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Steven S. Billings

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

THANKFULNESS

Of all the things I am thankful for this year, among the most significant is the fact that I did something last year that at the time I had no idea of its importance.  I recorded a song for my mother.

My mother's favorite Christmas song was "Mary Did You Know" by Mark Lowry and Buddy Green.  I decided to record that song last year and included it on my annual set of Christmas CDs that I have sent to friends and family for a number of years now.

Mom was SO impressed.  She raved and raved about it, wanting me to play it for everyone.  Of course, I enjoyed her raves, but what pleased me the most was the joy it brought her.  How thankful I am that I didn't put that project off for another year.  For she would never see another Christmas.  It was my one and only opportunity.  I thank God that He moved me to take the opportunity then, for I would never have another chance.

It was a difficult process for me last year, as I recall, to learn how to use the software to record that song.  And re-learning how to produce such a recording took time.  One of the great fringe benefits, of course, was that, some four months later, when my own songs began to pour out of my heart, I had already gained the technical knowledge needed to bring these new "children" into the world.

God is good.  Every day and in every way.  Blessed be His name!

So, as an extra treat this holy season, I've uploaded my recording of "Mary Did You Know."  You'll find it among the other songs on the "Me" Stuff page.  I hope you enjoy it.  If so, please let me know.

Thank you!

10:08 am est

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

MASSIMO IS WAITING

It's one of the older songs of my rediscovered love for writing -- the third song written back in April -- but it is still among my favorites.  Its lovely, delicate melody and simple production give it a timeless quality that I find very appealing.

I'm still not entirely sure how this will be produced in the studio.  I've toyed with a number of ideas on what instrument to use for the second (un-sung) verse.  But I think you will enjoy this song even in its current state, though you may not understand it fully.  There are a number of references that will only be recognized by the one for whom it was written.  I won't say who, but let it be sufficient when I say that the love I felt for her then has not diminished in the slightest.

There are some musical points of interest that I have become aware of in the months since recording this little tune:

First, I never wrote lyrics for the second verse.  I find that this makes sense, due to the fact that the love expressed is unanswered.  He sends out his love in verse one, and it returns to him void and voiceless. 

Secondly, in establishing the simple harmony of verse three, it seemed emminently appropriate for that harmony to disappear with the final word.  After being joined by the "angel choir" on the bridge (the implication is that heaven is indeed listening!), and being reduced to resonance of his own thoughts in verse three, his solitude is confirmed at the end, for as he sings the word, he truly is "alone."

My heart no longer aches the way it did when I wrote this song, for the pain has given way to the joy of being able to love again, even if it is one-sided.

The demo for this song can be found on the "Me" Stuff page.  Here are the words:

MASSIMO IS WAITING
 
Massimo is waiting on the edge of a broken heart.
The object of his love has gone and set herself apart.
Though he keeps on smiling, and his tears will never show,
Those who hold him close will always know.

Massimo is praying everything will be alright,
But he's wondering if God heard his prayers tonight.

Massimo is waiting on the edge of a broken heart.
The object of his love has gone and set herself apart.
Massimo is lonely, but he'll stay on his own.
Without her love, he's better off alone.

9:29 am est

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For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
(Philippians 1:21)

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