Sunday, August 31, 2014

LET ME IN!


Click http://www.reverbnation.com/q/51ai1r for the ultracool new version

The song “Let Me In” has a long history in Living Waters. It was a staple of our concerts for several years when we were active out there. I’ve always loved it. That live way of doing it is captured on our main site from back then. Greg’s live lead is superb on that version. We also have a live video somewhere featuring Joe Prunera on lead; hope to post that someday. But now, Mike has come up with an ingenious modernized version which features running WATER coming in and out – you’ve got to love THAT! I’ve placed the new and old versions back-to-back on the ReverbNation playlist at this point so you can compare. And now, I’ll let Mike speak for himself! I myself never knew he had started it so early:

I started writing “Let Me In” when I was about 12.  I remember sitting on the picnic table out front of our house in Waterboro, ME, playing it over and over again on my acoustic guitar.  We didn't live there long, maybe a year, and from there joined the Oblate Community in Natick, MA, where Living Waters was born.  So, I had some tunes brewing before we started Living Waters.  I was likely influenced by my exposure to Fr. Bob Vaillancourt , Mark Lajoie and our participation in the Maine Catholic Charismatic Choir.
 
I held on to the first verse and then struggled with completing the song for several years.  By the time I was around 20, the "I have been with you..." part (the Jesus verses) inspired and completed the 7 minute version that LW performed live, with Dave Bourque singing the Jesus verses.
 
When I was in grad school my friend Joan Hastings and I would perform this song at different events.  We would turn off all the lights and sing in the dark.  Some people didn't like the "I am Jesus" peak.  How can someone sing, "I am Jesus"?
 
These days I am inspired to write more, and faster, than ever before.  So, while we are recording all these new songs, "Let Me In" was tugging at my heart.  I kept playing it on the piano, which we never used on this song.  Finally I told Josh that I would like to record a newer version.  He was in.  
 
This song has been with me for a long, long time!  And over the years it has kept me focused on my own spirituality, always reminding me to let Him in.  This version does not say "I am Jesus", not because I think it shouldn't be sung, but because I know it does not need to be said.  I really wanted "I am the way, the truth, the life" to be the peak.  Josh's engineering really help make that happen.  Also, for the first time in my life, this seems like a sad song.  But, it doesn't have to be.  It’s all up to the listener. 

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you “Let Me In”!
Mark LaJOIE!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Peter the Rock Bible Study

August 24, 2014 "Peter the Rock" Bible Study





In view of the Gospel for today, it's only right that Living Waters should rejoice in the great grace the song "Peter the Rock" has been for us. Of course, it was personally presented to John Paul II by Ambassador Raymond Flynn. Greg and Denise and I had recorded it at Jim's house, and Julia was the one who insisted we try to give it to John Paul. Also, Joyce Drahos had created that beautiful dance for the song that we performed in concert in the picture here.  We have posted it on this blog before, but I had never posted the Bible Study about it.  Long after I wrote the song, when I had become a teacher, it occurred to me that the lyrics are all Scripture drawn from all over the Bible. For instance, Our Lord was using imagery drawn from Isaiah 22 (the first reading today) in order to explain to Peter his role. Here is part of the handout I give my students. The place Jesus said these words was significant as well. There was a pagan shrine to the God Pan near the place he spoke where great evil was done in a cave called The Jaws of Hades, or the 'gates of Hell': a pretty good audio/visual He used for that lesson! Here is part of the handout for for your learning pleasure:

 “ P E T E R   T H E   R O C K ”
By Mark A. Lajoie
(Presented by Ambassador Flynn to, & blessed by John Paul II!)
Song Analysis & Bible Study
http://www.youtube.com/v/dlUXHI-URx0 (lyric video created by a friend)

                           A                                     G                              Em  A                      G-Em
1.          SIMON, ALL NIGHT THROUGH, ON THE MOUNTAIN, I PRAYED FOR YOU
            [Luke 6:12-13; Luke 22:32]
                            A                                         G                             Em  A                  G-Em
            AND I PRAYED FOR ALL WHO’LL COME TO KNOW & BELIEVE THE TRUTH
            [John 17:17-21]
                        Am                                                                                                      E7
            BUT HOW CAN THEY KNOW WHAT’S REALLY TRUE THROUGH THE TEST OF TIME?
            [John 15:26; 16:12-13]
                        Am                                                                                                      E
            I WILL CHOOSE FOR THEM TWELVE AND FROM THE TWELVE I WILL MAKE YOU MINE
            [All NT lists of Apostles begin w/Peter; his actions show final authority]

            PETER…

                                                A                                 D                                 A
CHORUS:       YOU ARE ROCK AND ON THIS ROCK MY CHURCH WILL GROW
                        [Matthew 16:18-19; cf. Isaiah 22:20-24, especially verse 22]
                                                F#m                                           D                   Bm                   E9-E
                        YOU’RE MY VOICE AND THROUGH YOUR MOUTH MY WORDS WILL FLOW
                        [Matthew 10:40; Luke 10:16]
                                                A                                 Dmaj7
                        WHEN ON EARTH YOU BIND AND LOOSE
                        [Matthew 16:19 again]
                                                A             Amaj7          F#m – F#m (F bass)
                        I’LL DO THE SAME IN HEAVEN TOO

                                    A            F#m              Bm           E                  D         A
                        AND ALL WHO LISTEN TO ME WILL LISTEN TO YOU
                        [Luke 10:16 again]

2.          SIMON, ALL NIGHT LONG, I PRAYED FOR YOU THAT YOU MIGHT BE STRONG [Lk. 22:22-32]
            FOR SATAN HAS WANTED TO SIFT YOU, TO TEMPT AND TEST YOU ALL
            BUT WHEN YOU GET UP AGAIN, GO TO YOUR BROTHERS AND STRENGTHEN THEM
            I WILL GIVE YOU HEAVEN’S KEYS TO TEND MY SHEEP, TO FEED MY LAMBS
            [Mt. 16:19 again]                                                                      [Jn. 21:15-19]
            PETER…(CHORUS)


3.         MY SHEEP AND MY LAMBS, I’VE PRAYED FOR YOU THAT YOU MIGHT BE ONE [Jn. 21]
            ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE IN HEART AND MIND IN THE SON [Eph 4:1-4; Phil 2:1-2]
            SO FLY TO THE ROCK FOR THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL! [Mt. 16:18-19]
            AND LISTEN AS I TALK THROUGH MY SHEPHERD WHOM I WILL NEVER FAIL
                                                                                                                        [Lk. 12:41-48]
            JOHN PAUL…(CHORUS)


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Alive Again!"

 

Mike's looking pretty snazzy in those shades, eh?
“Alive Again!”
 Click this to hear "Alive Again"!

I think we have a ‘flow’ going here!  Mike has written another new song that is pretty obviously inspired. And there is a definite thematic pattern happening in Lajoie & McBride songs here. It is a joyful hope & perseverance through real life trial, fed by the certainty of final victory, at death, in the Lord’s all-powerful Mercy! This song is something beautiful that can really reach into souls with the Sword of the Spirit.

This song has a lot of amazing textures that remind me of a lot of things. Josh said that it has a Coldplay-type instrumentation; it’s a textured weave that rivals ‘what’s out there now’, yet remains true to our Living Waters roots. It also reminded me in tone of my songs “City of Joy” & “Glory”, a cry of pure joy. It is full of genuine, mature emotion. Greg’s lead coming out of the bridge – he’s just plain outdone himself again; it has the melodic arch of the Edge with the dexterity of any number of guitar heroes. Yet the bare simplicity of his intro playing perfectly fits that gentle entrance. I am just so proud of this song.  Thematically, it reminds me of Paul's advice, "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" AND, of course, that the same Spirit that raised Christ from death is at work in us!



Mike had these very personal comments on the experience of writing this:

Alive Again is yet another song and idea that came so quickly that I thought it too simple.  The preacher’s words were a work on, but the basic message of the song was there at the start.  At first I could not make sense of the completed song.  Soon after I had finished it, I went to a church meeting with the Loells where we met and listened to Barry Kingston talk about his life changing visit to Medjugorje.  All of a sudden, I thought, Barry would sing "Alive Again".  
 
I felt my mother beside me while writing this, literally, to the right of me while I played the piano.  Several years ago, after she died, my brother had a dream about her.  She came to him and said, "I am okay, it's not what I thought it would be, but it's good and you'll be here too."  We channel spirituality differently, but we got the same message.  His is a dream, mine is a song.  In the past few years, I have seen more loved ones die than in my entire life.  All of my recent compositions have addressed the inevitable.  We will not escape death here on earth.  But I know, with all my heart and soul, that there is so much more, this is a journey.  Learn, grow, move! 
 
A friend of mine listened to this demo and said, "That's what it's like to be in Alcoholics Anonymous."  We struggle with pressure from expectations, responsibilities, mistakes, misunderstandings, regrets, dependencies, delusions.  There are so many times in life that we need a second chance, to change the path we're on, to stand up, dust ourselves off and say, "I know who I am and what I am supposed to be!.”  
 
What did Jesus do?  He carried the greatest pain; rejection, beating, with the burden of all of our sins.  He thought that God, His Father, had abandoned Him.  They killed Him.  But, He rose from the dead.  He is alive again.  And because of Him, I am alive again.


I actually kidded with Mike because he was calling this song “AA”, but that is more than coincidental, isn’t it? I used to work at a detox for alcoholics. Yeah this meshes pretty perfectly with “Booze Blues Cruise”, “Save Me from Myself” and so on. We are all addicts and sinners. Thank God for his Good News.

Mark LaJOIE!