29 May 2017

Broken Magic

Written 29 May 2016.

Seventeen (now eighteen - 2017) years ago a child stood at the front of a church and watched as a covenant, the deepest and most magical of all promises, was made.

Fifteen years later she watched as it crumbled to the ground, as meaningless as a feather on the wind, only less beautiful.

And now she stands in the ruins of it, even as she prepares to be a witness to another, very similar, covenant.

The child who once stood in awe of the beauty around her now stands shattered, pieces of sharp glass held together by naught more than fairy floss, which could be cut by the glass it holds together at any second. Where once she threw rainbows of light and sparkled in the sun, she can only see darkness so thick that it can be felt, so heavy that it has the ability to suffocate.

This is what happens when the magic is broken and the covenant is disregarded. It hurts the people who created it and the people who broke it. But it also hurts those caught in the explosion, those who were at ground zero when it was initially forged, and those who watched the trust build in layer after slow layer as those fifteen years ran by, only to see it mangled by one of the very keepers of the covenant.

It is the very worst of betrayals; one of the most treacherous ones that does not end in a quick and frightening death. Instead it only initiates a slow breakdown in the world, in the way things should have been, in the way that the covenant keepers had pledged they would be.

28 May 2017

Putting On The Mask

I performed depressed for the first time in my memory last night. It was probably the hardest thing I've ever done.

Literally thirty-five minutes before showtime it hit me -- all of the 'negative thoughts,' as my counsellor calls them (for some reason that sounds like a cheesy name to me -- I'd almost rather refer to them as 'the lie,' which is what my program director calls them, even though I actually believe those thoughts are the truth and have I confused you with this parenthetical comment yet?).

I've never really paid attention before to how I react when this happens. This is such a normal/frequent part of my life that half the time I don't know where one episode ends and the next begins. But because it happened in such an unnatural context (the excitement of performing is usually enough to dull the depression so I almost never experience it while performing), I was more aware of the differences in me.

I spent most of the evening trying not to cry because I already had full stage makeup on. I completely forgot about the dance in the first act -- the dance that I not only choreographed myself, but also taught to two others. I forgot the entire ending of the opening song (I never thought I'd say this, but thank goodness I'm only ensemble in this show). Whenever I wasn't onstage, I was literally crouched in a fetal position in the wings because I didn't have the strength to stand and I didn't have the strength to interact with people backstage. Never before have I had to make a conscious effort to put on a mask when I crossed the threshold of the stage. For the first time I found myself thinking, don't let them see... everything's fine, you're perfectly okay. I don't know how well I did at that -- I have never had to work so hard for a character before. Usually it just sort of happens. I remember thinking here is the real test -- can you act convincingly when you're dying inside? I don't know if I did. But I tried. I don't know if it was enough.

18 May 2017

To Love. To Fail.

After surviving a car accident in June 2010, I vowed that I would be an encouraging person. That no-one who encountered me would leave me without knowing they were loved and cared for and important.

When Brittney died, I tried to renew this vow. But the guilt that dogged me for failing to be as kind and caring as possible to her sucked my resolve dry. I had failed. And there was absolutely no redemption to be won. There was no hope of a second chance.

When my cousin died two months later, it only reinforced this. I wasn't close to my cousin, but I could have been -- should have been. I cared for her deeply, but she never knew this. And again, I was left with no hope whatsoever at a second chance to let her know that at least somebody on the planet cared for her. Yes, her parents and siblings loved her. But love shouldn't be limited to that.

By the time my cousin died I was so physically depleted and emotionally wounded that I withdrew into myself. I had failed -- twice. I'm realising this school year that perhaps the thing I fear the most is failure -- of any kind, in any area of life. To have those two relational failures slug me back-to-back convinced me that I was a failure. So I gave up. Better to not try and not fail than to make a vow (even to myself) and go back on it or mess it up -- that is, fail.

I withdrew from everyone. I waited for someone to come break my shell, to draw back the curtain and direct the sunlight onto me again.

...It's hard for me to continue writing this. On one hand, I'm still waiting. Will someone care enough to reach out to me, even through the darkness? (The logic is, if I drag myself out, it's selfish of me. What if nobody wanted me to begin with and then I just show up again, uninvited? FAIL. But if someone else comes searching for me -- that means they missed me. That means they wanted me.)

But on the other hand -- I still want to be that loving, caring, kind person, no matter what the other person is like. On some level I don't want to ask more of people, emotionally/relationally, than I can give back. (To take more than I give is -- you guessed it -- failure. No, I can't win.) I still want to 'give my heart' (as my college program director puts it) -- but 1. I don't think it's worth giving, 2. I can't handle losing anyone else, and 3. what if I screw it up again and accidentally alienate the very people I really care about? That is: what if I fail again? People are pretty graceless as a whole. Ninety-eight percent of the time you have exactly one chance. Foul it up -- say one word with the wrong tone of voice -- and you're automatically a 'killjoy' (at best) or 'toxic' (at worst).

If I could find a way to make people feel loved without screwing it up and without having to get my heart broken again -- I would leap at the chance. But I know it doesn't work like that, so now I have to choose between the two. It's an impossible choice. Either one leads to failure.

15 May 2017

State Of My Choreography

The picture that inspired this post:


Full choreography sketch for a song, conceived/written in the time it took to listen to the song straight through once (three and a half minutes). This is a testament to how far I've come: less than a year ago the same amount of choreography would have taken me a full week.

Choreography, I've found, is part inspiration, but also part experience. The more experience you have, the quicker the inspiration comes (and really, this is applicable to a lot of the arts - I see this in my writing as well). You discover what you like and where you like it. You develop a sense of where things should sit in the piece. You get a feel for the art form and you start to be able to tell innately what does or doesn't work, even if you can't explain why. No amount of book-learning can do that for you. (It kills me to say this, because I love learning through reading.)

That's why if you want to be an artist, you have to be dedicated. You have to put in the years of work before you get good. You can find quotes from artists in any discipline to the effect that you have to write a hundred songs before you begin to learn how to write a song; you have to paint or draw a hundred pictures before you really begin to understand how to draw or paint; you have to put in ten thousand hours of work before you can say you have begun to master something. Choreography is no different. I've fully choreographed 78 songs (and probably started and not-yet-completed that many again, plus I have about a dozen that I'm actively working to finish) and I'm only just starting to feel like it's coming naturally. This has been fully five years since I finished choreographing my first piece, and I was choreographing snippets of things in my head long before I ever finished that one.

That said, I would be remiss if I didn't note that I was taking ten hours of dance per week last calendar year, that I was practicing tap every day except Sundays through this past summer and again since January, that I've been watching a TON of tap dance on YouTube in my spare time, that I have a subscription to Operation: Tap's online lessons and those have been invaluable in jump-starting my practice sessions, that my tap teacher at the college this year pushed me hard (because I asked her to), that I've been clapping rhythms to almost literally every song I've heard I'm the part six months, playing with different patterns. A lot of groundwork has been laid in my foundational tap dance technique over the past year and that has gone a LONG way in allowing my choreographic voice freedom of expression.

The next step is to figure out what exactly it is that I want to express.

07 May 2017

Too Good To Be True

Written 24 January 2017, 12.55am.

A common observation by one of my college profs is that I 'fight' a lot. Not 'fight' as in 'make trouble/argue with people,' but 'fight' as in 'struggle.' Multiple profs in my program have noted that I'm stubborn and passive-aggressive. But it wasn't until Christmas break that I began to figure out why. Over the break, I was talking with a friend and somehow over the course of conversation the thought came to me: 'I'm scared it's too good to be true.'

I've loved music and dance all my life. The theatre has always drawn me. I've always loved stories. But I also grew up in a Baptist church, where the performing arts were Absolutely Forbidden (except hymn-singing and the annual Sunday School Christmas skit). Very early on my natural empathy for people (don't laugh) and my ability to memorise and understand the Bible (relative to my age) convinced people -- including myself -- that I would grow up to be a missionary.

I was okay with that -- excited, even. I loved hearing stories of other missionaries and I thought 'wouldn't it be so cool to be able to lead people to Jesus?' This was something on my radar well into my teen years, although I wasn't so pretentious as to decide exactly where I was going. I was content to wait on God for that.

In my mid-teens, performing made a resurgence in my life. It gained a further hold when I went to college and found myself almost accidentally swept into the musical theatre program. I loved every single second of it. I've made posts on this blog to that effect. But even as I was pursuing the performing arts and even as I was justifying my degree to my Christian acquaintances by saying, "The art world is so dark -- it's a mission field too," and even as I was telling myself I was training to be a more effective light in the darkness, I was scared. Not of the darkness -- there was so much of that around me I was more or less used to it. Rather, I was scared that at any moment God would snatch the performing arts -- my deepest love and often my only solace -- away from me, plop me into a 9-to-5 office job, and forget about me.

I knew God uses the arts. I've seen Him do it. There is no doubt in my mind that God loves the arts. But I had trouble realising (or perhaps believing) that maybe... maybe I was one of them. Maybe the one thing I longed for the most was also the very thing God had created me for. I knew God does need artists, but as much as I wanted to be one of them, I couldn't bring myself to believe that maybe He wanted me to be one of them too. To think that God might have actually wanted me in the performing arts was too good to be true. So I tried to ruin it for myself and get my no-doubt-impending failure over with as quickly as possible. I have almost succeeded.

I was so scared of having it taken away from me that I began to self-sabotage. I far overloaded the fall 2016 semester with classes and then added a couple fairly sizeable creative projects with deadlines on top of that. Every time I practiced voice, I would almost subconsciously do exactly the same thing as before, and then complain that I was not improving (this, I think, was at least part of the 'fight' my professors were referring to -- they kept telling me what to do to improve, and I kept not doing it). I started turning in half-done papers and skipped more classes in the last two weeks of the semester than I ever had in my entire education up to that point. I absolutely stopped trying in dance class. During voice recital/performance/finals week (when I should have been sleeping the most for the sake of my voice) I stayed up for 65 straight hours working on four major projects for three classes. My vocal master class prof straight up told me after the final dress rehearsal for the class final performance, "Go home and go to bed," to which I replied, "I can't." I wanted nothing more than to do exactly as he said, but I had a presentation to research and create before 8.30 the next morning -- a presentation that would have already been done if I hadn't overcommitted myself so badly elsewhere. I was texting my best friend back home things like, 'would it really matter to anybody if I killed myself?' -- texting her these things because I knew she was too far away to stop me. I was in a complete tailspin, and it was pretty much self-inflicted.

I fought my professors' advice and/or help at almost every turn, even though they probably wanted to see me improve just as much as I did. But I couldn't believe that might be the case. I couldn't bring myself to trust them, and I certainly could not bring myself to believe that maybe God wanted me here, in the arts, in this program, developing my skills. I kept telling myself the professors were only investing any time at all in me because I was spending money to be in their classes. After all -- that's all I've ever been good for, right? As for God, I had long since given up on His love for me.

So I subconsciously kept myself from doing what I wanted more than anything, so that God wouldn't have to break my heart again. If my life was going to get screwed over again, I was going to be the one doing it. I didn't need the church or my relatives or God breaking my heart anymore. I started breaking my own heart, berating myself on their behalf, to save them the trouble. I told myself everything that everyone else had told me for all these years: 'you're only worth something if you have a good job and make a lot of money,' 'you're annoying,' 'you're in the way,' 'nobody likes you,' 'nobody wants you around,' 'nobody asked you,' 'we don't need you here,' 'who said you could talk?' 'you can't do anything right,' 'maybe it's time to give up.' After all, even God's church gave up on me -- telling me, however, implicitly, that God doesn't want artists.

And I believed all of it. I believed that this love for the performing arts and this tiny seed of talent that I did have meant nothing, that God had simply put them in me to confuse me and to make it hurt more when His true purpose for me -- which, obviously, would probably include an office job and many early mornings and no alone time whatsoever -- was revealed. It wasn't until this semester (note that it's still only January) (EDIT: It was January when I wrote this, although many of the sentiments remain the same now, in May) that I began to wonder if maybe there was a reason He built this into me. Maybe He wants me to be a performing artist. But I'm too scared to believe it. It seems too good to be true.

01 May 2017

The Silence of the Storyteller

Written 14 April 2017, 1.08pm.

Do you know what it's like to pour your soul out in writing to fifty people and have not. one. person. acknowledge your existence?

I go through this every week. But I suppose that's the life of an artist. This is what I wanted. I made my bed, I guess I have to lie in it.

I'm a storyteller at heart. I always have been -- in writing, in acting, in music, in photography, in dance. It would make sense that this innate part of my soul would come to full force in writing -- when I write my update emails from college.

But in today's age of social media, nobody wants to hear stories. They want sensation. They want soundbites. They want Upworthy. They want BuzzKill -- I mean BuzzFeed.

So they lash out at me for talking too much. And then they withdraw from my life because I demand too much of their time and attention.

I have a storyteller's soul. And they hate it.

There's an entry in my journal from June of last year (on the subject of the five love languages): 'Acts of service children are good, helpful little children. Quality time children are just little time sucks -- always taking, but never giving back -- at least not in a 'tangible, helpful, productive' way. No wonder everybody hates us.'
I say 'children,' but this really means 'people.' We're all children at heart.

I go for my first counselling appointment on Monday. I'm scared that they actually will be able to help me. The only way I can get anybody's attention is to whine about how awful my life is. People will give you some (tiny) measure of sympathy/attention (for a limited time) if you're going through a hard time. It's underhanded and manipulative, but I am so desperate for something, ANYTHING, from anybody, that I am about willing to do anything. But if counselling helps with my issues and I'm no longer struggling, I lose the very tiny sliver of care that anybody ever had for me. Then I well and truly am alone. After all, think of how we talk to each other:

C1: Hi! How are you?
C2: Good. You?
C1: Good!
*awkward pause*
C1: Well, better get going.
C2: Yeah... I guess...

C3: Hi! How are you?
C4: Meh. Not great.
C3: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. What's going on? Can I help?
*insert moderately lengthy conversation*

So basically, the only get to get any length of connection with another human being is to have a sucky life. The thing is, all the Pollyannas of the world hate the people who have a sucky life -- "it's the power of positive thinking," they tell us. "If you think your life is going to suck, then it will." And "nobody wants to hang out with you if you have a sucky life *insert some kind of 'negative vibes/toxic people' crap*."

TL;DR: Just spend some time with me. Just talk to me. Just listen to me. That's literally all I want.


'We shot all our dreamers and there's no-one left to lead us...'
- Larry Norman, 1972

'I need some contact... I'm so tired of talking to an answering machine.'
- Prodigal, 1985

29 April 2017

The One

The first time anyone actually told me that I was valued in any capacity was at the very end of my second year of college. That was the semester the school put on The Secret Garden. It was my theatrical debut, and I played Mary Lennox -- the main character. It was a role I absolutely did not expect to get. The director of the show was also the director of my program (both the program I was in at the time and the program I'm in now). After the show was over, after all the exams were done, just days before grad, I was in his office -- he had been trying for months to convince me to transfer into the Bachelor's degree, which would take an additional two years. I had finally decided to at least see what it would look like if I did, so we met and went over how my academic life would look if I stayed.

After the discussion on academics, he shifted into 'convince-her-to-stay' mode (or at least that's how I thought of it at the time), because I was still not committing and there was less than a week before I graduated out and then it would be too late. Because I had just stunned everyone on campus with my ability to act in The Secret Garden and because he had directed it, that show was a large focus in the conversation. At one point, he was talking about the process of casting and how it's always kind of a crapshoot on some level, and he said, "Sometimes I get it wrong and sometimes I get it right." He looked at me. "With you I got it very right."

I sat stunned.

I had spent twenty years being told -- both by people close to me and by people on the periphery of my life, verbally and non-verbally -- that I was unimportant. Useless. Annoying. No good at anything. And if you're told something often enough -- by enough people, and by people you are supposed to trust -- eventually you begin to believe it. And the more you hear it, the more deeply ingrained it becomes in your thought process. It's called indoctrination. I had thoroughly believed that I had no importance or usefulness or value whatsoever. In anything. I fully believed that I ruined everything just by the mere fact that I existed and was just wasting valuable oxygen that could have been used for other, more important people. People that others actually needed and liked.

Sure, I grew up with people telling me God loves me, but I had no reference point for that. What is love? His people pretended I didn't exist as much as they possibly could. Because I was so quiet and shy, they could get away with being downright rude about it because I'd never say anything about it and they knew it. I certainly saw it, but I never said anything. Who could I go to? Nobody would have listened to me anyway -- they were all too busy ignoring me.

I tell this story because I am up against this again. Recently I hit my absolute lowest point, and it scared me enough to send me to this same director and tell him I needed help. (He was literally the only person I could think of who I knew would properly listen to me.) He's told me many things in the days since then which have given me the strength to keep fighting, but one of those things was a question: 'why do you believe this lie?' At the time he asked it, I was so exhausted from fighting just to stay alive that I couldn't think of an answer, but the question haunted me: Why do I believe the lie? And it brought me to all these reflections that I shared above -- for twenty years of my life, it was all I knew. It was all I was told. I had literally no reason to believe otherwise.

There was a flash-in-the-pan Canadian boy band in the late '90s/early 2000s that made this song that received fairly significant radio play when I was a kid. It was actually one of those cheesy 'follow your dreams' songs, but if I may shift the context a bit... the chorus ran as follows:
You could be a star shining out in the darkness
You could be a fire blazing into the cold
You could be a voice calling into the silence
You could be as bright as the morning sun
You could be the blue sky after the grey
You could drive the clouds of fear away
You can bring the healing to a world that's come undone
You could be the one...
(Jake, You Could Be The One, 2000)

And you could, dear reader. Just as a college performing arts director was the first person on the planet to tell me I was worth something -- when I was already into my twenties -- you could be the first one to tell someone else that they're worth something. Go do it. Don't wait. You may be the only one who will.

28 April 2017

Music Day - A Briefing For The Ascent

Two years ago today my cousin stopped breathing. And she never started again.

A lot of bitterness and anger has marked the past two years. The death of a child, even if it's not your own, changes you -- permanently. And when that child's death is at the end of four hard months of intense academics and other assorted family issues AND the death of a very close friend, it can break you. I am only just beginning to actually process what happened to my cousin. I've spent the past two years working on the backlog of all the crap that happened before her final asthma attack.

But in recent weeks, I have finally begun to approach that date -- 28 April 2015. Thinking about this is one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. Even as I type this, that date and what it means threaten -- in a very real way -- to destroy me.

For two years I have screamed at the empty blue sky, screaming for God to answer me -- where were You that night? Why didn't You hear us? Doesn't our love for her mean anything to You? And if You couldn't keep her here with us, couldn't You at least comfort us in her absence? I have heard largely nothing -- not from God.

But He has created and sent us an artist, a man by the name of Terry Scott Taylor, a man who himself endured loss -- but who was also given peace in the midst of the loss and a talent for songwriting to express the intensity of the emotions.

This man, this artist, wrote a beautiful song of release in 1987, and it appeared on his second solo album -- the second solo album born out of terrible loss. The first song, the title track, began with the journey between the two worlds:

Take a burning spear and the Saviour's promise
Ride a horse of air through the burning forest
With our Father's faith and a child's wonder
Down the halls of grace -- by His mercy go under
It will seem so sudden
Yes, but through God's will
The season will dream and time will stand still...

And it was so sudden -- how suddenly one missed breath can become two, three, four... and eventually beyond the hope of starting again. The horse may be made of air, and so was her life -- take the air away and it's gone. To say death is a mercy -- well, that's a matter of perspective. I am still too bitter about this to comment on it, although I suppose for her at the moment, it probably was. But time does stand still -- on both sides of eternity. In many ways I am still -- two years later and in another province -- sitting stunned in a chair at the kitchen table, feeling my heart shatter into a thousand cold pieces without a sound.

Close your eyes and rest secure
Your soul is safe, your body sure...

'Your body sure' -- even as it turns against you, even as it starves you of the oxygen it needs. Christianity teaches that the body will rise again at the last day, and this is what Taylor is referencing here, but it still sends a twinge of something through me -- irony, perhaps.

But the part that broke me the other day was the next line:

He that loves you is He that keeps
The One that guards you never slumbers, never sleeps...

When I last listened to this song, once again begging God for peace, if not answers, Where were You? Did You ignore us? this line hit me: He was not sleeping. He was carrying her -- carrying her beyond the wall of sleep, beyond the stars. Away from us.

I don't know how I feel about that. Yes, she is safe in His arms. But she is not here.

It will seem so sudden, but you will laugh as you run
You will wash in the river, you will shine in the Son...

And yes, she is laughing, and running, breathing freely. But what of the rest of us, whose every breath is shot through with pain from the sharp shards of a shattered heart? What of us, the broken hearts in waiting?

I don't know. The song doesn't address that. Rather, it takes a posture of yearning but contentment -- waiting for the reunion.

Title: A Briefing For The Ascent
Artist: Terry Scott Taylor
Album: A Briefing For The Ascent
Year: 1987
Label: Frontline Records
iTunes here; YouTube here.
Artist Patreon page here.

Even the instrumentation is light and airy, floating up, up, beyond our reach, with her and her Guard -- gentle acoustic guitar, mellow steel guitar, open drums, and the lightest of keyboard touches. It's heart-wrenching and soothing. One of the greatest songs Terry Scott Taylor has written to date.

24 April 2017

Friday Happened - A Rant

Friday happened -- but Sunday's coming.

This was a common sentiment on my Facebook page over Easter weekend this year. Right from the first it seemed odd to me. I'd never heard it before -- and I grew up German Baptist in the Bible belt and am currently attending one of the oldest, most recognisable Bible colleges in the country. Believe me, I know all the cheesy phrases.

But the main thing that bothered me was how much this little statement trivialises the pain and grief of Good Friday. It brushes all of it aside with a wave of the hand and a 'yeah, yeah, that's not important.' But it is important.

Maybe I'm more sensitive to these things because I have gone through hell the past two years and have had all of it waved aside by nearly everyone I know (I do say, 'nearly' -- there are about two or three people who 'get' it or at least valiantly try. I treasure them greatly).

The sermon at the Easter Sunday service I attended focused on Mary Magdalene on the first Easter morning. It was a phenomenal sermon, but one of the things that he emphasised that I really appreciated was just how despondent Mary was that day. Any other time in the Scriptures when an angel appears, the human they visit falls down in fear and trembling and takes them seriously. Not Mary -- the angels of God are telling her that Jesus is alive, and her grief and despair is so thick that the freaking angels of God can't penetrate it. (This wasn't one of his points, but it's something I thought of: most times in Scripture there is only one angel at these kinds of things. But here there was more than one. That's a very unusual occurrence, yet their message still failed to get through to her.)

Furthermore (back to his sermon) -- the thickness and heaviness of her despair (depression) is so great that Jesus Himself shows up and she almost misses him too.

People -- grief can be intolerable. Even in three short days it clouded Mary's vision to the point she could not see that the best thing that could have happened in the wildest childhood story had actually happened in real life.

You cannot brush the grief and despair of Good Friday aside with a mere 'yeah, yeah, it happened.' If you're going to remember and commemorate an event, you have to at least try to feel what our spiritual ancestors felt that day. That's the only way you can do justice to it. Sit with the grief a bit. Feel the heaviness of it. The good news of the resurrection will mean nothing without the emotional backdrop of grief to give it context. No, it's not a pleasant feeling. Suck it up. Get out of your comfort zone for half an hour and realise just how dark the darkest day was. You cannot see the light of Easter morning properly without realising just how bleak things really were. And then you will take the light of Easter morning for granted because you have no emotional reference point for it. Don't just share a Facebook meme and think you've done your duty. Think -- really think -- about this weekend. It's not about duty. It's about love -- actual, real love, with action, not lip service. And pain -- actual, real pain, that changes things permanently. And how they intermingle.

Yes, Sunday's coming... but Friday happened.

Don't trivialise the pain. Don't trivialise the grief. Don't trivialise the weight of the despair. Don't just assume anybody 'gets over it' in five minutes. You don't. And some of us are so blinded by it that we are unable to see Jesus Himself standing in front of us, calling our name. Don't mock us or get upset at us for having a worse life than you -- often through no fault of our own. We ask your patience, your listening ear, your gentle restoration, and your constant prayer, not your rolled eyes, your self-help tips, and your holier-than-thou attitude.


You're too afraid of hurting
Been playing cover-up
Expose yourself to dying
And in this real world
It is your calling...

You've been a wide-eyed innocent
Come to the garden
Come to the hill
Come to the tree
Come to the kill
Won't break your bones but it can break your will...

~ Daniel Amos, 1983 (Angels Tuck You In)

23 April 2017

Music Day Part II - Easter Song

A week late for Easter Sunday... but He is still risen, even now.

This is probably one of the most well-known Easter songs -- ever. On Good Friday I featured Silverwind -- this group was their predecessor. The prototype, if you will, the original.

This is the song that launched the career of an orphaned group of siblings with no musical training to speak of but an ear for harmony. This piece remains a classic among Christian music historians. It's delightfully simple in its message and the piano is so light and bouncy that it induces almost immediate dancing of some kind -- whether the subtle, head-nodding type or a more Pentecostal full-body style.

Title: Easter Song
Artist: Second Chapter Of Acts
Album: With Footnotes
Year: 1974
iTunes here; YouTube here.

The angel up on the tombstone said 'He is risen, just as He said
'Quickly now
'Go tell His disciples that Jesus Christ is no longer dead'
Joy to the world -- He is risen
Hallelujah!