Friday, February 24, 2012

My Song

I was a music major throughout high school and college. Singing has been a great form of expression for me for so long, I can’t remember when I actually first started singing. Songwriting, however, has eluded me. I have attempted to write four songs in my lifetime.

The first was a tune I added to a poem my sister, Tammy, wrote. It was more of a social awareness song that ended with the two of us belting out, “We’ve got to do something, there’s much we can do. But we must…” Okay, I can’t remember all of it.

The second was a ballad for the Empire State Games. There was a contest for any Upstate New York high school music major students to write the theme song. Needless to say, it wasn’t successful. My melody was not heard at the late 70’s Empire State Games.

The third song was a love song. To my boyfriend, Randy, of two years in high school. It was my Valentine’s Day present to him in 1978. Again, I couldn’t sing a note of that tune or recount any of the words.

You would have thought by this point, I would have given up on the song writing thing, but alas, in Bible College, it was a requirement! Write a song. Now I don’t mean to name drop, but I was in music theory class with Rich Mullins! The Rich Mullins! Did I really think I could produce anything of value or worth? Mrs. Cartwright thought I could.

I scoured the Bible, looking for the perfect words to which music would improve the message. After much searching, I found the perfect words in the book of Psalm. Naturally, David’s words would be far better than my own.

I wrote a melody line, a harmony line, and an accompaniment to this newest praise song. It was performed in front of the class, and I suspect it wasn’t the hit that I thought it should or could be. I only performed it one other time, by myself, a cappella.

No, I’m not a songwriter. And at this point in my life, I don’t think I would want to try again. But, the melody and the lyrics to that praise song still jingle around in my head. It’s the one song I remember. It’s the most important one to remember. Thank you Mrs. Cartwright for pushing me and giving me a song that has stayed with me through the years.

One Thing
by Donna Howard

One thing I have asked of the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He’ll conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
Then my head will be lifted up above my enemies,
I will offer sacrifices of joy;
I will sing, yes, I’ll sing. Sing praises to the Lord.
(adapted from Psalm 27:4-6)

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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