How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are!
( 1John 3:1)
How I wrote it. Feel free to skip to the bottom
I wrote this song in October 2008 . I wrote it differently to my previous songs. Maybe it was an experiment. You may know that songwriters do things lots of different ways, I had always started with words. I hate to admit it, but I was proud of the fact that I wrote this way (it was a secret inward pride), but I thought; why does everyone else get the good tunes...maybe I should start with a melody, maybe I should follow the worship song formula verse-prechorus-chorus-bridge, who knows what might happen? Maybe I should stop being proud about it...
Also, I did my best to write the tune without an instrument. I've learnt that as soon as you pluck a guitar string, or press a piano key, you are actually limiting yourself to what your fingers and hands can do on that instrument. It's better to sing out loud without an instrument, then, after the song is written, go to your instrument and make it soar. (Thanks to Paul Baloche and Jason Blume).
Well I don't sing out loud that much, but I do get tunes in my head, and if I'm in the right environment (passanger in a moving vehicle, in the shower, no background music; (apparently these sort of situations help promote delta brainwaves)) I can sometimes concentrate enough, once a song starts, to write down the melody (well I don't write in the shower). It's like I can hear a distant radio in my head playing a great song.
So that's what I did. And I could hear the verse, pre-chorus, chorus and maybe a bridge. Once I wrote the melody down, I listened hard again to hear the chords. Then I sat down with the guitar and checked if they were the ones I was hearing. As it turned out, the chords were really simple predictable ones found in at least a million songs.
Then I had to go through my memory banks and check that I hadn't re-written a tune that's already on the radio/ in church.
Then once I decided it was a new song, I looked for the first set of words that came into my head that fitted the tune. They were "Love must be sincere".
I looked up my bible, and found these in Romans 12:9.
I thought I should write more about love, and was drawn to 1 John, which is where I decided to get a chorus. In writing the chorus lyrics, I realized more deeply how wonderful a blessing it really is to be God's children.
He really has given us a tremendous gift/privilege/responsibility in adopting us into his wonderful family, through the sacrificial/atoning work of his Son, our Lord Jesus.
No matter the process, no matter the style, no matter the words, God deserves our full hearted thanks, and to sing to him is a blessing for us.
So once I had written and recorded a simple guitar/voice version, I thought it might have been good enough to do properly. I looked up Mark Townsend in SongDiscovery (a recommended producer). He agreed to record it for me. I can't believe what he's done with it. It really does sound like it belongs on the radio. He found a singer, Michael Mellett. And again I am amazed at his wonderful voice. I was so blessed through this process. I think it's in some ways my best song. So here it is for you to download.
I'll just mention that I struggled a bit with the "O-o-o" section of the song (you'll know when you listen). When I wrote it, it just flowed naturally, and since I couldn't find lyrics to make it any better, I left it as "O". Then I received some feedback to suggest words would be better than "O's" (not my wife, she liked it as it was). Then I thought I'd found even better chords (F to Dm to A instead of G to Em to A). I must have emailed Mark Townsend 4 or 5 times at that eleventh hour with all my anxiety and indecision and possible changes. Thankfully he ignored it all.
MP3 (4.1 MB)
Leadsheet ( This was written in A, the recording is in D)
Powerpoint (also includes powerpoint for "If You Believe")
I hope you like it as much as I do.
Thanks be to God.