This song was born out of a conversation I had with a dear friend of mine; a kindred spirit. Some walk through life blindly accepting all that is before them. They are content with routine and have no extracurricular hobbies or interests; just work, eat, sleep and media on repeat. Others are keenly aware of their surroundings and situations with open eyes to all the pain and joy this life has to offer. I’m actually envious of the former. He’s just like me/ One of the few/ Eyes wide open/ Makeup removed/ We’re all actors on a live stage/ Playing our parts in the day/ Feeling the weight of the ozone/ Crushing our dreams/ Milk white bones/ Our eyes our wide open/ We were made for more than this/ The burden for a calling still persists/ He said he has dreams at night/ A new uniform/ A different view, who can confirm the truth/ I need divine revelation, not advice from others in chains/ 20 years bound in a screenplay/ Back and forth dialogue/ Tears on my face/ Laughter scribbled in the open space/ I feel the earth shaking/ Sinking in quicksand/ Throw me a lifeline if you can/ Save me from myself/ My sin, glowing neon/ In the thinkless night/ Oh and it’s gone.
Here’s a sweet little ditty I wrote for my wife. See, I can still churn out the occasional love song! Love can be a fickle friend; a feeling that comes and goes like the tide. But unfailing, enduring love is born out of commitment and hard work. It’s not always rosy. It’s for better or for worse. It’s riding the highs and riding out the lows. It’s trusting in a higher power that brought you together in the first place. “Sometimes feelings lead us to believe the world is ending. The colors fade to black from gold and blue. They lie to us and twist the stars into avalanches that are falling in attack, I can’t trust you anymore. It’s me and then it’s you, it’s me and then it’s you…but you can count on my promise, our love will never die…unfailing love is what I have for you. “ Hope you like it. -Nathan
This one goes way back to my college days. An old story about about a kid I met in the OU computer lab. Not sure why this random event spawned a song, but that’s often the way it works. ”I remember when my parents left me at school and Mom cried all the way to Virginia. I looked at Wes and we basked in our new freedom – scared and ready to take on the world with a guitar and notebook. Eighteen and trying to find my identity.” Wes, I expect a comment on this one! I’ve come along way for sure….Peace and love. -Nathan
I have been crazy about this new guitar tuning lately – DADGAD. I had been stuck in open C tuning for awhile, but lately I have gravitated to this new tuning. Open tunings are great because they make you appear to be a better guitarist than you really are! It has produced some great songs for me including this new one. I wrote this one a few weeks ago while watching the NCAA football championship game (not that it has anything to do with the game). Sometimes I find that I write the coolest parts when my mind is idle and I’m zoned out in front of the television. I was actually trying to finish up another song when I just started strumming this guitar part out of the blue. My approach to songwriting is probably different than most. I write guitar parts and words separately. I keep an ongoing book of poetry/prose/journal – whatever you want to call it – going at all times; I try to write daily. When I write a new guitar part and begin to develop the melody and structure of the song, I go to my writing book(s) and try to find a piece that fits. I had this one finished in about an hour after I started. I flipped to a particular poem, started singing and it all came together like magic. Enjoy the background noise.
This is a simple song and a simple prayer…a fitting way to begin the new year. In the past I have made lofty New Year’s goals, but this year I simply want to focus on the one thing that matters – to know Christ and Him crucified. This song is truly one of my favorites. The words are pure and from my heart. May 2012 be the year they ring true. Happy New Year everyone!
It’s the last post of the year! Song # 24. I’m half way finished with this project. I have wanted to quit so many times along the way, but this ‘song every two week’ schedule has forced me to be disciplined in my writing and recording. Not sure who all has been listening, but if you are one of the few I thank you and hope you have enjoyed the stories and music. Here’s a live take with just me and a ukulele to end things off. ‘Refiners fire, silver and gold. I want to be precious metals for you hold. Transform my mind. Take this foolish pride and make it obey. Someday.’
Thanks for listening. See you next year. – Nathan
You should know better by now / How to let go of this doubt / Driving alone / The sunrise should warm your soul / But today it don’t / Trying to grasp what it all means / But you know you can’t trust your feelings / It’s so evident / The lights in the sky are lit, smiling / But you’re driving yourself crazy / With the same old lies / Everyone seems so at ease / Talking with a self anomaly / You don’t have to carry this load / It’s so hard, so hard to let it go / The car shakes like old rusty skates / The ground turns wise / You should feel peace in the moonlight / And today, you just might
…and I wonder why I’m still doing this….
I recently read an article on NPR about Wilco (one of my favorite bands…I highly recommend their new album and any of their albums for that matter) and how some have labeled their post Ghost Is Born music as “Dad Rock.” They are apparently getting too popular for indie and their songs are not weird or cutting edge enough to fit squarely in this fringe (but not really) category. So, here is my new offering for the day that fits perfectly in the “Dad Rock” category. I write songs about my life and about everyday things that I encounter. I have made a point to write about each of my children. This one is for my son, Samuel. Going from one to two kids was a big shock for us. I stressed about the name, I wondered if I would be able to love this new child as much as the first, I worried about the logistics and financial pressure of taking care of another. Sam also cried a lot (I mean a lot!) as a baby. With all of that said, I wouldn’t trade Sam for anything in this world. He’s the funniest, sweetest little guy I’ve ever seen and I’m so thankful he is my son. He turns three tomorrow and we’re hoping this will be the year he stops crying Happy Birthday, Sam!
I remember this story well. Kate was a baby – probably 15 months or so – the age when they want to be down on the floor exploring and moving. We were at church one Sunday and it was my job to hold her in the back of the auditorium when she got fidgety. (Not quite sure why we didn’t put her in nursery…but she was the first born and you know how over protective you are with the first born). Well this particular morning she just wouldn’t be still. She was crying and kicking and causing me much grief. I remember thinking, “I just want to sit down with the other grownups and listen to the message. I don’t want to be bothered by this crying kid!” Looking back I feel so foolish. You wish the time away and it’s gone. The days pass like minutes – gone before you can process what’s really happening. So there you have it…now you know the story behind the song. Not all that spectacular, really, but the song speaks volumes I think. Who are we with our petty little problems to grieve the life we’ve been given. Our problems are so minuscule compared to those who are really suffering. We live in luxury and curse the blessings we’ve received. This is not my life to grieve. The candle’s flame was not lit by me. All these blessings that I receive. I need your truth to come transform me.
I initially did not intend to post this song. I’m also breaking my undisclosed rule of not posting family pictures (but how could I not…just look at that face!). This one is very personal and one I do not often share. Written on the event of my daughter’s birth, six years ago on Oct 21st, this song recounts the joy, fear, wonder and general emotions filled with becoming a first time father. Six years later (and two additional kids later) it’s been an amazing and wild ride. Happy Birthday, Kate! You’re a beautiful, sweet and kind little girl (except when you’re fighting with your brother). I love you and I am so proud and honored to be your ‘Daddy.’