Posts belonging to Category Songs



Mississippi Moon (Greg Brown)

Make sure you go outside at sunset tonight to check out the solstice full moon. In the meantime, here is a great song by Greg Brown about the June solstice moon.

Click “►” button to play | Length: 4:40
[audio:GregBrown_MississippiMoon.mp3]
Greg Brown; “Mississippi Moon” Lyrics (from One More Goodnight Kiss)

Click links below for more Moon related posts:

My Tribute Song to Larry Norman

“Song for a Small Circle of Friends” (rewrite)
[audio:RayFowler_SmallCircleTribute.mp3]
Click “►” button to play | Length: 3:35
Click here to download the MP3.

One of my heroes died today. It is hard to put into words the impact Larry Norman’s music and ministry had on my life. All I know is that through his music and witness, I grew to love Jesus more and desired to serve God better. That’s not a bad legacy to pass on to another person.

Music has always been an important part of my life, and no musician has had a greater influence on me than Larry. I remember long hours as a teenager blasting his music at full volume on the stereo, just enjoying the energy of the music and the depth of the lyrics. (Thanks Mom and Dad for understanding!) When I worked landscaping during summers in college, I used to play Larry’s blues album, “Something New Under the Son,” while driving to work early each morning. It always put a smile on my face and a lift in my step.

Larry’s music helped me to develop a Christian world view long before I ever heard the term. Larry didn’t just write “Christian” songs. He wrote about everything. He wrote about God, love, current events, relationships, politics, the environment, and more. He did not feel compelled to write specifically about Jesus in every song, nor was he ever afraid to mention the name of Jesus in concert or in song. He understood that all of life belonged to God and wrote accordingly. His influence on me is even apparent in the tagline and general style of my blog: “Thoughts on God and life from a Christian perspective.” When I started to blog, I didn’t want to write just about specifically “Christian” topics. Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and I wanted to write about all of life under God’s care. (Note: Larry also introduced me to the writings of Francis Schaeffer, which continued to shape my thinking and Christian walk in profound ways.)

Larry was an honest songwriter and performer. He wrote and talked about the joys of life as well as the sorrows and disappointments. He had a heart for the disadvantaged and poor, and a sincere desire to share Christ others. He also had a wickedly sharp sense of humor. There are few people who have made me laugh so hard over the years as Larry with his music and at his concerts.

Five years ago I had the opportunity to record a song for a tribute CD for Larry. It is a re-write of a song Larry wrote called “Small Circle of Friends.” In the original version, Larry mentions the names of various musical friends and influences in his life. So in my version, I wrote the song back to Larry, thanking him for his influence in my life. Although the CD was never released, I know Larry at least got to hear the song, and that was more important to me anyways. When I saw Larry in concert last summer in New York, I mentioned the song to him, and told him, “I hope you didn’t mind!” and he just laughed.

So here is my tribute song to Larry. God bless you, Larry, and thank you for your ministry in my life. It is so good to know that you are free from pain, free from sorrow, safe in the arms of your Heavenly Father – “a better life begins.”

“Song for a Small Circle of Friends”
  – Original words and music by Larry Norman; Revised lyrics by Ray Fowler
  – Recorded and performed by Ray Fowler in March of 2003
[audio:RayFowler_SmallCircleTribute.mp3]
Click “►” button to play | Length: 3:35
Click here to download the MP3.

Well my life is filled with songs,
But I just could not get along without my friends.
And I’m happy now but when this good life ends,
I know a better life begins.

And love to you, dear Larry
With your guitar full volume on your amp.
You’re so crazy, but you know it,
And we love you as we all crawl toward the lamp.

With Jon Linn on guitar,
And Randy singing harmony,
Your brother Charles plays everything,
Your music means so much to me.

Dear brother, watch your fears all hide
And disappear while love inside keeps growing.
You’re older but less colder than the jokes and folks
You spent your childhood snowing.

And Jesus died for all your friends,
But even better yet he lives again.
And if this song does not make sense to you,
I hope his Spirit slips on through,
He loves you.

He loves you. He loves you.
And if these words do not appeal to you,
I hope his Spirit slips on through,
You know he loves you.

Related posts:

Larry Norman Sings Goodbye Farewell

Death Comes to Us All (Larry speaking)
[audio:LarryNorman_ DeathComesToUsAll.mp3]
Click “►” button to play | Length: 1:24

“When we’re young, growing up, we don’t think about death. We think death is for our grandmother. Death is for the old man down the road. But death comes to all of us, at a time when most of us do not expect it. We’re not looking for it, and then it is there. And sometimes people are not ready to die. They’re unprepared. They haven’t thought about getting their life together. But I’ve had this opportunity. I’ve had three heart attacks in the last year and a half. And I’ve had a lot of time to think about life and death and what’s important. And I’m glad that I have some time to talk to God, to talk to my friends, to think about what’s important, and get ready for my end, my death. We should live each day as though it might be our last day, because it might.”

Goodbye Farewell
[audio:LarryNorman_GoodbyeFarewell.mp3]
Click “►” button to play | Length: 4:03

Goodbye, farewell, we’ll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will walk with God,
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.

The light grows dim, but in this hour
I have no tears to cry.
My heart is full, my joy complete,
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.

I feel no loss of hope as I’ve grown older,
Only this world’s weight upon my shoulder.

My heart beats to a slower song,
So softly in my veins.
The night is warm, but in my sleep
I dream of heaven’s reign.

Everything I am I’ve tried to show you;
In this life I’ve been so blessed to know you.

Goodbye, farewell, we’ll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will walk with God,
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye,
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.

Related posts:

New Writings Page

I have now added a Writings page to the blog. You can find the Writings tab at the top of the blog just to the right of the Stats tab. This page will collect various writings that I have produced over the years – articles, poems, songs, etc. (Maybe I will even get around to posting my doctoral thesis here some day – a guaranteed cure for insomnia!) Right now I just have a few poems posted, but this is an area of the blog that I would like to develop in the future.

Praying for China with Randy Stonehill

I have been praying along with Operation World’s Daily Prayer Guide for a couple weeks now. This is a new discipline for me, and I keep missing some days here and there, but at least I am praying more than I was before!

This week I have been praying for China. China is such a huge country that Operation World breaks it down according to provinces and spreads the whole country out over a two week period (March 24-April 5).

With China on my mind, I have found myself singing the Randy Stonehill song by that name throughout the week. It is a beautiful song, almost a prayer for China in itself. Here are the lyrics:

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Luv is a Verb

I was never a big DC Talk fan, but as a youth pastor in the 1990’s I got to hear plenty of their music. One song the youth played all the time was “Luv is a Verb,” off of the Free at Last CD.

This song came back to haunt me last week as I prepared the message for Sunday morning from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. This is the famous passage in the Bible where Paul gives an extended description of love.

Although many of the descriptive words read as adjectives in our English Bibles, they are all verbs in the original Greek. The love Paul is talking about is not primarily something you feel but something you do. We may not always be able to control our feelings, but we can control our actions. Love is something that you choose to do or not to do. Luv is a verb.

DC Talk rap:
Back in the day there was a man
Who stepped out of Heaven and he walked the land
He delivered to the people an eternal choice
With a heart full of luv and the truth in His voice
Gave up His life so that we may live
How much more luv could the Son of God give?
Here is the example that we oughtta be matchin’
Cause luv is a word that requires some action.

Hey, tell me haven’t ya heard?
Luv, is a serious word
Hey, I think it’s time ya learned
I don’t care what they say
I don’t care care what ya heard
The word luv, luv is a verb

(Excerpt from “Luv is a Verb” by DC Talk)

Seek Ye First – The Story Behind the Song

Have you ever sung the song, “Seek Ye First,” by Karen Lafferty?

Seek ye first the kingdom of God
And His righteousness,
And all these things shall be added unto you,
Allelu, alleluia.
Lyrics by Karen Lafferty, © 1972 Maranatha! Music.

This article by Kim Jackson at Today’s Christian fills you in on the history behind the song. Find out how God used one woman’s overdue rent and a Bible study on Matthew 6 to bring about one of the most well known worship songs of the past three decades.