Status Update #2: Track listing and "It's All Good"
Hello everyone in Kickstarter world!
For today’s status update, I wanted to give more information about the album itself, as well as post one more song (see below)
The purpose of the album is to try to cover as much as I can about Jesus in 11 songs. My hope was that I wouldn't have much repeat in material, but rather that each song would unveil a little bit more about the person of Jesus Christ.
A lot of the songs come from my own prayers, homilies, and talks over my 10 years of being a priest. These are themes that I find myself coming back to over and over again. So as a whole, then, this project is a pretty good summary of who Jesus is to me at this point in my life.
I also am posting these in the proposed song order. I know that in the digital download age, few people care about song order any more, but I still like it when a CD has a nice flow from song to song. The order could still change, but the “flow” sounds good in my head at the moment.
Here are the songs, the theme that is covered, and, where applicable, the texts on which they are based. The lyrics to all the songs will be added over at frkent.com/lyrics soon (especially applicable for those of you who have hand-written lyrics coming as one of your rewards)
1. What a Friend we Have in Jesus. Friendship with Jesus.
2. It’s All Good. Basic theology of Jesus (Christology 101).
3. Not My Will. The Jesus of Holy Week.
4. Shepherd’s Heart. Jesus the Good Shepherd.
5. One Man. Jesus is the New Adam/New Life in Jesus. (Romans 5:12-21)
6. This is the Day. The Old Testament points to Jesus. (Psalm 118)
7. Master of Disguise. Jesus in the “distressing disguise” of the poor (writings of Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
8. Divine Mercy. The mercy of Jesus.
9. The Name. The Holy Name of Jesus (Philippians 2:6-11)
10. Pange Lingua. Jesus in the Eucharist (words by St. Thomas Aquinas)
11. Pentecost. Jesus sends His Holy Spirit.
There are a couple of missing “themes” in my mind. I wanted to do more about Jesus as a preacher. I started a song called “Parables,” but it just didn’t go anywhere. I wanted to do more about the oddity of the way that Jesus came into the world. Why would God chose this “backwash town of the Roman empire” to come into the world? I also wanted to write a song on John Chapter 17, which is the so-called “High Priestly Prayer” of Jesus. I also wanted to do a song about Jesus’ personal call to each of us to be his disciple. Again, the song just never developed. All of these sketches will be found on the bonus CD, “From Voice Memo to Song,” which is available at some reward levels.
One more song... “It’s All Good.”
In all of my albums thus far there has been a “key song” or “key theme” that just “had to be on the album.” For the “Saints” album, it was the song on my favorite saint, St. Therese of Lisieux (“Little Way”). I said that if i was going to do an album on the saints, St. Therese had to be included. For the upcoming “Advent” album, the “key song” is “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” I couldn’t do an Advent album without doing the most popular Advent song of them all.
For the “Jesus” album, I just had to include a song about the basic theology of Jesus. As a priest, I find myself teaching this over and over; that Jesus is fully human and fully God. He is a divine person with a human nature and a divine nature. This is absolutely key for us to understanding who Jesus is, and for that matter, who we are called to be. If the all good God can “fit into” a human without sacrificing any of his divinity, well then, what does that say about humanity? It says that humanity is absolutely good! If humanity can "hold" divinity without "tainting" it at all, then humanity must be very good indeed. It’s messed up by sin, sure, but humanity in itself is profoundly good. This is such an important point, and so key to our understanding both of who Jesus is and who we are, that I had to put it into song. “It’s All Good” is the result of that.
How many times have I heard someone say, “well, I’m only human” after he/she has committed some sort of sin (usually of the flesh)? It drives me bonkers. Because it is not our humanity that is to blame, it is our sinfulness. If we would live our humanity the way that God wanted us to live our humanity, we would look a whole lot like Jesus. Jesus took on humanity and never once sinned. So it's possible to be completely human and "all good."
So this theme had to be on the album if I was going to do an album on Jesus.
I think of “It’s All Good” as a “secondary opening track.” “What a Friend we Have in Jesus” could be considered as something of a prelude to the album with “It’s All Good” being the opening song. It’s a pretty rockin’ track, and I look forward to doing this one in concert.
I had in my mind a “Praise and Worship” song as a framework for writing this song, a la “Lord I Lift Your Name on High” (which, by the way, I considered recording for the album, since it is a great summary of salvation in Jesus Christ). I am even considering hand motions to go with this song. We’ll see how it develops...
For the album I also needed a song that was at least somewhat silly, because anyone who knows me, knows that I can be pretty silly. I didn't feel that I could have an authentic "Fr. Kent CD" without at least one song that had some silliness to it.
And yes, I am intentionally trying to confuse people with that opening verse...
I am really pleased with the way that this song has developed and what the producer has done with it.
Reminder that this song is not completely done yet (still unmastered, might need some tweaking), but it is real close.
It’s All Good words and music © 2011 Kenneth L. O’Connor
Fr. Kent O’Connor: lead vocal, harmonica, additional backing vocals
David C. Smith: guitars, organ, backing vocals, bass, drums, percussion
For complete lyrics go to frkent.com/lyrics
Produced and arranged by David C. Smith of Icon Studio Productions, 2013