Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My Song

Something huge happened for me yesterday. Maybe it won't be that big of a deal to you, but to me, it's gigantic. For the first time since my diagnosis last August, I wrote an original song yesterday.

If you've followed this blog, and the CaringBridge journal that preceded it, you know that, since my diagnosis, I've struggled with having the motivation to pursue what has been my main passion in life until now, music. All I can think about is this thing that's taken over my life. I've actually said a few times in this journal that I feel like I'm in the process of retiring from music, and beginning a new career as a writer. Writing this blog is my new passion.

It's not that I've lost my love of music, just my motivation to do it. A friend of mine lost her husband to cancer several years ago. She's a wonderful singer, and when I tried to get her to sing in church months later, maybe a year, she told me that she had lost her song. She was hoping it would come back someday, but right then she couldn't find it.

When she said that to me, she might as well have been speaking Martian. That's about how well I could understand what she was saying. I could not imagine ever losing my song. But I know what that's like all too well now.

Writing parodies is easy for me. Often I find inspiration writing parody lyrics, but just as often, it's a fairly straightforward, mechanical process. It's a skill or a craft, not an art. Art is a whole other thing. It comes from a completely different place, at least for me.

While I'm known for parodies, I've also written many original songs for hire. A client tells me what they want the song to be about, and what style they want it in, and I write and record it for them. If they have a title in mind, they've already done half the work for me. Getting an idea is the hardest part. And I have been in no mood for song ideas lately.

I have someone now who's waiting for two original songs from me, and I've kept putting them off. I just couldn't get in the right frame of mind.

But recently, it seems that the fog is lifting a bit. I still have all of the physical limitations I've been experiencing from treatment and my disease, so there are many types of gigs that I used to be able to do, but can't now. But I can still do some work in my home studio. If my mood will let me, that is.

So yesterday, I decided to try to write a song. I made sure to do that before I did any blogging, because once I start writing this blog, I'm in that mode for the rest of the day. The client wanted an uptempo song about hope. The song is to be used in a musical, so I picked a phrase out of the script, and wrote the song around that.

It took me about three hours to finish the song, including recording a demo of it and sending it to the client. I'll be honest. It's not one of my all-time greats. In fact, it's pretty paint-by-numbers. The kind of song I could have written in my sleep a year ago, and probably would have. Once I got started, it was easy.

It seems I got knocked way off the track, and it took me a while to find it again. I didn't lose my song after all. I just misplaced it. Actually, someone hid it on me, and it took me a while to find it again.

That doesn't mean I've lost my passion for writing this blog. I don't think that will ever stop. And I do believe that finding this new passion means that I'm supposed to pursue it. It seems like God is in it. But maybe music isn't done with me yet.

I don't have a Holy Week angle for this post. The gospels don't record anything that specifically happened on Wednesday of that week. Actually, if you look at the gospels, what you find is that, between the Triumphal Entry and the Last Supper, what Jesus mostly did was teach. You'll find chapters of teaching between the events that made up this week for Jesus.

That being the case, I thought today's post would be about something Jesus taught during the week of his passion. As I said a couple of days ago, Jesus is my teacher, and I've been learning a lot from him this week. I hope you have too. But today, instead of talking about what Jesus taught me, I just wanted to tell you what he gave me. He gave me my song back.

The title of the song I wrote yesterday? "My Hope Is In The Lord."


  1. I found your comment about writing parodies interesting. After judging tons of puppetry competitions where your songs have been used I've seen many people turn your mechanical work into a work of art! :)

  2. Thanks for that comment, Brent and Cindy! I too have seen many amazing performances of my parodies. The puppeteers are the true artists.