Thursday, January 15, 2009

BTT: Sing with Me

btt button

But, enough about books … Other things have words, too, right? Like … songs!

If you’re anything like me, there are songs that you love because of their lyrics; writers you admire because their songs have depth, meaning, or just a sheer playfulness that has nothing to do with the tunes.

So, today’s question?

  • What songs … either specific songs, or songs in general by a specific group or writer … have words that you love?
  • Why?
  • And … do the tunes that go with the fantastic lyrics live up to them?
My answers:

Simple answer. Two words. Andrew Peterson.

Just As I Am

All of my life
I've held on to this fear
Its thistles and vines
Ensnare and entwine
What flowers appeared

It's the fear that I'll fall
One too many times
It's the fear that His love
Is no better than mine
(but He tells me that)
Just as I am and just as I was
Just as I will be He loves me, He does
He showed me the day that He shed His own blood
He loves me, oh, He loves me, He does
He loves me, oh, He loves me, He does

Or how about this tearjerker? "Tools"

You sent me to the shed with all the tools
I remember how you said that I could take what I could use
I got a hammer and a ratchet set
A hundred tools I ain't used yet
They're rusty, but they work as good as new

Tools, tools

I remember you as quiet as a picture
Like that picture of the Navy sailor grinning for the girls
You had visited the barber
You were stationed at Pearl Harbor
A year before the War became the world's

And you say, "Boy, sometimes you've got to get up on that ship,
Leave all you love behind."
Well, Grampa, I've been everywhere
But Fargo, North Dakota
It ain't war, but it's a fight

Tools, tools

Well, I never knew you ever drew one picture
But if you want proof that I've got you
Here running through my veins
I could show you call the sketchbooks
That I filled when I was young
And sixty years ago you did the same

And you say, "Boy, just let 'em laugh
When all they see is lines--
Paint yourself a picture of your life.
I believe that Swedish folks were
Born with better eyes."
Grampa, I have always loved the sky
I think you're right
You gave me tools.

You sent that telegraph to tell her that you missed her
When my daddy was a baby, oh you gave him to the Lord
And the faith you handed down has somehow stuck around
And love has called you home again
To roam again no more

You sent me to the shed with all the tools
I remember how you said that I could take what I could use
Faith and Love and Hope are what I carried home,
They're rusty but they work as good as new

Tools, tools
Or one of my theme songs, "Loose Change"

I'd give you all of me to know what you were thinking
And if I had one wish I'd wish I wasn't sinking here
Drowning in this well
Oh can't you tell

That I can't pick myself up off the ground
I've been face down
And pushed aside
Well, you know I'd rather just turn tail and run
Than lie here in the sun
And watch you pass me by
'Cause I ain't worth a dime

But if only I could stand up straight
I wouldn't have to lie and wait
I could up and roll away
And never be ignored
I've got a feeling that I'm something more
Than just a piece of copper ore
Turning green and looking for
The reason I was born
Well, I've been around since 1974
In banks and bottom drawers
On railroad ties
I've been passed around and cast aside
And skipped and flipped and flattened wide
Spun around and thrown away and left alone to lie

CHORUS

But I heard about a penny found
Lying underneath the couch
By a woman who was kneeling down
Looking for some change
Then the woman danced around
Called her friends all over town
Told 'em what was lost is found
It's another penny saved

So I find that all this time
Beneath the surface, I could shine
Like all the gold a king and queen could measure
See, even just a penny is a treasure
Or "More" which has gotten me through some tough days...

This is not the end here at this grave
This is just a hole that someone made
Every hole was made to fill
And every heart can feel it still--
Our nature hates a vacuum

This is not the hardest part of all
This is just the seed that has to fall
All our lives we till the ground
Until we lay our sorrows down
And watch the sky for rain

There is more
More than all this pain
More than all the falling down
And the getting up again
There is more
More than we can see
From our tiny vantage point
In this vast eternity
There is more

A thing resounds when it rings true
Ringing all the bells inside of you
Like a golden sky on a summer eve
Your heart is tugging at your sleeve
And you cannot say why
There must be more

There is more
More than we can stand
Standing in the glory
Of a love that never ends
There is more
More than we can guess
More and more, forever more
And not a second less

There is more than what the naked eye can see
Clothing all our days with mystery
Watching over everything
Wilder than our wildest dreams
Could ever dream to be
There is more
Or this one he wrote when his wife had a miscarriage, Lullaby...
Well, I haven't got a lot to offer
Just a rhyme and a melody
But I promised I'd write if it took all night
A lullaby for thee

CHORUS
They say there ain't no sleeping in heaven
Baby, that don't mean that you can't dream
So when you close your eyes
Know your mother and I
Pray the Lord your soul to keep
And we never got the chance to hold you
And we never got to tell you goodnight
So we hope you can hear as Jesus cradles you near
Baby, this is your lullaby

So are you running with the angels?
Are you singing with the saints?
Are you throwing a ball against a heavenly wall
Maybe swinging on the pearly gates?

Well there's so much love between us
And so much that I wanna say
I wanna ramble awhile with my beautiful child
Baby, I can hardly wait...

CHORUS
And then there's "The Chasing Song"

Now and then these feet just take to wandering
Now and then I prop them up at home
Sometimes I think about the consequences
Sometimes I don't

Well, I realize that falling down ain't graceful
But I thank the Lord that falling's full of grace
Sometimes I take my eyes off Jesus
And you know that's all it takes

Well, I wish that I could say that at the close of every day
I was happy with the way that I'm behaving

'Cause Job, he chased an answer
The wise men chased the Child
Jacob chased her fourteen years
And he captured Rachel's smile
And Moses chased the Promised Land
Joseph chased a dream
David, he chased God's own heart
All I ever seem to chase is me

Well, they say a race can only have one winner
And you know you've got to pull out front to win
God knows the only time I'm winning
Is when I'm chasing Him

So, I wish that I could say that at the close of every day
I was happy with the way that I'm behaving

'Cause Samson chased a woman
And he chased the Phillistines
I'm not quite sure what Jonah chased
But I know he caught the sea
And Cain, he chased the harvest
While Abel chased the beasts
David, he chased God's own heart
All I ever seem to chase is me

And Jesus chased the money men
And He chased His Father's will
He chased my sin to Calvary
And He caught it on that hill
And Saul, he chased the Christians
'Til his blindness made him see
David, he chased God's own heart
All I ever seem to chase is me

Of course, there's more to life than Andrew Peterson. I also love Rich Mullins.

There's "Creed" and "If I Stand" and "My One Thing" and "Hold Me Jesus" and "That Where I Am, There You..." and so many more....

And then there's Caedmon's Call. I just love, love, love them!

"Standing Up For Nothing"

I can't stop staring at myself
My face reflected in this empty plate
I can't decide if it's the devil
Or if it's just something I ate
'Cause he's been down there all morning
He's patiently waiting at my gate
He's throwing rocks at my window
"Hey won't you come on out and play with me"

And everyday when I get up
I see folks trading in their crowns
For all these paper plastic lives
An opiate for the masses' hounds
And pride like a vestige of lives lost
The stench of the old folks coming around
Now with the news I heard today
I can't tell if this world is lost or found

You go, I'll be waiting here
And I'm awake, no I cannot sleep
So I'll sit upon this rock is you
I ain't standing up for nothing

I've never seen my congressman
But I can't deny that he exists
'Cause I've seen his legislation pass
I've seen his name on the ballot list
Same I can't deny this fallen world
Though not my home it's where I live
How can I preserve and light the way
For a world that I can't admit I'm in

'Cause I know who you say you are
But these crows can't be made to stop
So I'll sit denying by this fire
I ain't standing up for nothing

Lack of interest leads to
Lack of knowledge leads to
Lack of perspective leads to
Lack of communication leads to
Lack of understanding leads to
Lack of concern leads to
This complacency denotes
This approval denies
The truth

But I can't stop staring at myself
It's my face reflected in this empty plate
And I know that it's the devil

So you lead, I'll be close behind
So you speak, I'll hang on your words
You gotta lift me from this hardened tree
'Cause I ain't standing up for nothing
And then there is "Mystery of Mercy" one of the best, best, best songs ever.

I am the woman at the well, I am the harlot
I am the scattered seed that fell along the path
I am the son that ran away
And I am the bitter son that stayed

My God, my God why hast thou accepted me
When all my love was vinegar to a thirsty King?

My God, my God why hast thou accepted me
It's a mystery of mercy and the song, the song I sing

I am the angry man who came to stone the lover
I am the woman there ashamed before the crowd
I am the leper that gave thanks
But I am the nine that never came

My God, my God why hast thou accepted me
When all my love was vinegar to a thirsty King?

My God, my God why hast thou accepted me
It's a mystery of mercy and the song, the song I sing

You made the seed that made the tree
That made the cross that saved me
You gave me hope when there was none
You gave me your only Son

My God, Lord you are
My God, my God, Lord you are
And there are so many more. All three artists are great.

2 comments:

Charli and me said...

I enjoyed reading your post and also the lyrics of all the songs that you love.

Amy(The Sleepy Reader) said...

Loved your post! I haven't been participating in BTT and so I missed this one.

Andrew Peterson is one of my favorites too...in fact, I am listening to Hosanna from the album Resurrection Letters right now.

Caedmon's Call is my #1 though. I love the song Thousand Miles.