Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Early Years: "The Word"

The Early Years: "The Word"

July 29, 2010 at 2:41 pm

When Living Waters was first started trying to put original material into our shows, there was one ready-made source of songs. I had already written several songs back in Maine and continued to during the late 70’s. As time went on, I wrote group songs like “Sing to Jesus” and “He That is in Us”, but the songs I had already written could best be described as “meditative”. I wrote simple, quiet melodies accompanied only on a guitar, trying to ‘pray’ the song so people could join in and pray, too. “This is my Body” was probably the most well known. I remember the Maine Catholic Charismatic Choir joined a large group of choirs from all over the state at a Mass at the Cathedral in Portland and the whole choir sang “This is my Body” for Communion. Hopefully, I can get that one on the site later on.

We took some of these songs and made them our own as a group by arranging them. We did them in early shows like the Steubenville Youth Conferences during the time we were wearing ruffled shirts and dashikis (!!). Some of the songs were the “Magnificat” or “The Father’s Will”, and “He is the Lord” (which we have used to pray lately!). But probably the best early example is “The Word” which I had written as a teen in 1975. It had a simple verse-chorus structure but it does have a certain something about it, I think. The recording I offer here was a one-take live ensemble recording done later, on the stage at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. One lucky thing was how the flanger on Greg’s guitar ‘flanged’ at the perfect time introducing the fourth verse. When we put together our Christmas cassette in 1984, we liked this one, so we decided to include this version on there. The verses and title are based on the reading from John 1 that is read on Christmas Day and, of course, it mentions ‘peace on earth” at the end. There are quotes from the Prophets, like Isaiah and Hosea, and I use this song in class when teaching the Prophets.

My future wife came up with a prayerful dance she did to this song in our concerts around 1985 or so. A lot of our songs, dances and skits have required great virtuousity and dexterity on the part of everyone, but I also value the simplicity and prayer of pieces like "The Word" or "I Love You, Lord" that we used to do for so many years . I think they rounded out our shows and made them fuller and deeper and human.

The message is to TRUST the Word God spoke to you because that Word is a Person. He is the Truth and that Truth will make you free. LISTEN….listen well….