Category Archives: Music

#414: The Song “You Should Have Thanked Me”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #414, on the subject of The Song “You Should Have Thanked Me”.

I am not entirely certain when I wrote this.  My inclination is that it was the late 70s or early 80s, largely because I wrote it on a piano and in the key of C with a lot of major seventh chords–but later than a lot of other songs that fit that description.  It was written with three backup vocals, but has never been so performed or recorded.  This recording is of a live performance at the Silverlake Community Church in Upper Deerfield, New Jersey, where I would frequently visit on Sunday mornings and usually be invited to sing something.  It was recorded in June of 2011.  It’s a WMA format, so it might take a moment to download.

I like a lot about the song, the concept, the message, the way it’s constructed musically and lyrically, and I ranked it number 21.  The performance held it back–partly because it’s a solo performance so it doesn’t have the backup vocals.  I ranked that 30th.  But it’s a solid performance with only a couple of minor mistakes.  I’m also quite pleased with the improvised introduction (although the volume difference between my talking and my singing is rather large).  On the downside, that sound throughout that resembles spilled groceries tumbling down a staircase is the contribution of a dear brother named Rich who apparently decided that the song he had never heard would be enhanced if he used the opportunity to teach himself to play drums on the trap set on the other side of the sanctuary.  I think that I was unaware of this at the time.  Tristan did not list the song, which put it at number 29.

You Should Have Thanked Me.

So here are the lyrics.

You should have thanked me (For loving you}.
You should have praised me (For all I do).
I came through for you
In ev’rything I put you through.
You should have thanked me (For loving you}.
You should have praised me (For all I do).
You should have thanked me.

When skies are overcast
You think that you can’t last.
Oh, don’t you know I’ll bring you through?
When things are lookin’ bad
Why do you look so sad?
Oh, don’t you know what I can do?

Consider it all joy, each trial has been given in love.
I’m making you ready for your place in heaven above.

I’m your Father.
You know I’ll take care of you.
‘Though it looks bad you know that I’m perfecting you.

You should have thanked me (For loving you}.
You should have praised me (For all I do).
You should have thanked me (For loving you}.
You should have praised me (For all I do).
You should have thanked me.

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” | #349: The Song “I Can’t Resist You’re Love” | #353:  The Song “I Use to Think” | #356:  The Song “God Said It Is Good” | #362:  My Life to You | #366:  The Song “Sometimes” | #372:  The Song “Heavenly Kingdom” | #378:  The Song “A Song of Joy” | #382:  The Song “Not Going to Notice” | #387:  The Song “Our God Is Good” | #393:  The Song “Why” | #399:  The Song “Look Around You” | #404:  The Song “Love’s the Only Command” | #408:  The Song “Given You My Name” | #412:  The Song “When I Think”

#412: The Song “When I Think”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #412, on the subject of The Song “When I Think”.

I have long had a sort of love/hate relationship with this song.

It started when I was writing it.  I fought with the second and third verses for quite a while, and when I was finished fighting I was still quite unhappy about it.  I thought that the the second verse should be about Him always being there, and the third about being brought back, but from the first notes I knew this was a deathbed song, and it seemed obvious that the third verse had to establish that to lead into the fourth, and I could not get the words to work that way with the verses in that order.  Meanwhile, the second half of the second verse just always struck me as trite, and the third as a touch awkward, and I couldn’t make them better than that.

Plus, it was a deathbed song, and I was a bit uncomfortable as someone who struggled with suicidal tendencies related to clinical depression singing about dying.

Still, I included it on the program for the last concert of The Last Psalm.  We had the vocalists for it, and I did not know whether I would ever have the right combination for it again.  It was probably the only time the song was ever sung for an audience the way I envisioned it.

Not long after The Last Psalm dissolved, Jeff Zurheide asked me to play in Jacob’s Well.  In the interim I had written a song that I thought was perfect for that band–three vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and a solid upbeat feel with a good message.  (That song comes later on the list.)  He said no.  He wanted to do this song–a song I had not yet decided that I liked, and completely wrong for the band.  Jacob’s Well had no female vocals, no piano.  I didn’t see it–but it wasn’t my choice, so Jacob’s Well did an arrangement that was not at all what I envisioned for the song.  It did not endear the song to me.

I might have sung the song for myself sometimes; I might have done it solo somewhere.  No other band ever did it.  In fact, it could have slipped into oblivion itself had it not been for that request from Jess Oldham that I produce a disk of Last Psalm songs and I was scratching around trying to find songs I could record that had at some point been part of that band’s repertoire.

Even then, it gave me more unhappiness.  It was obvious that the soprano, which soared to an F on the fourth verse, was entirely out of my range, so I had to rearrange vocals so that that became the tenor and the top part was what had been the alto.  Even then, though, it was trouble.  I had written it in the key of F, and as I tried to record what was now the soprano there were so many Cs my voice gave out.  I had to go away and come back, pitch the whole song down to the key of D, and record the vocals with A as the highest note.  So it didn’t sound as bright as the original, and frankly it would be more difficult for any of the instruments to play it in this key.

All that said, there is something about the song that touches something, and ultimately I would pick this song to be played at my funeral.  It says something worth saying.

This recording is four vocals over midi instruments.  I ranked the song twenty-eighth for the music and lyrics, twentieth for the performance and recording quality; it did not make Tristan’s list, putting it twenty-eighth overall.

When I Think.

So here are the lyrics.

When I think of what You’ve given me
I just want to praise Your name.
When I think of what You’ve been for me,
I’m so glad You’ve stayed the same.
All my trials are over now.

When I think of how You’ve brought me back
Ev’ry time I’ve gone astray–
When I thought I’d really blown it bad,
You had something nice to say.
All my trials are over now.

When I think of how You’d be right there
Ev’ry time I’d need a friend.
And You’ve shown me that You always care
Right up to this very end.
All my trials are over now.

Now I know You’re gonna take me home
Now to live with You above,
Holy Father and Your Holy Son,
Holy Spirit, live in love.
All my trials are over now.

In my last words I would like to say
You should do as I have done:
Always follow, trust, love, and obey
Jesus Christ, God’s only Son.
All my trials are over now.
All my trials are over now.

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” | #349: The Song “I Can’t Resist You’re Love” | #353:  The Song “I Use to Think” | #356:  The Song “God Said It Is Good” | #362:  My Life to You | #366:  The Song “Sometimes” | #372:  The Song “Heavenly Kingdom” | #378:  The Song “A Song of Joy” | #382:  The Song “Not Going to Notice” | #387:  The Song “Our God Is Good” | #393:  The Song “Why” | #399:  The Song “Look Around You” | #404:  The Song “Love’s the Only Command” | #408:  The Song “Given You My Name”

Next song:  You Should Have Thanked Me

#408: The Song “Given You My Name”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #408, on the subject of The Song “Given You My Name”.

For years my wife complained that I had never written a song for her.

She was, technically, right.  Although we had Sue Kirkegard (nee Adams) and Jackie Lund perform it at our wedding, I had written Joined Together for Dave and Jes Oldham.  Jan’s favorite wedding song, God Said It Is Good, was written for Rick and Debbie Van Norstrand.  I’d written several other wedding songs for various people, including one for my sister (which I thought particularly good, but unless I can get a copy of her wedding video it’s probably lost forever).  I’m sure she inspired every one of those songs, but they weren’t actually written for her.

This song remedied that.  I’m not sure when I wrote it, exactly; we had been married a long time.  Yet its simple message is exactly right.  This one is for Janet.

This recording is one made actually in my kitchen, if memory serves, so I would have a recording of it.  Since it really was just for me and her, I didn’t do any retakes; but it’s good enough and gets the point across.

Given You My Name.

So here are the lyrics.

Life is full of many blessings that we often fail to see.
You have been the greatest blessing that could ever come to me.
You are lots of fun to be with, but it isn’t just a game:
You’re my wife, the one I love, I’ve given you my name.

There are times when something little seems to get us in a fight,
And it’s clear before it’s over neither one of us is right.
Let’s give in and get together, and forget about the blame:
You’re my wife, the one I love, I’ve given you my name.

When I say that you’re pretty, believe that it’s so:
Your beauty is in my eye.
I’ll stay here forever if you never go,
Together until we die.

Yes I know we’re getting older as the years go flitting past;
Things we thought would be forever have already failed to last.
All the world and we are changing, yet still this much stays the same:
You’re my wife, the one I love, I’ve given you my name.

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” | #349: The Song “I Can’t Resist You’re Love” | #353:  The Song “I Use to Think” | #356:  The Song “God Said It Is Good” | #362:  My Life to You | #366:  The Song “Sometimes” | #372:  The Song “Heavenly Kingdom” | #378:  The Song “A Song of Joy” | #382:  The Song “Not Going to Notice” | #387:  The Song “Our God Is Good” | #393:  The Song “Why” | #399:  The Song “Look Around You” | #404:  The Song “Love’s the Only Command”

Next Song:  When I Think

#404: The Song “Love’s the Only Command”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #404, on the subject of The Song “Love’s the Only Command”.

This is another early one.  I remember playing it for Dennis Mullins when I was in high school–well, Dennis is another story.

It happens that our mothers were friends, but I don’t think either of us knew that back then.  He was probably half a dozen years older than I, out of high school as I was getting in, and he played in a popular local rock band.  I never heard them back then, but I saw posters for Some Other Animal, with the four of them wearing furs.  They signed with Epic Records, I’d wager around 1971 or 72, changing their name to Rock Garden, and then with the Jesus Movement sweeping through, Dennis became a Christian and didn’t want to do that music anymore.  Well, I could tell you how it spread, but within a couple months Rock Garden was playing some really good multiple-vocal Christian pop-rock at the local coffeehouse and elsewhere.

But I have to roll this back a bit.

I was probably a freshman or sophomore, and sometimes I would walk home from school rather than take the bus or get my mother to drive me.  Probably most of the shorter ways for me to get home took me past his house, and one day as I was passing I heard him plunking on the piano, and was intrigued, so I walked up to the house and positioned myself on the front stoop to listen.  He was downstairs, I think it must have been a split, but he suddenly realized someone was on the front porch, and he was swiftly up the stairs (tall and lanky) and asking me, politely, what I wanted.  I explained that I’d heard him playing and just wanted to listen, which was apparently fine with him, and I didn’t stay much longer.  But I didn’t know who he was then.

So all of that stuff previously mentioned happens, and now I’m a fan of the band, but also writing my own music, and I wrote this song, Love’s the Only Command.  For what it’s worth, I still think that the vocals on it are very like something Rock Garden would have done.  So I went over to his house, must have taken my guitar, and told him that I’d written a song I thought his band could do.  He listened; he liked it.

He did ask whether they could change the words to “open the door”, “because that’s what He said.”  “He said both,” I responded, and he kind of shrugged.

I’d like to say that Rock Garden sang my song at Carnegie Hall, but no, they never sang it.  I’m not even sure why not.  I hope it wasn’t because he thought I was arguing about the lyrics.  But The Last Psalm did it, and it might even have been our signature song.

As to Dennis, Rock Garden did sing at Carnegie Hall, the same night that Danny Taylor and Andre Crouch recorded live albums there.  Then the following week they performed one more local concert, and broke up.  Drummer Peter Hopper went to the Love Inn and worked with people like Phil Keaggy and Ted Sandquist.  Dennis had a solo career including recording a song for Mother Teresa.  Our paths crossed at least once, at some kind of reception I attended where he was playing.

Decades later I gave the members of Collision copies of about thirty-seven songs, and said if there was anything on the CDs they thought we should do, let me know.  Jonathan picked this one.  So Collision learned it, and performed it a few times.  I have to laugh, really, because it will quickly become apparent that all three verses have the same words; I thought it was sufficient variation to keep raising the complexity of the vocals.  But Jonathan asked if we could change the words to the last verse.  Then when it was too late, I remembered Dennis, and thought gee, we could make the last verse “open the door.”  But we never did.

This recording is another of the four vocals over midi instruments mp3s I did when Jessie Oldham asked me to get her a recording of Last Psalm music.  Parts of Ruthann (Mekita)’s high soprano are covered by a midi trumpet.  To this day, a few that remember those days refer to her part on the chorus as “the moose call” and tease me for my vocal arrangement there.

I remember in a Collision rehearsal, one of the early shots at this song, I told drummer Nick that on the last verse the chorus gets quiet right after I sing “scream and shout it”.  When we finished the run-through, he told me I was wrong–I had forgotten that I sing those words twice in that verse, once in the middle and again at the end.  Ah, well.  I can’t always be right.

Love’s the Only Command.

So here are the lyrics.

Haven’t you noticed miracles happen ev’ry day?
Don’t you know Jesus is the only way?
Jesus Himself said, “I am the door.”
And if we follow Him, we’ll know what it’s all for.

Jesus can be your friend.
He’ll be true to the end.
You know God understands.
Love’s the only command.

Haven’t you noticed miracles happen ev’ry day?
Don’t you know Jesus is the only way?
Jesus Himself said, “I am the door.”
And if we follow Him, we’ll know what it’s all for.

Jesus can be your friend.
He’ll be true to the end.
You know God understands.
Love’s the only command.

I’m gonna preach about it,
Teach about it,
Sing about it,
Scream and shout it.

Jesus can be your friend.
He’ll be true to the end.
You know God understands.
Love’s the only command.

Haven’t you noticed miracles happen ev’ry day?
    (I’m gonna preach about it)
    (I’m gonna teach about it)
Don’t you know Jesus is the only way?
    (I’m gonna sing about it)
    (I’m gonna scream and shout it)
Jesus Himself said, “I am the door.”
    (I’m gonna preach about it)
    (I’m gonna teach about it)
And if we follow Him, we’ll know what it’s all for.
    (I’m gonna sing about it)
    (I’m gonna scream and shout it)

Jesus can be your friend.
He’ll be true to the end.
You know God understands.
Love’s the only command.

Jesus can be your friend.
He’ll be true to the end.
You know God understands.
Love’s the only command.

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” | #349: The Song “I Can’t Resist You’re Love” | #353:  The Song “I Use to Think” | #356:  The Song “God Said It Is Good” | #362:  My Life to You | #366:  The Song “Sometimes” | #372:  The Song “Heavenly Kingdom” | #378:  The Song “A Song of Joy” | #382:  The Song “Not Going to Notice” | #387:  The Song “Our God Is Good” | #393:  The Song “Why” | #399:  The Song “Look Around You”

Next song:  Given You My Name

#396: Why Music Matters

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #396, on the subject of Why Music Matters.

In a private group on Facebook, the Christian Music Network, someone named Esther Waraa asked this question:  Why is music important in praising the Lord?  I immediately decided this was a topic worth exploring, and I had already been saying that I needed a web log post this week, so here goes my exploration.

First, a few credentials and caveats.

I spent five years in Contemporary Christian Radio, but probably before most of you and many of today’s artists were born.  From that I have been publishing a series about the artists who were at the roots of the Christian Contemporary/Rock Music world, the most recent of these articles post #391:  Pat Terry, with links to forty-two previous articles going back to people like Larry Norman and Ralph Carmichael.  I have also been a musician all my life (my kindergarten teacher called me her little songbird), and have begun publishing some of my compositions, the most recent #393:  The Song “Why”, again with links reaching back to twenty-three previously released songs.  I know something about music and particularly about Christian music.

The caveat, though, is that I consider the act of leading worship to be pastoral ministry, leading believers to intimacy with God.  I am not a pastor; I am a teacher.  I have written extensively about that previously, a nine-part series culminating in #107:  Miscellaneous Music Ministries which explains how music might be used in various ministry callings.  It also addresses the modern error that music is always specifically for worship, partly by contrasting it to the error of a previous generation, that music was always specifically for evangelism.  Indeed, music is for worship, but it’s also for evangelism, teaching, and other ministry functions–and sometimes it’s just for entertainment.  The question, though, specifically asked about “praising the Lord”, and thus is about pastoral ministry and worship music.

I am starting in an unlikely place–indeed, when I started thinking about this article I thought I would put this at the end, but the more I considered it the more I thought this really was a primary reason, if not the primary reason.  When we are told in Genesis that God made man in God’s image, up to that point about the only thing we had been told about God was that God created.  He spoke His creations into existence.  Thus the image of God in man is not that we have arms and legs, nor indeed that we have thought and speech and feelings, but ultimately that, like Him, we create.  Creation, usually in the form of artistic or artisinal expression, is the ultimate expression of the image of God in us, and as such is fundamentally glorifying to God.  Thus when we create music we reveal the divine, and when we use that creation to point to the divine we intensify that aspect.

The second point I am going to propose is that music is engaging.  In theory, you can praise God simply by thinking positive thoughts about Him, but you become more involved in that praise if you speak it aloud.  Put it in a poetic form, something with meter, rhyme, alliteration, and it becomes more engaging yet.  Give it a melody, and you become more involved.  Instrumental support, harmonies, other singers, all of this draws the worshipper into the worship.  In a very real sense, your worship is more focused, more intense, when it is sung to an accompaniment.

That suggests another point:  music encourages mutuality.  There is certainly nothing lacking in the glory to God when a hundred people in a room are each individually praising Him, each in his own words and his own way.  However, get that crowd singing the same words to the same music, and suddenly you have a unity, united voices all raising the same praise to God together.  Just as there is power when we agree in prayer, there is power when we agree in praise, and music facilitates that agreement powerfully.

I’m working my way down a list here, but the next point is not insignificant:  music is interesting.  I was a child in what might be termed “light liturgical” churches–people joining in a call to worship, perhaps a responsive reading, an invocation terminating in the Lord’s Prayer, a closing benediction.  I could sleep in those services, probably still today.  That’s not to denigrate the liturgy; for some people it is a great aid to worship.  However, the interesting points really were when we all sang the Doxology, the Gloria Patri, the several hymns.  Music held my attention then, and that matters.  People can easily be lulled into inattention with long prayers and praises, but even if someone else is doing the singing, music is usually interesting.

Finally, I think, music is memorable.  I touch on this in the series on music in ministry previously linked, but the point is that you can close a service with everyone repeating the Aaronic Benediction together, but if instead you close it with everyone singing a worship song, a significant number of people are going to walk out of there still singing their praise to God.  It might even pop back into their head later in the week.  People complain about what are called “earwigs”, that is, songs that get stuck in your head.  What, though, if the song stuck in your head is glorifying God?  Singing our praise now means we are likely to wind up doing so again later.

Thank you, Esther, for the question.  I hope this has been helpful.

#393: The Song “Why”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #393, on the subject of The Song “Why”.

God gave me this song.

I hate those words; I almost never say them.  God gave me gifts, abilities, tools to write songs, and I struggle to forge them from ideas, themes, progressions, concepts.  I work hard on my songs, and sometimes they don’t come out well, and sometimes they are never finished.  God doesn’t “give” me songs; He makes me create them.

But He gave me this one.

Before I tell you about that, I’m going to vent a bit.  I remember a guy I knew in high school who called me up one week to tell me that on Friday night he was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and over the weekend God gave him five hundred songs.  He wanted me to come over and hear them.  I did.  Thing is, he sang very nearly monotone, and he knew only three chords.  The lyrics were, as far as I heard, all direct passages from the Gospels read straight from a modern committee translation with no crafting to make them more poetic, and they would have taken less than a minute each to sing these songs were it not that every maybe two to five syllables he changed chords, and he had to stop playing and singing so he could reposition his fingers when he did so.

O.K., that’s an extreme case–but I’ve heard many songs that people claimed God gave them, and often felt, really?  Couldn’t God have written a better song than that?  (And seriously, is it really more arrogant to claim that God has gifted you with the skills and talents to create songs than it is to claim divine inspiration for them?)  So I have assiduously avoided claiming divine inspiration for any of my songs.

But God gave me this one.

It was the spring of 1977, a private prayer time with my wife in the front room of our apartment in Rockport, Massachusetts, and we had sung a few songs so I was holding a guitar.  I struck a D major chord and started singing, and the song below came out.  As the last strings faded, Jan said something about it being a wonderful song, but it was gone–I could not remember more than that it started on a D chord.

A month later I was alone, and it came back to me, and I wrote it down immediately.

This recording was made in my living room in 2019, with just an acoustic guitar.  My preferences for this song would have included that there would be a lead guitar playing counterpoint to the vocal, and an instrumental verse in which the lead guitar plays both the melody and the counterpoint.  Also, it would segue from the song To the Victor, which Lord willing will be published in six months.  This, though, is the only recording of it of which I’m aware, and it conveys the essence, so it will suffice.  It is also one of the very few worship songs I have ever written.  I ranked it fourteenth for quality of words and music mostly because it’s short (another reason why I would perform it with an instrumental verse), and twenty-second for quality of the performance and recording mostly because it would be much better done with a band; Tristan did not have it on his list.  That placed it as the twenty-fourth song on the list.  (The method is explained in connection with the first song, linked below.)

Why.

So here are the words:

Thank you for Your love,
Love that is so free.
Thank you for your life
Given up for me.

Thank You for Your Word,
Come to make us wise,
By Your precious grace
Giving us the eyes

To see you

Dying on the cross of Calvary.
Yes, You came and died for me.
You gave your life so man would never die.
You came, and that is why
You came, yes, that is why.

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” | #349: The Song “I Can’t Resist You’re Love” | #353:  The Song “I Use to Think” | #356:  The Song “God Said It Is Good” | #362:  My Life to You | #366:  The Song “Sometimes” | #372:  The Song “Heavenly Kingdom” | #378:  The Song “A Song of Joy” | #382:  The Song “Not Going to Notice” | #387:  The Song “Our God Is Good”

Next song:  Look Around You

#391: Pat Terry

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #391, on the subject of Pat Terry.

When I was compiling this list, I remembered Pat Terry–well, sort of.  I remembered that there was an artist of that name, that he was significant in the 70s, and that we received an album from him as The Pat Terry Group sometime in my early 80s stay at the radio station.

I also remembered that he was a friend of Mark Heard, who is next on the list, and that Heard influenced him in significant ways.

What I don’t remember is why he mattered or any of his music.  I recognize the LP The Pat Terry Group, from 1975, Songs of the South a year later, and 1980’s Final Vinyl.  These apparently interrupted his solo career, which began with a self-titled private release in 1974 and resumed with Humanity Gangsters in 1982.  He followed that with two more albums in the ’80s, then was silent until releasing disks in 2008 and 2018.

The connection to Mark Heard was interesting because Heard was opposed to the segregation of Christian music to its own genre, and this reportedly had an impact on Terry’s thinking.  The argument is that when Christian musicians compete with each other, they aren’t reaching the world at large, and are instead creating their own ghetto in which they permit themselves to be inferior to what the rest of the world is producing.  We should be good enough, the argument goes, that we are played on radio stations and sold in record stores without reference to our faith, such that people without faith are compelled to listen to our music because it is that good.  Terry aspired to that, at a time when many Christian artists were content to succeed within the realm of contemporary Christian music, playing on CCM stations instead of Pop 40 ones, receiving Dove Awards instead of Grammies.

Unfortunately, he did not achieve that level of success–but he clearly continued working on it for many years.

*****

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.
  38. #335:  Bob Bennett’s First Matters.
  39. #342:  Fireworks Times Five.
  40. #345:  Be Ye Glad.
  41. #358:  DeGarmo and Key, Not a Country Band.
  42. #389:  Brother John Michael Talbot.

#389: Brother John Michael Talbot

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #389, on the subject of Brother John Michael Talbot.

Some time before I got to the radio station there were The Talbot Brothers, Terry and John Michael.  I never heard anything they did together, but I did eventually hear a cassette recording from Terry, of which I remember nothing but that his picture was on the case.  It was his brother John Michael who caught everyone’s attention in the contemporary Christian music world.

It might help to understand that the Jesus Movement was not only heavily Evangelical and Charismatic, it was strongly influenced by that branch of Evangelicalism that was at least suspicious of Roman Catholicism, and many of those who came to faith in Jesus had previously abandoned a familial connection to that church.  It was thus shocking to many (I think including Terry) when John Michael Talbot joined a monastery.  (At some point he founded his own, but I only recently learned that and don’t know whether he started that way.)

In an interview somewhere he made the comment that the Roman Catholic Church was doctrinally sound–perhaps a rather shocking statement for many in the Jesus movement.

Unfortunately I do not recall the title of the one album I know we had, and do not recognize the cover among those released when I was at the station, nor any of the song titles.  The opening song Sunrise of his 1982 album Troubadour Of The Great King captures something of the essence of his quiet meditative style, a significant contrast against the rock sound he and his brother had produced earlier.

*****

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.
  38. #335:  Bob Bennett’s First Matters.
  39. #342:  Fireworks Times Five.
  40. #345:  Be Ye Glad.
  41. #358:  DeGarmo and Key, Not a Country Band.

#387: The Song “Our God Is Good”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #387, on the subject of The Song “Our God Is Good”.

I think I must have started writing this in the summer of 1986.  I remember being out in the yard at our Carney’s Point Manor Avenue home singing the two choruses and figuring out how they fit together.  I feel like I had this partial song, including the background music, for months without any progress.

Then we started into the 1988 Presidential Election race, and, wow, did that give me ideas.

1987 Democratic Presidential Primary Candidates, left to right:
Senator (later Vice President) Al Gore,
Representative Richard Gephardt,
Governor Michael Dukakis,
Senator (later Vice President and now President) Joe Biden,
Reverend Jesse Jackson,
Governor Bruce Babbitt,
and Senator Paul Simon.

For those who do not remember the race, there were more candidates vying for the office than you can easily remember.  Ronald Reagan was ending his second term, and it was not entirely clear that the party was going to support his Vice President George (Herbert Walker) Bush to replace him.  Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Senator Gary Hart seemed to be the frontrunner.

Then Hart perhaps stupidly challenged the media to prove their allegations that he was having an affair–and they did.  Hart dropped out of the race before our accompanying photo was taken.

Joe Biden was knocked out of the race for being a chronic plagiarist and liar.  On the Republican side, it was uncovered that Christian Broadcasting Network president and 700 Club host Reverend Pat Robertson’s wife was pregnant before they were married.  Candidates were dropping like flies.

Former President Richard Milhouse Nixon once said that it was the job of the media to examine all politicians with a microscope, but in his case they used a proctoscope.

As I reflected on all this, it struck me that people expected our government leaders to be above reproach, but that we as people were not.  From that I constructed the verses, recalling those three specific cases, and challenging that if we want moral leaders we need to be moral people.

This recording features four vocals over midi instruments.  I had envisioned a fifth voice, a bass vocal beneath the second chorus, but was concerned that it would interfere with the bass guitar part so I didn’t attempt it.  I wrote it for piano, and then figured out how to play it on guitar, but the bass part was always part of the music.  I ranked the song twenty-third for quality of words and music, fifteenth for performance and recording, as it was well done; it just made Tristan’s list, tied for fifteenth, and so tied for twenty-second with last month’s song.  (The rating system is explained in connection with the first song, linked below.)

Our God Is Good.

So here are the words:

Our God is good.
Our God is good.
Our God is good.
Our God is good.

What does it matter, telling little lies?
Who’s ever hurt by words we plagiarize?
Hypocrites do these things ‘most ev’ry day,
But make our leaders care for what they say.

Our God is good.
Our God is good.
Our God is good.
Our God is good.

Ev’ryone wants to have a little fling.
Brief infidelities don’t mean a thing.
But when a leader does it, it’s a crime.
We crucify our leaders ev’ry time.

Only the Lord alone is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.

Past indiscretions all should be forgot’–
Put them behind you.  But the world will not,
For ev’ry leader’s life’s an open book.
Open the pages; come and take a look.

Our God is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.
Our God is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.
Our God is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.
Our God is good.
Only the Lord alone is good.

We are the people–people, “they” are we.
All that we are is what our leaders be.
How can a leader be a moral man?
He can be only what the people can.

Our God is good.
Our God is good.
Our God is good.
Our God is good.

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” | #349: The Song “I Can’t Resist You’re Love” | #353:  The Song “I Use to Think” | #356:  The Song “God Said It Is Good” | #362:  My Life to You | #366:  The Song “Sometimes” | #372:  The Song “Heavenly Kingdom” | #378:  The Song “A Song of Joy” | #382:  The Song “Not Going to Notice”

Next Song:  Why

#382: The Song “Not Going to Notice”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #382, on the subject of The Song “Not Going to Notice”.

I am guessing that I wrote this sometime in the late ’70s, although it might have been as late as the early ’80s.  It’s a country song, and I have never taken country music terribly seriously.  Perhaps that influenced my rating on it, putting it number thirty-one for quality of the song, number 17 for quality of the recording and performance.  Tristan, though, ranked it tied for fifth, pulling it up to number twenty-two, tied with another to be published next month.

I am persuaded that country songs need to be funny.  My favorite country song is still Put Another Log On the Fire.  This one is light-hearted, with several parts of it very tongue-in-cheek, and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of at least a few listeners.  I connect it in my mind to my Sandy Becker Theory of Eschatology which I was starting to develop around the same time.  Both say that there’s no point to our arguments about the second coming or the end of the world or what heaven is like.  We can’t really know anyway, until it is ultimately revealed.

The recording, three vocals over midi instruments, is here.  If I could do it again it would be a tad faster, but it’s decent as is.

Not Going to Notice.

So here are the words:

You know that Jesus said He’d come again,
And raise us all from death, immortal men,
And then He’ll take us home
With a body like His own,
And we will be in heaven with Him then.

But I’m not going to notice, no siree!
‘Cuz when I finally reach eternity
Through the laughter and the tears,
For at least a million years
My precious Savior Jesus is all I’ll see.

You know the dead will rise out of their graves.
Well, that’s the kind of news that should make waves,
And then we’re going to fly
Just to meet Him in the sky,
And all the world will know that Jesus saves.

But I’m not going to notice, no siree!
‘Cuz when I finally reach eternity
Through the laughter and the tears,
For at least a million years
My precious Savior Jesus is all I’ll see.

They say that I can walk through any wall,
Or step off of high buildings and not fall,
And I’ll mount with eagle’s wings,
And do a million crazy things
That now I just can’t understand at all.

But I’m not going to notice, no siree!
‘Cuz when I finally reach eternity
Through the laughter and the tears,
For at least a million years
My precious Savior Jesus is all I’ll see.

Maybe I’ll meet Moses or have a chat with Paul;
Andrew, Peter, James, and John, I’m sure to meet them all!
I’ll have a chance to get to know each famous chosen man:
Eat breakfast with Isaiah and lunch with Abraham.

Many of my friends will meet me there;
We’ll have a great reunion in the air.
Won’t you come now?  Don’t be late!
Turn to Jesus, then go straight.
It’s a party to which nothing can compare.

But I’m not going to notice, no siree!
‘Cuz when I finally reach eternity
Through the laughter and the tears,
For at least a million years
My precious Savior Jesus is all I’ll see.

No, I’m not going to notice, no, not me,
‘Cuz when I finally reach eternity
Through the laughter and the tears,
For at least a million years
My precious Savior Jesus is all I’ll see.

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” | #349: The Song “I Can’t Resist You’re Love” | #353:  The Song “I Use to Think” | #356:  The Song “God Said It Is Good” | #362:  My Life to You | #366:  The Song “Sometimes” | #372:  The Song “Heavenly Kingdom” | #378:  The Song “A Song of Joy”

Next Song:  #387:  Our God Is Good