Tag Archives: music

Michael Jackson- the man in the mirror

I awoke today with the shocking news that Michael Jacksonhas died suddenly. The news will stun millions of his fans and is one of those  moments in music culture similar to that of the death of Elvis, John Lennon or Buddy Holly. Jackson was loved by millions and worried just as many more with his strange person life, but there is no doubt that he had a heart for others and wanted to heal the world and make a difference. The world loved Jackson but many were uncertain of his motives and lavish lifestyle which seemed at odds with some of the values of hope, trust, love and togetherness that he often wrote and sung about. I’m not sure any of us really understood “the man in mirror” who never got the chance to say his last musical farewell to the people of London. His music and legend will live of  so let us today not focus on his eccentricities but let the genius of his music do the talking. Michael wanted his music to evoke these images and get us to change and understand how child-like qualities could really heal the world::

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Frank ‘n’ Psalms

psalmI have been listening again to Psalm– a collection of 12 Revised Standard Version Psalms by Evangelist, Actor and musician Frank McGregor. I find this collection uplifting, reflective, inspiring and reassuring – thank you Frank.

Col 3:16 says:“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Frank says in the sleeve notes to the CD; ” It’s not surprising that many of our hymns are based on them (psalms) because we can all relate in some way to them- they reflect both the joy and sorrow of human experience in relation to God…thanks to God who as used all of these Psalms to speak to me in different ways, times and places. My hope is that everyone who hears these songs also hears God speak to them too.”

To listen to sample tracks and to buy Psalms see http://www.gospelrocky.co.uk/supporters.html

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The Monastry of Sound

The story of the Gregorian Chant as told by Fr Karl and the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz in Austria. Their music  became the CD project Chant-music for paradise a world-wide smash hit last year. What is it about this that feeds the soul in a way which makes some of our modern worship music look like self indulgent rock parody?

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When it’s all been said and done

Robin Mark was the first worship leader I ever saw at Spring Harvest. I love this gentle, moving and evocative version of such a beautiful song- “When it’s all been said and done , Did I do my best to live for truth, Lord I’ll live my life for you?”. Over the next few weeks. I think about my mother,  grandfather and  brother-in-law who died around this time of year and this song reminds me of them so much I just cry.  Lord bless Edward, Jean and Michael, and my prayer is that they are with you in glory.“For you’ve shown me heaven’s my true  home, you’re my life when life is done.”

For some reason I am not able to post the link to You Tube so you’ll have to check it out for yourself- sorry!

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The greatest love of all?

priestsThis week I opened a copy of The London Evening Standard to find a strange bedfellow amongst the adverts for forthcoming concerts from Bryan Adams, Booker T, Spinal Tap and James Morrison. The Catholic singing trio The Priests are to play London’s Hammersmith Apollo on 17thJune. Performing live in concert with a full orchestra The Priests, who have already been seen on GMTV and the Classical Brits, will perform songs from their number one album including Ave Maria, Irish Blessing and Abide with me. Can you imagine the light show and the costume changes at this gig? I am sure it will be a sell-out concert and make a tidy profit.

When the recent revelations that thousands of children were beaten, raped or abused by clergy and members of religious orders Vincent Nichols, the new Archbishop of Westminster urged Catholics to pray for the victims yet said that it takes courage for the guilty clergy to confront their pasts. As the Archbishop himself pointed out; “Wounds need to be healed..they need to be met with honest, compassionate sensitivity…and start the road to recovery and healing.” Would it be appropriate for the Priests to help start this process and donate some of their profits to the victims of abuse perpetrated by some elements within the Catholic Church? That really would help the priests to go to number one in my charts.

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Every grain of sand

Bob Dylan has been back in the news  with a new album and tour.  The familiar  opinions are voiced about him being what many describe as  some sort of caricature of his former self- yet Dylan has always been the classic unfinished artist. Just when you think you have locked him down, he surprises  you with a change of direction musically. The song I want to share with you today is decades old and comes from his album Shot of Love.I love this song because it is beautiful, gentle, challenging, lyrically profound, desperate. It  tells the story of an unfinished Christian struggling to get to grips with the full implication of the truth he believes. It tells the story of someone focused on the path that moves him forward. A man with no time or inclination to look back on past mistakes or regrets  as anything more than a chain of events he must break. He is desperate to realise the full promise of a new life in Christ.

The sleeve notes quote from the Gospel of Matthew; “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth because thous hast hidden these things from the wise  and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”  As Dylan sings:

“Then onward in my journey, I come to understand that every hair is numbered  like  every grain of sand. I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the seas, sometimes I turn there’s someone there sometimes it’s only me. I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man, like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand

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Are we still ready to tell it on the mountain?

When I was a kid I used to love this song by Simon and Garfunkel. It is so simple and joyous. Sometimes I wonder where did the simplicity and joy go as I grew up and what me (and maybe you)  from telling it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere? Remember if you are reading this Mrs Robinson- Jesus loves you more than you will know! I’ve also added the version from one of my other favourite artists from the 70’s  James Taylor– two for the price of one- can’t be bad!

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