Category Archives: Composing

Valentine for Life

This is a song that I wrote for the love of my life for Valentines day. I attempted to play and sing it to her, which gave us both a good laugh. I eventually slogged my way through it, but I’ll need to record it so that she can hear what it sounds like start to finish.

 
 
 
C 
Shelley I  
Am 
love you and  
F 
I just got to  
G 
say.
 
You’re my  
C 
full moon on  
Am 
dark nights, and  
F 
cool shade on hot  
G 
days.
 
Am 
Do you re
F 
member our first  
C/E 
trip out to  
G/D 
LA?
 
Am 
I got on  
F 
one knee and I  
C/E 
asked you please to  
G 
say that you would
 
Chorus 
 
C 
be my wife (say that you’d)  
Am 
be my wife (say that you’d)
 
F 
be my wife, and my  
G 
Valentine for  
C 
Life
 
E 
g c g  
Eb 
gb 
 
 
D 
 
C 
(trill hi c chord)
 
 
 
C 
You are my  
Am 
band-aid 
 
 
F 
when I get a  
G 
cut.
 
C 
You’re so ad
Am 
venturous, you  
F 
pull me from my  
G 
rut.
 
Am 
Do you re
F 
call the night that  
C/E 
you ran out of  
G/D 
gas?
 
Am 
We’d wanted to  
F 
wait but we knew  
C/E 
this chance couldn’t  
G 
pass

(so won’t you)

 
Chorus 
 
C 
Please be mine (say you will)  
Am 
please be mine (say you will)
 
F 
please be mine, Be my  
G 
lifetime 
 
Valen
C 
tine
 
E 
g c g  
Eb 
gb 
 
 
D 
 
C 
(trill hi c chord)
 
 
 
C 
Now that we’re  
Am 
older, folks think  
F 
we should just slow  
G 
down. 
 
But,
 
C 
Shelley I  
Am 
tell you, you still  
F 
make my head spin  
G 
round.
 
Am 
It may take  
F 
longer, but that  
C/E 
makes me want to  
G/D 
sing:
 
Am 
“More of a  
F 
good thing, is still  
C/E 
more of a  
D/F# 
good 
 
thing!”

(key change to D)

 
 
(repeated in new key)
 
D 
Shelley I  
Bm 
love you and  
G 
I just got to  
A 
say.
 
You’re my  
D 
full moon on  
Bm 
dark nights, and  
G 
cool shade on hot  
A 
days.
 
Bm 
Do you re
G 
member our first  
D/F# 
trip out to  
A/E 
LA?
 
Bm 
I got on  
G 
one knee and  
D/F# 
you told me  
A 
OK

that you’d

 
D 
be my wife (you said you’d)  
Bm 
be my wife (you said you’d)
 
G 
be my wife, and my  
A 
Valentine for  
D 
Life

(repeat)

 
F# 
a d a  
F 
ab d ab  
E 
g d g  
D 
(trill hi d chord)

Don't Check Your Faith at the Door

This is a song for use in the sending forth. It has sort of a Peter Gunn feel to it.

Verse?

Well you’ve heard sermons, and …

to help strengthen your convictions.
We’ve sung hymns and …

Now there’s only one thing more:

Don’t check your faith at the door.

Chorus

Take it out there with you.

Don’t leave it here inside.
You know the world needs to hear you.
So go out there, and …

Should’ve Gone to Nineveh

1st piano take

Intro

(Play just a couple bars from Gilligan’s Island to hint at it, but not give it away?)
G F G F or Eb F G Eb F G
(then) G G/F C/E D/F# G G/F C/E D/F# G G/F C/E Ab/Eb C7 C7/C# D

Verse 1

 
G 
God spoke to  
G/F 
Jonah and He  
C/E 
asked him to  
D/F# 
go
G 
off to  
G/F 
Nine
C/E 
veh for  
D/F# 
Him.
G 
We’re not really  
G/F 
sure what made  
C/E 
Jonah 
 
re
Eb 
fuse
 
and  
C7 
sail off on a  
C7/Db 
long, sea  
D 
cruise.
 
G 
Sunning on the  
G/F 
lido deck,  
C/E 
munching 
 
buf
D/F# 
fet,
G 
He was fleeing  
G/F# 
God, thought he’d  
C/E 
gotten 
 
a
D/F# 
way.
 
But  
G 
God rocked the
G/F# 
boat, made the  
C/E 
seas get  
Eb 
rough
 
and said  
C7 
Jonah 
 
“E
G7/Db 
nough is e
D 
nough!”.

Chorus 1

 
The  
C 
sea he was  
C/E 
on 
 
be
C/F 
came a  
G 
raging 
 
 
G/B 
storm 
 
 
G/D 
C 
He’d heard God  
C/E 
calling 
 
 
C/F 
but he  
G 
didn’t 
 
con
G/B 
form. 
 
(Oh-
G/D 
no)
C 
We don’t know  
C/E 
why he  
C/F 
went the  
G 
other 
 
 
G/B 
way, but  
G/D 
I’ll
C7 
bet if you could  
C7/Db 
ask him he’d  
D 
say
 
“Should’ve gone to  
G 
Nineveh”. 
 
 
G/F 
 
C/E 
 
D/F# 
 
Should’ve gone to  
G 
Nineveh. 
 
 
G/F 
 
C/E 
 
D/F# 
 
Should’ve gone to  
G 
Nineveh 
 
 
G/F 
 
C/E 
 
Eb 
C 
Jonah, 
 
 
C/Db 
what were you  
D 
thinking?

(pause here, finger to cheek, head tilted, “Hmm”)

(If the song is running too long, this verse can be dropped)

Verse 2

 
Well the  
G 
crew wished to  
G/F 
live so Jonah  
C/E 
walked the  
D/F# 
plank
 
and  
G 
left him to  
G/F 
drown in that  
C/E 
big fish  
D/F# 
tank
 
but  
G 
God sent a  
G/F 
fish to gulp him  
C/E 
into his  
D/F# 
belly
C7 
How gross is  
C7/Db 
that? And  
D 
smelly?

Chorus 2

 
He was  
C 
caught at  
C/E 
sea in  
C/F 
 
 
G 
wild 
 
ty
G/B 
phoon 
 
 
G/D 
C 
God had  
C/E 
spoken but  
C/F 
he said  
G 
“No” that  
G/B 
after
G/D 
noon.
C 
I don’t know  
C/E 
why he  
C/F 
acted 
 
 
G 
like a buf
G/B 
foon but  
G/D 
I’ll
C 
bet he’s singing  
C7/Db 
a brand new  
D 
tune:

(pause here: spoken “And it goes like this”)

 
“Should’ve gone to  
G 
Nineveh”. 
 
 
G/F 
 
C/E 
 
D/F# 
 
Should’ve gone to  
G 
Nineveh. 
 
 
G/F 
 
C/E 
 
D/F# 
 
Should’ve gone to  
G 
Nineveh 
 
 
G/F 
 
C/E 
 
Eb 
C 
Jonah, 
 
 
C/Db 
had you been  
D 
drinking?

(pause, someone tilt the imaginary bottle up to their lips?)

Verse 3

 
When  
G 
God talks to  
G/F 
us do we  
C/E 
always 
 
 
D/F# 
hear? 
 
Or
G 
are we too  
G/F 
busy to  
C/E 
lend Him our  
D/F# 
ear? Will we
G 
end up like  
G/F 
Jonah on a  
C/E 
boat that’s  
D/F# 
leaking,
C7 
wishing we had  
C7/Db 
heard God’s  
D 
speaking?

Chorus 3

 
When the  
C 
seas of  
C/E 
life 
 
be
C/F 
come a  
G 
raging 
 
 
G/B 
tempest 
 
 
G/D 
 
We ig
C 
nore Gods  
C/E 
nudging
C/F 
 
 
G 
other things  
G/B 
tempt us.  
G/D 
C 
We just want  
C/E 
to be  
C/F 
left 
 
a
G 
lone to have  
G/B 
fun, but  
G/D 
we
C 
might just wish be
C7/Db 
fore things are  
D 
done

(pause here: spoken “How’s it go?”)

 
“Should’ve gone to  
G 
Nineveh”. 
 
 
G/F 
 
C/E 
 
D/F# 
 
Should’ve gone to  
G 
Nineveh. 
 
 
G/F 
 
C/E 
 
D/F# 
 
Should’ve gone to  
G 
Nineveh 
 
 
G/F 
 
C/E 
 
Eb 
C 
God, can you send  
C/Db 
me a fish,  
D 
too?
 
Next time I’ll go to  
G 
Nineveh.

(C)Copyright 2008-2010, Ron Lisle. All rights reserved.

Conversing With Goats

Verse 1

Beyond the fence that runs across my back yard

lies a pasture full of llamas and goats.
Sometimes I’ll lean on the fence after work just
relaxing, watching them chewing on oats.

Well one of those goats looks up and asks me

“Have you noticed the high price of gas?”

Looking for the Similar Tune for "I Saw You at the Funeral"

The tune/chords from I Saw You at the Funeral” has been haunting me, and worrying me that I might have taken some existing TV theme, so I searched on iTunes for TV Themes, and I think it is the theme from Hill Street Blues that I’m remembering. Luckily it is quite different, although has a very similar feel. So I’m going to stop worrying now.

I think I’m close to finishing the basic chords and melody, and just need to finalize the lyrics now.

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


 

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.