Archive for September, 2019

Vocal for my new Christmas song


I posted my new kid-friendly Christmas song two days back: Christmas ‘Round This Great Big World. I really value the great feedback folk have given me.

Just before we headed off to two weeks of holidays in Cairns, Dale added a great vocal. Check it out!



Christmas ‘Round this Great Big World

Key people from my church met a few nights ago to get the ball rolling for our annual Community Carols; a big event in the life of our church and community.  One of our team, Melissa brought to our meeting a “Christmas Around the World” type script.

After much discussing, reflecting and wondering, we decided we’d go with it, with plenty of revision work ahead.  We decided we would “up” the “around the world” theme, including some appropriate songs.  Plenty of individual songs and carols from various countries, but despite my Googling, my YouTubing, my Apple Musicking, I came up empty when it came to sourcing kid-friendly Christ-centred songs on that theme.

So … on Tuesday, driving home, the chorus came really quickly.

Christmas ’round this great big world
Sing your praise – make it heard!
Jesus comes: God’s own son
Gift of love for ev’ryone

I get home and start Googling for “Merry Christmas” in various countries. The two verses are the result of that.   Here’s a boppy melody-line backing track.   Hopefully Dale and I will work on a vocal track sooner rather than later.


leadsheet   lyrics   mp3 backing


Sometimes a song just comes.
So often, at the most unexpected of times.
Yesterday, I found myself down the road at the local coffee shop.  You’d think I have shares in the place. No, just lots of used-loyalty cards 🙂 I guess I was just browsing the paper.  Bushfires have exacted a terrible toll on property and people this past week in SE Qld, northern NSW and elsewhere.

I was suddenly impacted by these.  How would I allow my congregation to pray and reflect this coming Sunday.  Some of our folk have begun exploring practical ways of assisting those affected.

Within minutes, I had written a soft, seemingly-stark song of lament called Embers.  Lots of long ‘spaces’ between notes.  That effect worked.

I headed home, fine-tuned the instrumental piece … that’s what it is … recorded a simple mp3 track along with a basic piano score. I deliberately didn’t strive for recording perfection, every quarter-note or semibreve spot on for time.   That would be such a disservice for so many whose lives right now have fallen so imperfectly and fallibly apart.

So … I offer it to you.  Yes, we’ll use it in worship in Sunday.  Use it whenever, however.


score mp3


Come Out, Lazarus!


I simply couldn’t find a good children’s ministry song about Jesus’ raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-44).  Couldn’t. So … I wrote my own.

Of course, that narrative is a bit problematic for me. The perennial (and unavoidable) question is: why didn’t Jesus Christ attending to an ailing, dying Lazarus pronto.  Jesus’ response to the disciples (v11) is: “ Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”

Not sure how well that would have washed if that was me.  Jesus healed many at their particular point of need and with immediacy.  Why not, especially with a best friend, this time around?  I have no really easy answers to that, I confess.  Life is like that.   Some questions perhaps best remain unanswered.

Jesus’ words to a grieving Martha in v. 25 are of course, memorable:

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

So, in writing a kids’ song, it’s the verse 25 aspect I chose to focus on.  Messing around with rhythms on GarageBand for iPad, I randomly selected the “hip hop machine” rhythm.  Time for a change from folk-country-rock 🙂 I built the song around it, with lots of off-beat clapping throughout.

Continue reading ‘Come Out, Lazarus!’

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