Alleluia No. 1 -
The Light of Christ
started writing Christian songs in 1971, while I was in college.
I wrote my first song, Alleluia
rather quickly, in about an hour. At first, there were only
verses. I added the third verse while I was preparing for
We have been crucified with
Christ; now we shall live forever
seems to me to be a
central idea of baptism, and I wanted it to be the center of the song
(the third verse of five). The song is often published
all five verses, and I suppose I'm the only person who feels that it
hurts the structure of the song.
I was still in college when I wrote
The Light of Christ. These
two songs are by far the most widely used of my songs.
1972 to 1976
college, I wrote Sing
to the Lord,
which was very popular in the charismatic renewal for many years.
My method for writing songs during this time was that they
came to me". I had to feel God's inspiration.
In 1976, with the encouragement of two friends, I switched from writing
by waiting for inspiration to treating song writing as a craft.
The first song I wrote this way, Hear,
O Israel, was for Bill and Mary Cavnar's
wedding, and I am grateful to Mary for giving me the necessary push.
1976 to 1981
1976, I started composing more regularly, working and re-working songs
until I felt that they were finished. During this time, I was
very involved in Roman
Catholic liturgy, and I set many psalm responses and other liturgical
texts. Some of these have made it into print. Praise the Lord, O My Soul
His Marvelous Deeds started out as psalm
responses, but became very popular general worship songs.
After 1981, I was pursuing a career as a computer programmer, and I
didn't work on music. I stopped playing the flute, too, for
a dozen years..
2008 to the Present
2008, with the encouragement of Jane
Terwilliger (and a few others) I started working on writing
again. It certainly doesn't flow as easily as it did in 1980.
But then, not much does.
I signed up with
International Liturgy Publications.
They have started bringing out some of my