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Lyrics As Poetry: Looking at and Experiencing the Songs of Mark Stanton Welch with a Literary Eye PDF Download


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A Musical Journey of Creation...(excerpted from the book)

Although I had been active playing music in bands from the 70’s onward while I taught 4th grade during the day, it wasn’t until I heard a spiritual calling and joined Unity Church in 1987, that I caught the fire. I volunteered to provide service by doing music once a month. I blossomed here as soon as I became the music director of the San Luis Obispo (SLO) Unity and wrote like a Renaissance composer, delivering relevant new songs every Sunday morning. I applied my skills and my open hearted creativity. I let my emotions be the calling card as I penned each song armed with only the title given by the minister. He usually gave it to me on Saturday night so I had little time to think it out, or over think it, which happens to too many creatives. I called upon a skill learned in college of cramming for a test the night before and then acing it the next morning under the influence of coffee, adrenaline, and a greater knowing that I had access to the information in multiple inner ways.
So, I learned to write fast and pull the creative first thought from the Cosmos and run with it. I never did rewrites because I considered the song a gift each time. Most of the time it felt just right. This process led me to a fluid relationship with creativity. I sensed that an energy arrived at the point of creation. It was pregnant with all the possibilities. I just had to reach into the energetic substance and grab something. The key, however, was to act upon it immediately and not question it. Usually the title gave me a sense of the style of song. I had already discovered that I could write in keys that would impact the in body chakra system, which amplified the visceral and emotional impact of the song. Once I improvised a melody I would start with the words. Too often, the title was aligned with my personal issues at the time. I drew from that pool of “stuff” and poured it into the song. The result was usually fresh, sensitive, on topic, and dripping with my personal story. In short it was impactful on many levels. I started to measure the impact of many songs by the length of the post song silence as it settled in, or the number of tears I saw throughout the congregation. Though I wrote for me I also intended the songs to meet the collective energy of the congregation…always did. What great lessons came out of those 20 years.
The whole word journey is still ongoing and has steered my life in so many ways. The songs in here come from 1973 until present day. When you strip the song of the music and simply present the words, they become literature. I never did Hallmark type songs because I loved phrasing and the turn of a phrase. That is why I did the lyrics last. I wanted the framework and the mood set before I let them seed the song. Each song tells a story, many about my own moments of spiritual awakening, as well as the challenges that accompanied those openings. These are poems of my moments of living. They are not in order. This is how they lined up as I assembled them together.
I suggest that you take ones you connect with and read them aloud. Read them as you feel them and start to notice the blending of the words with the energy rising to deliver them. Notice the sensations and the feelings and the sound of the words on your ears and energy bodies. Notice and experience. Then read more. Rediscover your own power of the spoken word and reconnect with the beauty of the word as language, as sound, as vibration.
Then, once you have created relationship with the piece, visit the back section that tells the story of the song. Reread the poem with that in mind and see what it does.

Here is a sample

“This Universe moves in a Holy Flowing whisper
In a tender sacred way
We precious people get our prayers and our petitions
As we get right out of the way
And the spirits incarnate
As the babies fill our lives
Teach me little child tear open my heart
Lay me on the altar of love
And I will seed creationI will feed the passion
I will nurture the God in you
Love in you all of you
Sweet little child…
We’re gonna have a baby girl…
I’m gonna be a Mother”
Copyright 1992. Mark Stanton Welch. All Rights Reserved.
_song I wrote for Karen and John Wilkins when they announced an adoption of a child from a Mother already with child. I wrote this for her to sing. We sang it together with me at the piano and her claiming power alone on the stage…calling in her little girl. It was quite an experience. This portion of the song felt like the best I could ever do lyrically…and musically it simply worked as it was given. What a sheer privilege to be a conduit for holiness (as we all are).
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