Welcome to the first of hopefully many blogs I'll be sharing!
I've been thinking a lot about what my blog should be about, and I'm going the easiest route: I'll be sharing about my songs...where they came from and what inspired them. I hope this will be interesting to my audience. If you'd like to have me write about anything else music related, just let me know!
The first song that came to mind was one of the earliest songs I wrote for the Cherub choir programs at a church I was working at in Montclair, New Jersey. My wife was teaching a pre-k Sunday school class, and this particular year, all the classes were charged with having to present a song in the service. Knowing that many of the other classes would be choosing the old standard "Jesus Loves Me This I Know", she approached me and said (as only a loving wife could say) "You're a composer...write me something!" And so I did.
That song is "God Loves All of Me!" and has become one of the standards for that age group in every church I've been blessed to work at. It's also known to many as "The Belly-Button Song". There's a verse that ends with the lyrics..." and He loves my belly-button!" That line always gets a reaction from both the kids singing it and the congregation as they hear it.
Of the many times this song has been performed, these two stories stand out in my memory.
There was the time when the choral leader asked for the older youth who were in the congregation but had once been in her Cherub choir to come up and join the Cherubs in singing the song. After some coaxing from the congregation (and their parents!) they all trooped up to the front. It was wonderful seeing the tallest and the smallest all joining together and lifting their voices singing about God's love and their belly buttons...complete with hand motions!
Another time, the Pastor had been hearing this song for several years, and asked the entire congregation to stand and join in the song. This moment was especially heartwarming for me as I watched the youngest and the oldest members stand proudly and sing about how "God Loves All of Me!"
I've always thought that of all the many songs I've written, somehow, somewhere I'll be known for my song about the belly buttons, and God's love...and I'm just fine with that!
Until the next time,