Musings From A Musical Mind

Today I heard a beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah”.  The lyrics had been changed to reflect a more “Christian” version.

I have always been a little troubled by the original lyrics by Leonard Cohen.  They are a little provocative and edgy – which I guess was the point of why he wrote them.  But for someone like me who was raised in the church, there was always something missing from them, much as I liked the music.

As I reflect on Easter weekend, the death and resurrection of our Lord, it is with a certain somber sweetness.  There never are enough adequate words each year as we celebrate new life in Christ.  For this reason, music has always been an outlet of expression.  Songs like “Hosanna”, “Agnus Dei” and “The Wonderful Cross”  sung by Michael W. Smith have special meaning.  A meaning that takes me back several years when the staff of our church went to a late night premier of “The Passion of the Christ”.  It was the following morning in the shower when I was listening to “The Wonderful Cross” that I could not stop sobbing because the meaning was so poignantly clear.  

The longer I have lived, the more I am lulled to sleep by repetition, rhetoric and yes, even the same Bible verses over and over again.  But when music is added to the equation, something special happens for me.  I want things to be fresh and new and I look for ways to have that happen in  my own life.

Recently we have become a part of a local church body.  Youth and seniors.  New and old.  Depth of experience and fresh uncharted territory.  All in an attempt to forge forward and yet have things remain the same to find a different and yet a new way to tell the story.  Over and over again.  It’s all about the empty cross, the empty grave and the resurrection.  Nothing much else matters.  Not style or tradition, not repetition or change.  People come and go – but the message remains constant.  This is what the church is about.  We don’t just “do” church.  We live it and find that personal place where change happens deep within.

But if you, like me – find yourself reflecting in the same manner as previous years -  find songs like the ones I mentioned above and watch the video I have posted below.  This is fresh and new.  Same story and message.  Different lyrics and music.  All in an effort to challenge, and change us from the inside out.  May we never be lulled to sleep and take for granted the wonder, the miracle of new birth and everlasting life that was bought with a very high price.

Happy Resurrection to all of you!

God Bless

Lyrics belong to Kelly Mooney.  Her story and the song are below:

Lyrics To Hallelujah by Kelly Mooney
Adapted to the music of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah
A crown of thorns placed on His head
He knew that He would soon be dead
He said did you forget me Father did you?
They nailed Him to a wooden cross
Soon all the world would feel the loss
Of Christ the King before His Hallelujah
Hallelujah x4
He hung His head and prepared to die
Then lifted His face up to the sky
Said I am coming home now Father to you
A reed which held His final sip
Was gently lifted to his lips
He drank His last and gave His soul to glory
Hallelujah x4
The soldier who had used his sword
To pierce the body of our Lord
Said truly this is Jesus Christ our Savior
He looked with fear upon his sword
Then turned to face his Christ and Lord
Fell to his knees crying Hallelujah
Hallelujah x4
Took from his head the thorny crown
And wrapped him in a linen gown
And laid him down to rest inside the tomb
The holes in his hands, his feet and side
Now in our hearts we know he died
To save us from ourselves oh hallelujah
Hallelujah x4
Three days went by again they came
To move the stone to bless the slain
With oil and spice anointing hallelujah
But as they went to move the stone
They saw that they were not alone
But Jesus Christ has risen Hallelujah
Hallelujah x4
Hallelujah x4
All right reserved by Leonard Cohen and Kelley Mooney.

One Mississippi

The other night on American Idol – Dexter came on and sang this BEAUTIFUL ballad by Brett Eldredge.  I love it when a contestant sings something unexpected.  A slow ballad after singing fast country tunes most of the season.  I loved it when Harry noted that all of the great “front men” from famous bands – can sing the slow stuff too and sing it very well.  The mark of a great singer – one who can sing any style and any speed and pull it off every time.   Something that seems easy, but is very difficult.  Dexter – you’ve got my vote.

 

Enjoy and God Bless

The Beauty Of Music

Today I came across this beautiful poem written by John Piper.  (John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the author of more than 50 books).  Part of its beauty is the music, design and cinematography.   I was swept away into his story and was captured emotionally by the incredible word pictures.  But I know I would not have felt this as intensely had it not been for the music.

This is especially true in my favorite movies.  Where would we be without the underscore music to carry us to the important, poignant or intense parts of the film?  I remember feeling this way many times over the years when it cam to TV drama too.  Anyone ever have a teary moment over “Little house on the prairie”, “The Walton’s” or “Touched by an Angel”?  It probably wasn’t the writing as much as the music.  Every good show has music to give it that extra boost.  And to achieve the much sought after emotional bonding.

I think you will love this poem – watch it all the way through and ponder on the words.  Just Beautiful.

 

God Bless

Belong

This song by Chris Rice came on my Pandora Radio station today while I was getting ready for the day.  I’ve heard it before but this time it really grabbed me.  So much so I just knew I had to find it and post it.

I hope it speaks to you today.

God Bless

Words and Music by Chris Rice

Fading memories ignored
I crawl across the forest floor
Pool reflects an orphan child
Dirty, lost, alone and wild
Fatherless and nameless still
Fallen heart and broken, will
there ever be a place where I belong

I cower ‘neath the monster trees
And try to stand on tired feet
But gravity knocks me to the ground
Where I give up, and tears roll down
I claw the dust and beg the end
Curse the day that I began
to hope there’d be a place where I belong

I hear a sound I recognize
You lift my chin and seek my eyes
Song of love You sing to me
I ache to sing it back to Thee
“Father Love prepares a place
Brother Jesus leads the way
Follow to the place where you belong!”

How did I miss this wondrous song?
The forest sang it all along
“River rinses all your shame
Father offers you His name
Father Love prepares a home
Brother Jesus leads you on
Follow to the place where you belong!”

“Father Love prepares a place
Brother Jesus leads the way
Follow to the place where you belong
Follow to the place where you belong!”

Copyright © 2010 ChristianLyricsOnline.com
All Rights Reserved.

Take Me To The King

If you watched American Idol this last week you will have seen this next young lady.  I think this performance is the first one that I personally was impressed with – as there are others on the show who seem to be more gifted vocally than she.   However – I must say that I’m changing my mind.  If you haven’t seen this – it is really worth watching!

 

Enjoy and God Bless

Be Still My Soul

Here is a beautiful piano version by the talented Chris Rice of the old tune “Finlandia” and the great lyrics out of the Lutheran Hymnal.

“Be Still, My Soul”
by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-?
Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897

1. Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

4. Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Hymn #651
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Psalm 46:10
Author: Catharine Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel, 1752, cento
Translated by: Jane Borthwick, 1855
Titled: “Stille, mein Wille”
Composer: Jean Sibelius, b. 1865, arr.
Tune: “Finlandia”

And if you were raised in the Assemblies of God – like Greg and I were, you will remember these lyrics to the same tune by Gloria Gaither:

I Then Shall Live
Lyrics
Words by Gloria Gaither
Music by Jean Sibelius
FINLANDIA
I then shall live as one who’s been forgiven;
I’ll walk with joy to know my debts are paid.
I know my name is clear before my Father;
I am His child, and I am not afraid.
So greatly pardoned, I’ll forgive my brother,
The law of love I gladly will obey.
I then shall live as one who’s learned compassion;
I’ve been so loved that I’ll risk loving too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I’ll dare to see another’s point of view.
And when relationship demand commitment,
Then I’ll be there to care and follow through.
Your kingdom come around and through and in me;
Your power and glory, let them shine through me;
Your Hallowed name, O may I bear with honor,
And may You living Kingdom come in me.
The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor,
And may You feed a hungry world through me.
Amen. Amen. Amen.
Text © 1981 Gaither Music Company. Music © Breitkop
f & Hartel (Outside U.S.
only). All rights reserved.
Beautiful either way – Enjoy and God Bless

Let It Go

Enjoy the latest from thepianoguys – from the movie “Frozen” – here is “Let it Go” featuring Vivaldi’s Winter.

 

God Bless

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