About Ron Lisle

http://lisles.net

Posts by Ron Lisle:

Conversing with Goats

Last Sunday we had a visiting pastor at our church, Brad Brittain. He gave a wonderful sermon and used an illustration about a conversation with a couple goats and a fox that sounded like a great idea for a song. I asked him where he got the idea for the story, and he told me that it “just came to him”. So I asked if he’d mind if I made it into a song, and he likes the idea. So now I’m waiting on the Lord to give me the song 😉

Across 2000 Years

This song woke me at about 3:00 am. It was like someone or something was calling me. I think it was God, but maybe I’m just crazy :-).

This song is like 3 songs put together. The opening intro is very soft and somewhat sad. Then the energy builds with what I’m calling a bridge. A strange thing is that I want to use an Eb in the melody, but I want the chord to be C major and not C minor. I wonder what this is called?

Then it shifts again into a very different rhythm and jazz feel in what I’m calling the Verse. This is fairly busy, compared to the previous 2 being somewhat sparse.

Somewhere later on, I’m not sure if this is an instrumental or what, all 3 become somewhat combined. The left hand plays the part from the chorus combined with the different rhythm right hand and chords from the verse. I’m amazed that it works.

Finally the closing goes back to the intro, very soft and gentle, ending on C major.

This is just a recording that I made to try to remember the ideas.
Across 2000 Years (initial ideas)

Across 2000 Years

Copyright 2008 by Ron Lisle

Written by Ron Lisle 

Intro

Ab 
It was a gentle sound  
Gm 
calling out my name.
Ab 
Like a gentle breeze  
Gm 
playing across my lawn.
Ab 
I could almost hear it.  
Gm 
There, but then gone.
Ab 
Lost in the steady din of a  
Gm 
life to busy to stop.

Chorus

C 
Can you hear it? It’s calling.
C 
Can you hear him? He’s  
Eb 
calling 
 
 
Bb/D 
out your  
C 
name.
C 
Yes He’s calling you. A
Eb/C 
cross two  
Bb/C 
thousand 
 
 
Fmaj7 
years. (straight into verse…)

Verse 1

Fmaj7 
Can you hear that voice that …  
Gm7 

I Saw You at the Funeral

This song reminds me of Todd Rundgren. I hope I haven’t stolen any of his tunes or words.

This is another song that I woke up in the middle of the night hearing in my head. It was following a funeral that I attended. While at the funeral I ran into an old friend that I hadn’t seen for a long time. There had been rift in the church awhile back, and a bunch of dear friends left in what can only be described as a most bizarre set of circumstances. It was so good to see this friend, but it felt like the chasm was just too scary to approach. So I guess we both acted like nothing had happened.

This is a very rough, piano-only 1st take.
I Saw You at the Funeral

Copyright (c) 2008 by Ron Lisle.

 
I saw you at the  
G/C 
Funer
C 
al.
 
We smiled and  
G/A 
said 
 
hel
C/A 
lo.
 
Pretending things were  
G/F 
still the  
C/F 
same.
 
We were still  
G/C 
friends
G 
.

F 
I can  
G 
see that you were  
C/A 
hurt 
 
 
G/A 
by 
 
 
C/A 
me.
F 
That was  
G 
never my  
C/A 
intent.
F 
Maybe 
 
 
G 
some things just  
C/A 
can’t 
 
 
G/A 
be 
 
 
C/A 
fixed.
F 
I wish  
G 
when (immediately back to…) 
 
I saw you at the  
G/C 
Funer
C 
al.
 
We smiled and  
G/C 
said 
 
hel
C 
lo.
 
That things were  
G/C 
still the  
C 
same.
 
We were still  
G/C 
friends
G 
.

Water

This is a rough, piano-only 1st take.
Water

The beginning is pretty much 2 bars from the beginning of the Beach Boys song “California”: “Water, water.”

[Then we shift gears into more modern jazzy chords. This is where 
we’ll redo the lyrics each week to fit the sermon, etc]

Water

Written by Ron Lisle

(except the 2 bars from “California”)
Copyright (c) 2008 by Ron Lisle.

C 
”Jesus walked on it,  
Abmaj7 
Moses parted it.  
C 
Water, 
 
water.
Abmaj7 
Noah had quite enough of it, some might say too much 🙂  
C 
Water, 
 
water.
F6 
… 
 
 
G6 
… 
 
 
Am 
F6 
… 
 
 
G6 
… 
 
 
C 
 

I Don't Want To Sound Preachy

Piano-only rough recording.
preachy

I Don’t Want To Sound Preachy

Copyright(c) 2008 by Ron Lisle

Key:C
Tempo:85

Intro

Maybe Dm7 Em7 F6 Gmaj7

Verse 1

 
I don’t want to sound  
C 
preachy.
 
Don’t want to  
C/A 
tell you what to do.
 
Just want to sing God’s  
F6 
praises
 
without sounding like I  
F6/G 
think I’m better than you.  ‘Cause

Chorus

Dm7 
My life was a mess and I  
Em7 
didn’t know what to do.
Dm7 
Jesus You found me and  
Em7 
You pulled me through.
Dm7 
Now I just want to  
Em7 
sing my songs for  
F6 
You.

Verse 2

 
I hope I don’t sound too  
C 
crazy
 
singing of  
C/A 
something we can’t see.
 
But I tell you its not  
F6 
hidden
 
the changes  
F6/G 
you’re making in me.

Chorus

 

Extending WordPress to Display Music Chords & Lyrics

It plan on extending WordPress to support creating music lead sheets using a ChordPro type syntax. This syntax uses square brackets to enclose tags describing music attributes of a song (eg. [Title], [Composer], [Tempo]) in addition to chord names (eg. [Amaj7]).

It appears that a plug-in can be created which will allow extending WordPress without hacking the source code. Requirements and questions to resolve:

  1. Songs must be easily linkable from multiple locations since songs are used repeatedly and I don’t want to have to cut/paste the song source every time it is used.
  2. Provide all the capability of the current custom PHP songs pages on TheRockBand.org:
    a. Allow display of songs for a given date showing sequence, etc.
    b. Associate with an MP3 file.
    c. Provide alternate displays, for example “List all songs alphabetically”

In addition to providing the existing functionality, it will be good to allow comments/discussions regarding each song, with searchability for previous comments made about a given song.

Plug-In creation steps:

  1. Create name to use for main .php file and folder for additional files
    How about “LeadSheet” or “ChordSheet”?
    This file and folder will need to be copied to wp-content/plugins/ during installation.
  2. Create a readme.txt if I want to publish to wordpress.org/extend/plugins.
  3. Create a homepage for distributing the plugin. Maybe on Lisles.net/LeadSheetPlugin?
  4. Modify main .php file to add plugin API hooks as needed.
  5. Adhere to the WordPress coding standards.
  6. Support Inline Documentation.
  7. Ensure unique names for all functions, etc. Alternatively, encapsulate them in a class.
  8. Do not hardcode “wp_” prefix. Use $spdb->prefix variable instead.
  9. Minimize DB writes.
  10. SELECT only what is needed.
  11. Use add_action in the global execution space to hook actions to new functions.
  12. Use add_filter in the global execution space to hook filters to new functions.
    Data is passed to the new function, and modified data or NULL returned.

It may be better to use a “Page” for each song. Need to investigate how to create and link to pages, etc. The down side may be that Pages don’t use the database, and I like the idea of keeping songs in the database instead of as separate files.

Another possibility is to use a Template Tag.

A plugin Filter might be used to format the ChordPro data prior to display.

A plugin Action might be used to syntax validate a new song upon entry.
This might include allowing cut/paste of existing chord sheets that put chords on a separate line above the lyric lines, and then converting them to ChordPro format.

Provide an Admin display to provide buttons for various chord types and song fields.

Music & Lyrics WordPress Theme

Following some additional study of WordPress, it appears that what I am trying to accomplish can be done by creating a Theme.

WordPress Themes

A Theme is simply a collection of custom Template files.

WordPress Templates

A Template file is simply a modified version of the wp-content/index.php file. Templates can be created to modify the way that specific categories are displayed.

So songs can be displayed in chord/lyric format by assigning them a specific category such as “Song”, and then creating a template for that category to format the chord/lyric display (category-X.php).

Similarly, I should be able to create a category and template for the weekly song lineup.

Thoughts on using WordPress for posting lyrics/chords

After further research and thinking, it appears that song sheets could be posted using a “Songs” category.

Posting Songs

A full song listing could then be displayed by selecting the “Songs” category. A custom template could be created to display them by title, artist, etc. and to also format them more compactly. MP3 files could be attached, and a plugin used to allow direct playback (like the 1-bit plugin).

The LeadSheet plugin will be needed to format lyrics/chords into a table to align and format them in ChordPro-like format.

Posting Lineups

Lineups can be handled in either of a couple ways:

  1. Create posts with the Lineup date in the title and category of “Lineups”. Like songs, these could be displayed using a custom template. A shortcode could be used to provide links to each associated song post. The benefit of this approach is that each lineup post could have discussions using comments.
  2. A custom page could be created to interface with a MySQL table to provide dynamic lineup data. I don’t think this approach would allow comments unless custom coded into the page template.

Action Items

I think I’ll pursue option 1. Items needed to implement this are:

  • Template for “Lineup” list and single category display.
    List could expand the upcoming date automatically, and optionally be used as the front page.
  • Plug-In to expand and format ChordPro.
  • ShortCode for use on Lineup posts to locate songs by name and display links to song posts.
    ShortCode could give song name, and an intelligent search used to locate song posts and MP3 media and provide one or more links to them. For example the shortcode [song name=”Here to Worship”] would result in <a href=”index.php?p=###>Lyrics</a> …
  • Page and template to display song usage:
    This would query to identify which songs have been played and how many times for any specified year. The CCLI # should be associated and displayed with each song also.

Fish on the Ground

This is a rough, piano-only version. We’ll probably record it during church in July, 2008.
fish-on-the-ground-very-ro

Pastor Stella approached me about an idea for a song. She had heard a story by a Rabbi about a couple guys that followed Moses out of Egypt. They were so self-centered that they didn’t even see Moses perform any of the miracles. They were busy looking down, and only saw a bunch of fish laying on the ground. I was immediately taken with the idea, and wrote this within the next day.

This song is being written for the summer “water” theme,
and is currently scheduled for July 6th & 13th.

Partridge family feel with a boogey-woogey chorus. Mixolydian mode.

Fish on the Ground

Written by Ron Lisle

Copyright(c) 2008 by Ron Lisle

Intro

G C Gmaj7 C repeat as long as desired.

Verse 1

G 
A rabbi  
C 
told a  
G7 
story 
 
 
C 
about 
 
 
G 
two guys  
C 
long 
 
 
G7 
ago. 
 
 
C 
G 
They followed  
C 
Moses from  
G7 
Egypt, 
 
 
C 
fleeing 
 
 
G 
from old  
C 
Pha
G7 
roah. 
 
 
C 
G 
He chased them  
C 
to the  
G7 
Red Sea.  
C 
Things looked  
G 
bad, and  
C 
that’s no  
G7 
laugh. 
 
 
C 
G 
But God had  
C 
other 
 
 
G7 
plans. He  
C 
said “Now,  
G 
Moses 
 
 
C 
hold up your  
G7 
staff.” 
 
 
C 

Chorus

(boogey-woogey style)

C7 
They didn’t notice the miracles, ’cause they were  
G7 
too busy looking down.
C7 
They didn’t see Moses parting the sea, and walls of
G 
water, 
 
 
C/A 
rising, on  
G/B 
both sides, all  
C 
around.
C/A 
All they  
G/B 
saw was  
C 
mud and  
G/D 
fish on the  
C 
ground.

Verse 2

We all know the story, how Moses parted the sea.

They walked across to freedom leaving behind the enemy.
Pharoah’s army tried to follow, only to drown in misery.
When the road that they’d been on, turned back into sea.

Chorus

Bridge

Spoken. Loop on intro softly.

Ham it up! Maybe put on fake beards, Yamikas, those orthodix Jewish curly things, etc. Try to speak in a Yiddish accent, etc. Have fun with this, and feel free to ad lib.
Abe: “Hey Zeke”.
Zeke: “Yea, Abe.”
Abe: “Have you noticed how muddy everything is around here?”
Zeke: “You bet I did. I lost a sandal about a mile back in the muck.”
Abe: “And have you seen all the fish lying around?”
Zeke: “Yes, and they’re really grossing me out. The sun is starting to make them really stink.”
Abe: “Oh, you’ve noticed that too. (Turn away, whisper to congregation: I thought it was him)”
Zeke: “Abe, what do you suppose prompted Moses to pick this lousy road?”
Abe: “God only knows, Zeke, God only knows.”
Once done, bass line walk down from G to C to go into the chorus.

Chorus twice and out.

Birthday Vacation in Orlando

My beautiful wife Shelley surprised me with a secret birthday vacation. On Wednesday we headed out to the airport for destinations unknown. It turns out that she booked our HGVC timeshare in Orlando for 6 days.

Upon arrival, we checked into all of the different things to do here. I must admit that the amount of things to do here is overwhelming. I opted to get a 5 day pass for the Disney adventure parks.

The first day we went to the Epcot Center. They are having a Wildflower Festival. Of course Shelley was excited about that! One of the rides we took though showed how they are using new technologies to raise crops, including things like hanging plants upside down from high tech watering troughs, and bare root water/nutrient spray systems. They mentioned that there is a behind-the-scenes walking tour available, but we missed the last one. We plan on using our 5th day pass to go back and take the tour.

We had also left just prior to the fireworks, thinking that we’ve seen fireworks before. However, as we got on the tram to the car the fireworks started, and appeared to be unlike any we’d seen before. So we’re planning on going back later today to catch the seed tour and stay until after the fireworks.

We had eaten at the English pub, and ordered the fish-and-chips and a cheese platter. We were intrigued by the Bangers And Mash we saw other diners eating. So we’re planning on making reservations for dinner to give that a try also.

Unfortunately we overdid the walking, and my new sneakers caused a blister on the bottom of each foot. So we started out the day yesterday stopping by Target to pick up some sandals and blister pads. We then took it easy at the Disney MGM/Hollywood Studios park. The main things we saw were the car stunt show and the Tower of Terror. We got rained on several times, but had with us a couple Disney ponchos we had bought the first day. We then finished up the day with a nice dinner at the Out Back. Altogether it was a wonderful day.