Sunday, January 24, 2016

And a One-a And a Two-a

In my previous post, "More Than Words", I make a side reference to the classic "Help" by The Beatles. My point was that, though an upbeat song, the lyrics warranted a much slower version:

"Help, I need somebody
Help, Not just anybody
Help, you know I need someone

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody's help in any way
But now these days are gone I'm not so self-assured
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being 'round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me?"

(Songwriters: Paul McCartney, John Lennon)
© Sony/ATV Tunes LLC

As you can tell from reading, the lyrics really don't fit the upbeat tempo, but you can't knock the song: it WAS a number one hit!

There is a great version by Cleveland native Michael Stanley. He captured the sincere cry of the writer. Give it a listen!

I bring that up because on the day I'm writing this I went to church. It's the same one I've had the blessing of going to before and playing with their music team. We had a pretty good song list, which we ran through at rehearsal on Wednesday evening. When we got to the church this morning, we were informed that the last song, which follows the sermon and ends the service, was being changed.

(My wife and I went shopping at a local Guitar Center so I could purchase a couple of percussion instruments; one of which I needed for the last song of the set. Well, there's always next time!)

The reason for the song change was that the pastor was going to be preaching on grace (for which the original selection wouldn't fit). What's the first song you think of when you hear the word "grace"? Me too. "Amazing Grace".

"Amazing Grace" is a song where the words were initially written (published) by John Newton in 1779. In 1835, the words were sung to the music of  "New Britain", which is the common melody known today.

The version we sang was by Chris Tomlin, "Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)"

"Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace"

© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

The reason I bring this up, is if you again take a moment to read the lyrics, you'll see that, though the music is normally slow, the song warrants an upbeat - even joyful - accompaniment. "I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind but now I see"!! Makes you wanna jump up and run around!

I’m no song writer. I've written my share of poems over the years, but none have been set to music. That's something simply outside of my wheelhouse.

I guess this post is to honor those who DO create the music that moves us. Whether it makes us dance till we drop, or weep till we drop, either way, thank you.

©Emittravel 2016

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