Monday, November 11, 2013

Songwriting

It was my dad that taught me how to write songs.  I remember being very young at the time as I sat around the table listen to him explain to my siblings and I how to rhyme phrases in songs.  One of the ways he taught us was by changing the words to already written songs to give us a feel for rhythm and meter.  He also would make up songs about amusing things that stood out to us.  Two classics that I remember were "My Big Truck" and "The TV Bus".
As I we got older, a fun tradition was to rewrite Christmas songs into Chocolate songs and sing them to our friends because both our moms loved chocolate (and that's a long story there!).  It got competitive (big surprise) and we would both vie for the best Chocolate Song.  Although it was all for fun, it helped me learn how to write songs (and being the archiver that I am, I saved all my papers for future reference).
It was only earlier this year that I decided to get serious about it.  I love writing poetry, so why not put poetry to music?  It was a warm June afternoon when I went to my brother and told him of my idea.  Although he is usually ready for my crazy ideas (*coughs* yes, I'm known for always having insane plans of some sort!), he did contemplate the possibilities for a moment of silence.  Finally we both agreed that writing songs was a good idea and that it was going to be something we would pursue.
(You can check out my first song here.)

I'm very glad to have my Soprano sister agree to sing my next song for me (sadly, I lack severely in the vocal capacities)!  Lord willing, we will do a video recording of it on Wednesday.  I'm very exciting about that!

For now, this is a story of how I wrote that song:


Back in September I was sitting at the table, studying for my Natural Science CLEP test I was going to be taking the following next week.  Spinning around in my brian were Protons, Neutrons, Neutrinos, Electrons, Alpha/Beta Decay, Carbon Dating... all that good stuff. 

Suddenly it stopped.   

For some reason, 1 Corinthians 15:55 popped into my head.  Grabbing my Bible on the table next to me, I looked it up, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"  After reading the verse I realized that those words would make a powerful song.  However, I was in the middle of my study, I have other songs in the making right now, and besides, I didn't have the time to start a whole new plan right now (I can barely wade through the others!).   

So I went back to my work. 

About an hour or so later the Alpha/Beta Decay, Carbon Dating, Protons, Neutrons, Neutrinos, Electrons (all that good stuff) once again stopped right in the middle of their orbits.  This time words to a song started flowing into my head as I grabbed a paper and jotted it down.  However, 1 Corinthians 15:55 did not appear in the song (well, what I had of it at that point).
A few hours later, I went over to the piano and finished writing down the melody line and chords.  That night (which lasted until the next morning), I finished this song.  And yes, 1 Corinthians 15:55 ended up in it!

The Victory Won By: 
Bethany Strang 

The love of the Father, how it rushes over me. 
That He would send His Son to die on Calvary's tree. 
O death, where is your sting? 
And o grave where is your victory? 
The Father's love has won the victory. 

The blood of the pure Lamb, how is washes over me. 
That I may stand redeemed and from my sin set free. 
O death, where is your sting? 
And o grave where is your victory? 
The Spotless Lamb has won the victory. 

The grace of the Lord God, how it hushes over me. 
That I am saved through faith and receiving His mercy. 
O death, where is your sting? 
And o grave where is your victory? 
The grace of God has won the victory. 

The power of the Lord, how it surges over me. 
That I am not ashamed and will speak that others see. 
O death, where is your sting? 
And o grave where is your victory? 
The power of God has won the victory.

O death, you have no sting!
And o grave you have no victory!

It's Jesus Christ who won the victory!

3 comments:

Elanee said...

Very encouraging Bethany! I really like your song. Have you made music for it yet?

Jordan Strang said...

Yeah... But I don't know if I would include carbon dating in "All that good stuff"... :P

Bethany said...

Elanee: Thank you! Yes, the music is all done. :) Just piano and vocals and I think I might sing a little alto... we'll see. ;)

Jordan: Since I passed the test... it was good that I knew it!