure,
“What do you want greatness for?
Be humble, serve in love, and wait.
Only God can make one great.”

Sun, oh sun, up in the sky,
All men see you–tell me why
And how such glory here may shine,
So I can make such glory mine.
I got this answer from the sun:
“Do not be foolish, little one.
I am what I was made to be,
And so God’s glory shines in me.”

River, now to you I turn.
Have you some secret I can learn?
You move mountains ev’ry hour;
How can I control such power?
The answer came to me with force:
“The power is from God, of course.
I do whatever He may ask;
He gives me strength to meet the task.

Ocean, ocean, deep and wide,
I’m asking you to be my guide.
In fullness none may challenge you.
I’d like to know such fullness, too.
The ocean roared–I heard him laugh–
“My fullness you would like to have?
Become, then, empty of all else,
And let God fill you with Himself.”

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal” | #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods” | #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe” | #320:  The Song “Free” | #322:  The Song “Voices”