Christian

Have a Disneyland Day!

Yesterday I had a Disneyland day.

I grew up in Los Angeles. Disneyland was only a 45 minute drive away, so we tended to go quite often; maybe several times a year. So I guess I’ve probably been there about two or three dozen times. The joy of going to Disneyland is permanently etched into my brain. And it evokes very good feelings.

I have very fond memories of entering through the gates, seeing the old fashioned steam train rolling by on a hill covered in flowers spelling out the word Disneyland in bright colors. Then walking up main street USA. The excitement of all the interesting shops and things happening. Old fashioned jalopies and horse drawn wagons drive by. Musicians and Disney characters wander about. Just thinking about it puts me in a great mood.

I was thinking about that while riding my motorcycle into work yesterday. The weather was beautiful. We’ve had a lot of rain, so things are unseasonably green around here. It was a beautiful drive on a beautiful day in a beautiful city. I had to stop while the train went by. The question occurred to me: “Why don’t I feel the same way right now?”

Austin is full of interesting things. I work a block off of Congress, in view of the Capitol building. There are lots of interesting shops all over downtown. People in bicycle rickshaws, amphibious buses, horse drawn carriages, human powered mobile bars, and wandering bands of tourist on seques routinely drive by. And in the evening there is music everywhere.

It occurred to me that there really wasn’t much of a reason to feel less excited about my ride to work than I felt walking through the gates of Disneyland. It was really just a matter of perspective; the result of letting myself fall into a numb routine where I stopped seeing all the beautiful and interesting things in my day to day life. “Going to Disneyland” was like hitting the reset button, and helps me to see things fresh, even those things that I’d seen dozens of times before.

I resolved right then and there to try to see everyday like I was going to Disneyland.

I hope you have yourself a Disneyland day, too!

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?”

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 

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.

They Just Can't Take It Away

I woke up this morning with a song stuck in my head. I had dreamed about a group of old folks dressed in Bavarian costumes playing in our church. The song was such high energy that I wanted to get up on the stage with them and play drums.

<!–more–>

The song is a basic C, F, G song with the melody:
[C]E, E, F, F#, G, E,  E, E, F, F#, G, G
[F]F, F, A, Bb, C, F,  F, F, A, Bb, C, F

The lyrics to the last line of the chorus are something like:

[?Jesus gave us some thing] they just can’t take it away
A, A, A, A, A, A, G, A, A, A, G, F, G, D, E, C.

Once again I’m worried that I might be plagiarizing some existing song. I need to record a rough take of it and run it past a few folks to see if it sounds familiar to them.

Cloud of Angels

cloud-of-angels

Cloud of Angels

Written by Ron Lisle

Key Gm
TimeSignature 4/4
Tempo 110

Intro

Gm C

Verse 1

Gm 
We had ex
F 
pected the news would be  
Eb 
good. 
 
 
F/D 
 
D/F# 
 
Gm 
And it was  
F 
clear at the start that the  
Eb 
doctor 
 
 
F/D 
thought 
D/F# 
the 
 
 
Gm 
same
 
but the  
F 
look on his face when he  
Eb 
saw it said 
F/D 
all he  
D/F# 
needed to  
Gm 
say

Intro 

Gm C/G 

Verse 2

 

Gm 
A flash of e
F 
motion spread through the  
Eb 
room. 
 
 
F/D 
 
D/F# 
 
Gm 
Intense 
 
con
F 
fusion, shock, disbe
Eb 
lief, 
 
 
F/D 
anger, 
 
 
D/F# 
dread, or 
 
 
Gm 
fear?
 
This was a  
F 
day that would change every
Eb 
thing.
F/D 
Starting down a  
D/F# 
long, scary  
Gm 
road.

Chorus 1

Gm 
I’m so sorry that you  
C/G 
had to travel down that  
Gm 
road. 
Gm 
But I thank God that He  
C/G 
would not let you go alone. 
Eb 
He sent so  
F/D 
many to  
D 
help 
 
a
D/F# 
long the  
Gm 
way 
Gm/F 
that 
 
it 
Eb 
felt like we’d been  
D 
wrapped in a  
D/F# 
cloud of  
Gm 
Angels.

Intro

Gm C/G

Verse 3

 

Gm 
So many  
F 
new things to learn we would  
Eb 
never 
 
 
F/D 
ever 
 
have 
D/F# 
chosen to  
Gm 
know.
 
We had to  
F 
get good at schedules and  
Eb 
things. 
 
 
F/D 
Appointments, 
D/F# 
treatments, but  
Gm 
then
 
you were a
F 
mazing, your faith was so  
Eb 
strong  it  
F/D 
help 
 
us 
D/F# 
all to hang  
Gm 
on.

Chorus 2

Gm 
And I’m sorry that you  
C/G 
had to travel down that  
Gm 
road.
Gm 
But I thank God that he  
C/G 
would not let you go alone.
Eb 
He sent so  
F/D 
many to  
D 
help 
 
a
D/F# 
long the  
Gm 
way
Gm/F 
that 
 
it
Eb 
felt like we’d been  
D 
wrapped in a  
D/F# 
cloud of  
Gm 
Angels.

Gm C/G

Verse 4

Gm 
They say that af
F 
ter five years that you’ve  
Eb 
made it, the
F/D 
danger 
 
 
D/F# 
is finally  
Gm 
past.
 
We’re over  
F 
half way there now and I  
Eb 
know that  
F/D 
we’re
D/F# 
going to  
Gm 
make 
 
it.
 
‘Cause the  
F 
One that sends us those  
Eb 
angels  is  
F/D 
still 
 
watching
D/F# 
over 
 
 
Gm 
you.

Repeat Chorus

Intro

Gm C/G

A Place In Sin City

A Place In Sin City
This song came to me after writing Cloud of Angels. I had asked Matt Welch to come over and help me with the drum parts of it. We were talking between takes, and I was explaining to him how I was telling him the story about how I hadn’t finished the lyrics to my first song “Why not pray?”, and I felt like God was telling me that I needed to write about things that I really had something to say about. Anyways, then I started telling him about this great church I had visited in Las Vegas (“Central Christian”), and all the cool stuff they’re doing there. It hit me then that here was something that I had “something to say about” 🙂

The references to “strippers” is right our of a book written by the pastor there. Many of the other lines are also from the pastor that I copied from their website. I’ve taken a bit of artistic license with the exact working to fit the song a bit better. I apologize if I’ve changed the meaning in any way. It is not intended. What an amazing place Central Christian Church is! Thank you. I aspire to bringing that sort of open acceptance to our church, The Rock UMC in Cedar Park TX.

[Title]A Place In Sin City

[Composer]Ron Lisle

[Key]D

[Tempo]80

[Intro] [D] [E/D] [G/D] [D] [Verse 1] [D]There’s a [E/D]place in the [G/D]heart of sin [D]city
[D]Full of [E/D]people from [G/D]all walks of [D]life.
[D]There are [E/D]strippers, and [G/D]boozers, and [D]gamblers.
[D]And they’re [E/D]looking for a [G/D]change in their [D]lives.
And it’s [C/D]happening. [G/D] [D] By God, it’s [C/D]happening. [G/D] [D] [Verse 2] First time I went to that place in sin city
I saw things I did not expect to see, and I thought
Hmm, something strange is going on here.
I’ll bet the unexpected happens here a lot.
Yes it’s happening. By God, it’s happening.

[Chorus 1] [C6]Come as you [D]are, with your [C6]past, pain, and [G/B]struggles. You don’t
[C6]have to pre[D]tend to be [C6]something you’re [G/B]not.
[C6]The man up[D]stairs will meet you [C6]right where you’re [G/B]standing,
but [Bb]He won’t [C/A]leave you [G]there.

[Verse 3] The people gathering at this place in sin city
they’ve seen many lives changed through grace.
So they call this town of theirs “Grace City”.
Hard to believe but grace happens here a lot.
And it’s happening. By God, it’s happening.

[Chorus/bridge] Come as you are, with your past, pain, and struggles. You don’t
have to pretend to be something you’re not.
The man upstairs will meet you right where you’re standing.
It’s ok, to not be ok.

Come as you are, with your past, pain, and struggles. You don’t
have to pretend to be something you’re not.
He promises to meet you right where you standing,
and He won’t leave you there.

[Final Verse (repeat v1)]

There’s a place in the heart of Grace City
Full of people whose lives have changed.
Some were strippers, boozers, and gamblers.
Some have found big changes in their lives.
And it’s happening. By God, it’s happening.