Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Seven songs that speak to me...

In no particular order:

1. Dragonfire, performed by Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian on Sandra Boynton's album dog Train. This is a kid's tune. I don't care. Lyrics (many repetitions omitted):

Dragonfire,
It burns so hot, 
It burns so bright,
Dragonfire.
...
In the dark...Dragonfire.
In the cold...Dragonfire.
In the dark, In the cold
There's a spark that I hold 
Here within me 
My own Dragonfire.
...
So small I am
So newly made
Within Me a Flame 
To keep me Unafraid
Unafraid
Most Unafraid
Ever Unafraid
Dragonfire
I am Small, but Complete
I have Light, I have Heat
I am never alone
I can summon my own
Dragonfire.

I just love this. I love the idea that children have, within themselves, this flame of life and light, that is meant to imbue them with courage and a sense of wholeness, completeness. I love the sense that we are all born this way, with a burning flame. I think, in theology, I might call this "dragonfire" many things. Perhaps, it's a convergence of things that create a fire within us - the Image of God, the soul that brings us to life and makes us human, the spirit that connects us to both the Unseen and Supernatural and to the earth and the created ones.

This song almost never fails to bring tears to my eyes. I love the simplicity, the harmony, the truth of it. It reminds me to call on those things that I know when I am feeling small, cold and in the dark. When I am feeling afraid and alone. I am not in the world alone. And I can call on a sense of purpose and courage when I choose to fan that fire.

2. Remember Surrender by Sara Groves is my next choice. I referenced this on in a recent previous post: What give me peace when I'm sad/mad?

3. Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls. See a previous post from 2009: Music Monday - Closer to Fine.

In 2009 I said that this song is frequently quoted in our house. Just a couple of weeks ago Mango texted me at the end of his two-week conference in Mankato, "Got my paper and I am free." A reference to Closer to Fine. We come back to it over and over. It's so dense and rich.

I think this has become my mantra more and more over the years:
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
I find myself living more in the unanswered questions of life, in the ambiguity and the not-knowingness. It's not super comfortable here. And I don't often feel "fine." But maybe I'm a bit "closer to fine."

4. I am Bound for the Promised Land by Jars of Clay, which I have also previously written about in 2007: I am bound for the promised land... This song always, always brings me back to our early years with Vespera. And then it's like my whole life since then comes slowly into focus. I see how the things I wrote back then have become foundational to the way I live life now.

5. Prairie Song by Bill Staines. This song goes way, way back for me...to an album Mango made for me when we were in college...on a CASSETTE tape. If you happen to know my email addy, this song is partly where it comes from. Lyrics:
He told her he was free; he was as free as any wind.
“Don’t you count on me, for I may not be by again.”
Then she touched him oh so easy
As if she were but a child;
And she whispered soft as willows do,
And looked at him and smiled
She said, “I have known the wind;
It’s been a friend all of my days.
I have seen it dance, across the prairie when it plays.
And I have known the freedom too, in a wheatfield’s rolling sea,
And they have never left me blue, so play your song for me.”
When the morning came, he took the train to Omaha;
Starry stars and midnight hours riding with him on the car.
Now he’ll say that he is free, that he’s as free as any wind,
But he’s feeling differently; he’ll not be the same again.
For he sees her face in daytime dreams,
And it lingers through the miles;
She still whispers soft as willows do,
And he listens, and he smiles.
I don't know what I can say about it. I have known the wind. And I still love the feeling of the wind in my face. When I think of standing in the wind, I think of cornfields when I was a child, I think of the sea in Scotland, I think of the shore of Lake Mille Lacs and Lake Superior. I think of facing the wind with my arms outstretched and my face to the sky. I think of the wind whipping our tent with the rain pouring down while we're snug in our sleeping bags reading stories.

I think of the freedom that is the wind, but also the constancy. I think of the moods of the wind. I think of how we let each other fly free...like the wind. But we also embrace each other...like the wind.  I think of how the wind gets in every crack and fills up all the empty spaces, how it infiltrates. I think of how it can't be contained, but/and so it's everywhere.

6. Everywhere I Go by Jackson Brown. Mango sent me this song the first time he went to an out-of-town conference in Baltimore.

7. Waving Flag by K'Naan. This is why we live in the city. We live where we do to bear witness. To see and know what really happens here where all the ethnic groups collide and poverty abounds and crime is a constant reality. We live here to bear witness and to find hope.
When I get older I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom, just like a wavin' flag

When I get older, I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom just like a wavin' flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back, oh

Born to a throne, stronger than Rome
A violent prone, poor people zone
But it's my home, all I have known
Where I got grown, streets we would roam

Out of the darkness, I came the farthest
Among the hardest survival
Learn from these streets, it can be bleak
Accept no defeat, surrender, retreat

So we struggling, fighting to eat
And we wondering when we'll be free
So we patiently wait for that fateful day
It's not far away, but for now we say

When I get older I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom just like a wavin' flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back, oh

So many wars, settling scores
Bringing us promises, leaving us poor
I heard them say 'love is the way'
'Love is the answer,' that's what they say

But look how they treat us, make us believers
We fight their battles, then they deceive us
Try to control us, they couldn't hold us
'Cause we just move forward like Buffalo Soldiers

But we struggling, fighting to eat
And we wondering, when we'll be free
So we patiently wait for that faithful day
It's not far away but for now we say

When I get older I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom just like a wavin' flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back, and then is goes

When I get older I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom just like a wavin' flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back, and then it goes
And then it goes

And everybody will be singing it
And you and I will be singing it
And we all will be singing it

When I get older I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom just like a wavin' flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back, and then it goes

When I get older I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom just like a wavin' flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back, oh

When I get older, when I get older
I will be stronger just like a wavin' flag
Just like a wavin' flag, just like a wavin' flag
Flag, flag, just like a wavin' flag

Honorable Mentions:
Forever Young by Bob Dylan - A beautiful blessing.
Light a Candle by White Heart - For high school graduation, I gave everyone a candle with this song.
Good Rain by Chris and Johnny - My graduate school song.
The House That Mercy Built by Point of Grace - The story of our house.

2 comments:

  1. I totally learned new things about you by reading this blog post!! I haven't ever heard Prairie Song by Bill Staines, and didn't know where your email address came from!

    Closer to fine... Gosh, I LOVE closer to fine!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am awed by you more and more as our lives progress. I love that these writings are teaching us all new things about one another. Thank you for sharing these with us. *hugs*

    ReplyDelete

It's always good to hear from you!