(This is dedicated to a lady I loved onstage in "The Music Man." Not long after the run of the show, she died. Yesterday, 6 March 2008, I paused at her grave up on Cemetery Hill. Carved on the headstone is the logo somebody made up for our show, a little trumpet-playing guy riding atop an enormous French horn, like somebody riding one of those nineteenth-century bicycles with the huge front wheel. The song was first released on the album "Prayers" and re-recorded for the album "Love Songs." Lastly, it was included on the retrospective album "Spiritual" in its original demo recording, the simplest.)


A ONCE BROKEN LOVE

A once broken love,
a dove's broken song,
the pieces of laughter we lost,
a rainbow we watched too long,

a once broken song,
with all broken strings--
when morning is spoken again,
they'll all be unbroken things.

     Now the dark falls between us.
     Now we can't see each other so well,
     and there's so much too tell--
     so much we forgot to say.

But this broken love,
with these broken wings,
will never be broken again--
will ever be flying.

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive 7 March 2008.]

(This lyric is from the new musical "Take the Mountain Down" by me and Steven Kapp Perry. In the story of the Prodigal Son, the faithful older brother asks "Dad, what about me?" This the Father's answer.)

ALL THAT I HAVE IS YOURS

All that I have is yours, my son.
All that I have is yours--
all of my treasures
and glories and pleasures.
All that I have is yours.

You can take all the orchards and vineyards and streams.
You can take all the joy you can find.
But if you don't take my love for your brother, it seems
that you're leaving the best of the treasure behind.

All that I have is yours, my son.
All that I have is yours--
all of my treasures
and glories and pleasures.
All that I have is yours.


When I give you my land, then all you have is some land,
and even good money is cold.
But when I give you my heart, you have all that I am.
A father's forgiveness is richer than gold.

You have kept my respect, kept my name undefiled,
you have kept faith and chosen the right.
But what good is the faith to move mountains, my child,
if you can't move the mountain that shuts out your light?

All that I have is yours, my son.
All that I have is yours.
So tenderly share it,
surrender and bear it.
Son, all that I have is yours.

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive 4 January 2008.]

(A couple of lyrics this time, "Cait's Waltz" and some license with "The Water Is Wide.")

(My daughter Caitlin, a wonderful dancer, is eight years old.)

CAIT'S WALTZ

Cait, waltz with me now.
I'll show you how.
Just put your feet on mine.

Cait, please won't you try?
I know you can fly,
but just put your sweet hand in mine.

     If you stand up real tall,
     and I don't bend at all,
     no one will know
     that I'm not Prince Charming, so

Cait, dance with me please.
You once danced on my knees,
so dance one more fleet memory.

     The time slips on past.
     Your slippers of glass
     are pinching your toes.
     The clock's striking midnight, so

Cait, waltz with me quick
and maybe we'll trick
the pumpkin and keep you mine.

(The lovely first verse of this old folk song has always sounded to me like a happy ending. But in the folk song it's a happy beginning to the same kind of sad ending we always find in folk songs, where the lover gets left flat or somebody winds up with a knife in them. So I wrote a new first and second verse in order to have my happy ending. Hope the folks don't mind--if they sue me, it would have to be a kind of beyond-the-veil class-action thing. I gave this to my wife, because it's about the sheer impossibility of my dreams coming true without her.)

THE WATER IS WIDE

The water is wide, I cannot see
the far horizon's flow'ring trees.
But ev'ry breeze is the breath of home.
Across the foam, they call to me.

The water is wide, the water deep--
deep as the sky, deep as the grave.
Still I must try, though I drown and die,
to reach my rest beyond the wave.

The water is wide, I cannot cross o'er.
Neither have I bright wings to fly.
Build me a boat that can carry two,
and both shall row, my love and I.

    Build me a boat that can carry two,
    and both shall row, my love and I.

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive 5 February 2006.]

(A couple of years ago, a Daughter of the Utah Pioneers in my town of Alpine asked me to write a song for the 150th anniversary of its founding--the town's, not the Daughter's. I've only been here for 29 of those years, but it feels pretty much like home.)

ALPINE HOME

Does the breath of the canyon still sing through the sage?
Can you find sego lillies, like trumpets, like lace?
Does the kindness still flow, like the sweet melting snow,
from the souls who have chosen to live in this place?

Does the wind hang Lone Peak with a flag of white cloud?
Do the rocks in Fort Creek rattle, laughing out loud?
Are the poppies still blown along the old wall of stone?
Are the wild and the lonely and the poor still allowed

in my Alpine home? Alpine home.
God bless my Alpine home.

Does the ice drive the deer from the valley to feed?
Are we all driven here for the help that we need?
We have marched through the snows for the dreams we have chosen.
Like Brigham, like Moses, we're all refugees

in our Alpine home, Alpine home.
God bless our Alpine home.

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive 20 November 2003.]

(I wrote this when my first son, now 31, was born.)

THE FIRES OF SPRING

When I was a young man, before I took a wife,
they told me of my mother's pain when I came into this life.
Now I am a grown man. I found a wife so dear.
And a little son came crying in the springtime of the year.

And I saw the fires of spring in my lady.
And I heard her season fill with pain.
And I wanted oh, so bad, to take that hurt on me
when my baby boy was born that day.

Mary had a baby. Jesus was His name.
Far below the angel sound was a mother drowned in pain.
The baby fell like autumn into the gates of Hell.
He looked up into the mountain's face, and He knew the place so well.

And I saw the fires of spring on the hillside.
And I heard those trees fill up with pain.
And the Father turned His head, though His heart remained,
and a baby world was born that day.

(From the CD "The Morning Inside Of Us")

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive 16 April 2003.]

(I wrote this with Steven Kapp Perry for "Family, A Joyful Proclamation!" The spoken paraphrase of the point in the Family Proclamation that the song explores appears first.)

NO OTHER LOVE

A Woman: Our children deserve to be born to a mother
A Man: and father who have given their lives
to each other in marriage,
Both: and keep giving to each other
A Child: the married love they give to no one else.

Boy:  Mother, I see a flame.
Girl:   Father smiles, and a flame
     lights your eyes.
Boy:  No other smile
     sparks that holy light in you.

Girl:  Mother touches your face.
Boy:  Feel the love, feel the grace.
Girl:  Father, trust
     no other touch
     brings this holy light--
     heavenly light.
Choir: Heavenly light.
Children: The joy between you sings above
       the joy of other earthly loves.
       No other song can calm and heal
       like the song we feel you sing when you're in love!

Children: We will sleep and dream of you.
       Warm and deep, we'll dream of you.
       We will sleep,
       safely sleep,
       and see you dancing in our dreams.

       We will rise to your bright love--
       wake surprised at your bright love.
       We will keep,
       burning deep,
       like a diamond, like a dream,
       the hope that we can live the love we've seen.

Boy:  Mother will turn to
Girl:   Father will turn to
Boy:  no other smile,
Girl:   no other touch,
Both:  no other song, no other love.

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive 18 February 2003.]

(This lyric is from "Family, A Joyful Proclamation," the choral celebration I wrote with Steven Kapp Perry. Each movement in that work is preceded by an underscored spoken paraphrase of some element of the Family Proclamation. I included that paraphrase here, so you'd know what the song is about.)

THE SONG OF AGES

A Boy:      The drive and joy of uniting our bodies with someone
           we will love forever
           is meant to spark the beginning of children,
A Girl:       our children,
A Boy:       and we must share that drive,
A Girl:       that joy,
Both:        only with the one we marry.

Man:           There was cold wanting warm.
              There was flame wanting heat.
              There was light, distant, sweet,
              in our unborn baby's eye.

              One strong storm to be stilled,
              two soft hearts to be filled,
              three sealed souls warmed and thrilled
              by the breaking light--
              heavenly light,

Choir:           heavenly light.

Man:              I came to you with a tiny spark.
Woman:            I came to you with an open heart.
Both:              Out of the safe and shelt'ring dark
                 we have felt the song of ages flash again!

Man:           I will sing the song to you.
Woman:         I will sing the song to you.
Man:           Only you,
Woman:         Only you
Both:           will hear me sing the sacred song.

Man:           Because I sing the song with you,
Woman:         Because I sing the song with you,
Both:           life comes through.
              Life comes through
              When we sing the sacred song--
              when we sing,
Choir:          when we sing,
Both:           sing the song of ages once again.

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive on 3 January 2003.]

(This lyric is from a song on the "Prayers" album. I've been pleased that Ken Cope has liked this song a lot, from his youth up, and the former gymnast Diane Ellingson, now paralyzed and a powerful public speaker, has made it her theme song. I wrote the song on a couple of evenings backstage at an old church in Provo, Utah, waiting for the curtain to go up during the premiere run of "The Planemaker," twenty-four years ago.)

TO HAVE A DREAM

To have a dream,

and have it with your heart,

you have to lose some things.

You have to take some plans apart.

To have a dream,

a dream that's worth your life,

you have to sacrifice--

sell all you love to make the price

     of living in your dream,

     and let it be your friend.

     Please, pretend it's not pretend.

     Spend all it takes.

     And if it breaks,

     begin again

     to have a dream.

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive on 24 September 2002.]

(This is a piece from FAMILY: A Joyful Proclamation! a choral celebration by Steven Kapp Perry and me. The first bit, in italics, is spoken, and the rest is a song.)

IN WHOSE IMAGE AM I MADE?

A Boy:   If I am a he, I have always been a he, like my Heavenly Father, who loves me and wants me to be like He is.
A Girl:   If I am a she, I have always been a she, like my Heavenly Mother, who loves me and wants me to be like She is.
Both:   Before we came to earth, we knew
A Girl:  and loved
Both:   Them both.

Choir:           In whose image am I made,
               Father, mother of the world?
               Is there shape to who I am,
               who I was, and who I always will be?

Man:            Will I have hands that rake the earth
               and break the fields of crusted earth?
Heavenly Father:   Like mine, whose hands created earth,
               and shaped the wheels of sky and earth.
Woman:          Will I have hands that sooth my child?
Heavenly Mother:   Like mine, that smooth the wild sky.
Man:             Will I have feet that dance?
Woman:          Will I have feet that dance?
Heavenly Parents:  Feet like ours that fly.
Woman:          Will I have eyes that gleam and glance?
Heavenly Mother:   Like mine, that see my children's loves
Heavenly Father:    and loss,
Heavenly Mother:    and shine,
Heavenly Father:    and cry.

Man:                  Will I have a voice that sings?
Woman:               Will I have a voice that sings?
Heavenly Parents:        You will have a voice that sings
                    with the stars that shout for joy!
Man and Woman:         Stars that shout for joy!
Choir:                 Stars that shout for joy!

Men & Solo:       Will I have a back that carries wood
               and water from the forest home?
Heavenly Father:   Like mine, that bears the weight of cloud
               that strikes the lightning on the stone.
Women & Solo:     Will I have arms to hold my loves?
Heavenly Mother:   Like mine, that warm the world awake.
Men & Solo:       Will I have space for dreams?
Women & Solo:     Will I have space for dreams?
Heavenly Parents:  All your minds can make!
Men and Women:    Will we have hearts that fill with hope?
Heavenly Mother:   Like ours, that thrill with hope for you,
Heavenly Father:   and yearn,
Heavenly Mother:   and burn,
Heavenly Father:    and break.

Men:                  Will I have a voice that sings?
Women:                Will I have a voice that sings?
Heavenly Parents:        You will have a voice that sings
                     with the stars that shout for joy!
Man and Woman:         Stars that shout for joy!
Choir:                 Stars that shout for joy!

Man and Woman:   In whose image am I made,
               Father, Mother of the world?

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive on 12 May 2002.]

(This was written about seventeen years ago for a good friend when I found out she was pregnant with her first child. She and I had just played opposite each other in an unbelievably sweet production of "The Sound Of Music." A few nights ago, in an electronics store, I ran into that firstborn child, a son.)

MORE HOLY NOW

More holy now, more holy somehow,
the flame in your love became a flow'r--
and you're more holy now.

No fear of the dark, hopes clear from the start,
you reached for the moon--now a fallen star
sleeps near to your heart.

I've had trouble believing dreams come true.
Now their wings they breathe on me
as they fly to you.

So feel holy, my friend, as the rain and the earth in you blend,
and a child begins, and rainbows bend,
feel holy, friend.

I've had trouble believing dreams come true.
Now sweet wings they breathe on me
as they fly to you,

because you're more holy now, more holy somehow.
I loved you before more than saints allow
but you're more holy now.

      (On the CD "Love Songs.")

(This second song has been heard by some as a love song, which it can be. Some have heard it as a mere observation of womanhood, which it certainly is. I don't think anyone has heard it as it appears here--a reflection on mother. Mine died in 1994 on November 22, the same day that claimed both JFK and C.S. Lewis thirty years earlier. The notion is just that if there's a nurturing, comforting, and clarifying light somewhere out there that's pouring across the planet, women seem to reflect it well.)

THE WOMAN AND THE MOON

The woman and the moon,
they do the same to me.
They change me for the moment.
They make me think my whole life white and still.
The woman and the moon
have found a heart to fill.

The woman and the moon,
they live outside my reach.
They call me 'cross the evening.
They touch my face and teach me holy dreams.
The woman and the moon
are so alike, it seems.

The woman and the moon,
they go away too soon.

     (On the CDs "Love Songs" and "Spiritual.")

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive on 1 April 2002.]

(Easter and Mother's Day are close enough on the Calendar to allow this piece, maybe. I wrote this to be sung to the tune of J.S. Bach's "O Sacred, Now Wounded," a tune many would recognize as Paul Simon's "American Tune," which is, pre-dating Bach, actually a German tune. There's a choral performance on my CD "Spiritual.")

HE SAW HIS MOTHER THERE

Our Christ flew far to save us, from stars beyond our own --
fell through the birth He gave us, the gate of blood and bone.
And then, before the manger, the Savior, small and bare,
looked up and, like a stranger, He saw His mother there.

A child among the shepherds, a spring beside the lake,
a lamb among the leopards, a dragon spell to break,
He followed where the wind blows along the wings of prayer,
and looked back on the window, and saw His mother there.

When Christ was fully flowered, He died for you and me.
He hung, those horrid hours, against the cruel tree.
And pain pressed in upon Him -- and through the dark'ning air,
He looked for one to want Him, and saw His mother there.

Beyond our God's descending, beyong this taste of Hell,
a rainbow dream unending, a wounded race made well.
One image now is keeping, with scenes too sweet to bear:
the King of Heaven weeping to see His mother there.

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive on 15 February 2002.]

(In this Valentine's Day season, a love song. I wrote this for my wife, some weeks before either of us knew she would be my wife. A couple of things might make it more fun for you. Shortly before my mother passed away, I asked her if there had been anyplace she'd wanted to see, but hadn't seen. She said she'd always wanted to go to Alaska. That was a complete surprise to me--I'd never heard her say that before. The second thing is that when I was courting my wife, she was starring in a production of "The Sound of Music." I couldn't afford tickets every night, but I often bought a rose at Macy's grocery store and slipped it under the windshield wiper on her battered VW beetle while she was in the theatre. It was wintertime, and one evening I asked a kid in the store where they got fresh roses in winter. He said, "Colombia." Spain is in the song because I've always wanted to have a song with Spain in it.)

I COULD BUY YOU ALASKA

I could buy you Alaska, tell the tax man to wait--
work all of the wonders a credit card can.
But if I bought you Alaska, the entire state,
you wouldn't owe me one kiss,
not one moment of bliss,
no romance, not a dance,
not one touch of your hand.

There are roses in Spain, in Colombia too.
I don't know if they grow under cold Arctic stars.
But if I picked out a rosy aurora for you,
you wouldn't owe me one kiss,
not one moment of bliss.
There are blossoms in billions
wherever you are.

Oh, I'd want you to like it,
the glaciers and mountains.
I'd want you to find out your favorite part.
I'm not talking trade,
no return on accounts.
But look kindly on me, and I'll give you my heart.

I could buy you Alaska, or send you a card,
or draw you my dream of that beautiful place.
Try to imagine, try really hard.
I'm not making deals.
I just want to be real
about giving back something
as fair as your face.

And not even Alaska
is good as your grace.

(from the CD "Spiritual")

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive on 26 December 2001.]

(When I sang in the A Cappella Choir at BYU shortly after Brigham Young established the place, we were rehearsing for Christmas and singing what the angels sang. Some twang of memory vibrated in me the following questions:

Who were the angels? Fairies? Gods?
Who split the dark and lit the sky
like falling stars and flaming rods?
Were you among those wings? Was I?

--One August several years later, my agent told me it was time to be writing Christmas songs, so the questions became a simple lyric.)

WERE YOU THERE WHEN THE ANGELS SANG?

Were you there when the angels sang?
Were you singing too? Did I see you there?
Were shepherds in the field, their mouths wide with wonder
and their eyes full of you and me?
       Could it be that we were singing
       "Peace on earth" to them?

Were you there when the star shone bright?
Were you shining too? Did you see them
riding camels in the night, their hands full of treasures
and their ears full of you and me?
       Could it be that we were singing
       "Peace on earth" to them?

Were you there when the sun woke up
and the world woke too? Did you see those sleepy
people in the street, with a strange kind of sweetness
after dreams filled with you and me?
       Could it be that we were singing
       "Peace on earth" to them?
       Singing "Peace on earth, good will" to them?

[The following was retired to Lyrics Archive on 20 November 2001.]

(A friend asked me to sing something patriotic at the Eagle Scout court of honor for two of her sons. I wrote this. Something about the feeling of unity that has emerged from the horrors of September Eleventh leads me to include it here.)

I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE

I pledge allegiance to the sage and the columbine,
to the ancient twisted pine against the sky.
I pledge allegiance to the colors in the wind
and the colors in our skin and the hopes that rise
in the soul of America.

I pledge allegiance to the Maker of the land
and the Shaper of the sand on the canyon rim.
I pledge allegiance to the rivers deep with dreams,
the silver singing streams. They sing for Him
the song of America.

We are on holy ground.
We are the children of the dream.
We are the ones who can make it all come true.
We are on holy ground,
and the Lord of all we see
has chosen me, and He's chosen you.

I pledge allegiance to the death of honest men
whose breath flows on again through the autumn fields.
I pledge allegiance in these wild and wasteful years
to the child who breaks in tears and humbly kneels
in the soil of America.

We are on holy ground.
We are the children of the dream.
We are the ones who can make it all come true.
We are on holy ground,
and the Lord of all we see
has chosen me, and He's chosen you.
He's calling me, and He's calling you.
He's watching me, and He's watching you.