THE SONGS I WROTE IN 2020
A few things to start: This has been a hard year. This week as we look towards 2021 I’ve been thinking about the songs I wrote in 2020. I process my walk with God through music most of the time and I guess God and I had a lot to talk about this year. Pretty much all of this is connected in some way to life at the Village. I’ll try to do this in order but the middle of the year is pretty fuzzy.
We began our year talking about our life together and the practices we engage in at the Village. I so long for many of those liturgical practices to return as much as they can in the coming year. In February Eric preached on “Let Us Consider” (linked below) and in the process he referenced Zephaniah 3:17. He said that God sings over us in a loud discordant voice, that he considers us and takes joy in us.
Songs From Quarantine: https://open.spotify.com/album/1BfE0Wzni1UNaV6ReJ5Y70?si=Px2hFOL3RTC_CXnY4V9UuQ
Tree in a Field
The Mourner’s Blessing
Early in quarantine I needed a creative outlet and set out to write some music. With Larry Axon’s help I wrote and recorded these songs. Psalm 84 came up in a Wednesday morning zoom prayer call. The bridge is written out of a few things that Eric prayed. Tree in a Field is a reflection on a story Rod told in one of his Monday prayer times on Facebook live. The Mourner’s Blessing I wrote in anticipation of what I thought would be a painful year and it has been a comfort to me in the last few weeks.
Also early in quarantine Eric came to me with lyrics he had written as a prayer in January for the year. He thought they would be a good way to remember that God is with us. I love basically yelling “Where is our accuser? Who can face us?” in the bridge section. God stands with us even in the broken and isolated reality we have been living in this year.
Reason for Hope – A Five-Part Argument for Hope From Lamentations: https://soundcloud.com/markosalan/reason-for-hope
Nice long title for this song. This song was inspired by Michael’s sermon on Lamentations (linked below). Essentially Michael argued that the author of Lamentations is laying out our reason for hope based on the suffering of Israel. I really enjoyed the sermon and wrote this that week (while having fun with my loop pedal).
Psalm 100: I don’t have a great recording for this one, but if you’ve been watching or attending on Sundays the last few months you’ve heard it. This summer I needed some joy. Enter Psalm 100, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord.” I think we all needed some joy this year.
A Painful Brokenness/What Lingers: https://soundcloud.com/markosalan/a-painful-brokenness
In October Eric and I attended a retreat with Larry Crabbe for a week. Dr. Crabbe has had a large impact on the way we do ministry at the Village and it was good for Eric and I to get some time together. This song is based on one of the lectures at the conference.
Armor of God: https://soundcloud.com/eric-cepin/the-armor-of-god
On the same trip, in the car, Eric and I talked about the difficulties of writing song out of the New Testament and in particular out of Paul’s letters. We talked about needing songs out of Ephesians, the book we were in the middle of preaching on. So the first lines of this song started as a joke and then got stuck in our heads. I’m so glad it did. This song is a great companion to Defender and they bookend 2020 very well as reminders of what we are called to in our relationship with God.
Christ Eternal: https://soundcloud.com/markosalan/christ-eternal
This song isn’t done yet, but as I was reflecting on advent, I was trying to collect everything and this is the song that come out of it. It has bits of Hebrews 7, Revelation 5, John 1, and Psalm 110.
Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far. I’m not sure what I hoped to accomplish in writing this, but after this year I felt like I needed to put it all in one place so I can come back to later.
May we all know God better in the coming year.