based on II Kings 2, which is in the lectionary for this week. I wrote this song for some friends who do this kind of song really well - so the recording below is a very rough and raw demo, just for the purposes of giving them an idea of how the song sounds. They have a classic folk sound, with great voices, flute, guitar (sometimes adding bass, piano and keyboard)
**2/19 update: We ended up having to share the song ourselves, so this is what we put together.
Elisha On The Shore
by Keith T. Amano
One morning, by the river
Standing on the shore
The Prophet told Elisha
"Do you know
I must go
on home to the Lord?"
"Yes, I understand," Elisha sighed,
"Don't speak of it anymore.
Still, I will never leave your side
I won't go
'til I know
You have reached the other shore."
So the Prophet struck the river
and the waves just rolled apart
They walked across together
The wise man turned
and said, "I yearn
to know what is in your heart."
"Oh tell me, son, what can I do
when I leave you on this shore?"
Elisha said, "Make me more like you
Then I'll know
I can grow
in the Spirit of the Lord."
"It's a hard thing, you ask," said the Prophet that day
"Yet it surely will be yours
If you see me as I'm called away
You will know
and your faith will grow
Though I leave you on this shore."
Then all across the heavens
raced a chariot of fire and flame
and Elisha saw him taken
into the sky
and he cried
"Oh Father! My Father!" in vain.
Elisha watched the swirling wind
Then he saw his master no more
But the Spirit came to rest upon him
And he knew
that he, too,
was a Prophet of the Lord.
Elisha on the shore
Elisha on the shore
2012 Keith T. Amano
I'm going to update this with a new version, since my friends were not able to do the song. Since it was in the lectionary this morning, we went ahead and shared it with the church. We even got my daughter to play a little clarinet solo for it, so that was fun. I'm going to replace the link with the new version. Aloha
I get that this is more a performance song than a "worship" song... and if this was actually recorded live, very nice performance and recording. I get why you referred to "The Prophet" rather than asking the listener to keep "Elijah" and "Elisha" straight.
My usual collection of nitpicks:
I sorta wanted it to move faster. This is basically a happy story and it felt like it was being sung as a "my love has gone to sea and never shall return" ballad.
It also seemed like it was a long story and I wonder if it would work just as well if you just dropped your verses 2 and 3... Elisha sees that the Prophet is leaving, the Prophet asks "what can I do for you?"
Maybe move the instrumental up a verse, so that before the instrumental is the promise and after the instrumental is the fulfillment.
Last verse, maybe "would be a Prophet" instead of "was a Prophet" ?
And maybe add something at the end where the modern day singer is comparing his own life to that of Elisha... maybe, "Lord, there have been so many strong spiritual influences in my life, help me to be that for other people..."
Overall, it's a good song and a good recording, these are just my "what I might do differently if it was my song" observations. Nice job.
Mahalo Charles! Yeah, I originally had both names but found myself trying too hard to differentiate the way I sang the names just to make them clear that I figured it'd be better to just call him "the prophet."
Yup, I tend to go too slow using Band-In-The-Box, and too fast when playing it myself.
I understand what you're saying about the other issues. I'm glad that you did pick up that I was trying to focus on the relationship/influence idea, and use a folk ballad format. I don't know that I would add a "moral of the story" verse, but I can see how that's possible.
Thanks again! ALoha! Keith