“Don’t Run Away”
October 11, 2010 at 6:39 pm
I’ve talked some already in these notes about that stretch when we were supporting Covenant House in the early to mid ‘80’s. At that time, we put together a series of songs and skits which told the Prodigal Son story from the viewpoint of a teenaged girl who becomes a runaway, the “Prodigal Daughter”. Just from looking at the title of this one, you can see how it would obviously fit in with the theme. Mike wrote it in February 1981 and it became a staple of all of our shows for a long time. Later on, Carole Chatalian came up with an interpretive dance for it.
The original song was another one of those LOOOONNNGG songs that Jim used to kid Mike about. Mike had a very long intro and another verse and chorus in there that were great enough to more than justify doing them. However, for the 1995 Reunion (which is what we are posting now), we wanted to fit as many songs in the show that we could. So, though we all wanted “Don’t Run Away” in the show, we figured we better cut it down some. You may notice the intro is pretty short on this one, but if I hadn’t told you what I just did, you probably wouldn’t have noticed anything.
My contribution on this is a contrapuntal harmony, which I seemed to be doing a lot on Mike’s songs. He told me several times in the past that I always seem to have just a little contribution that help make his songs feel complete to him. I think that whole point is a general one musically about this group. Many of our songs may be ‘carried’ by Greg or Dave or whoever and the songwriting by Mike or by me might be pretty good. However, few of our songs would be quite what they are if it weren’t for this or that little finishing touch provided by all of us at one time or another. The parts are lesser than the whole.
Maybe that explains why none of us has ever gone off into major ministry or performance by ourselves. We are a faith family who has grown up together, supported and completed each other, a mini-archetype of the Church of Christ. It’s never good to follow any one person too radically which is what the Lord meant when he said ‘call no one father’ [he didn’t mind the name ‘father’ as Paul made clear]. That’s why official ministry is so freeing; you’re obeying and following Jesus in the office not the person.
The song itself offers a brilliantly simple insight. In our escapist world we are freed by being there for each other with a devoted love which is powered by the victory of Christ. We often followed “Don’t Run Away” with “Let’s Stay” in shows for that reason!