Shepherds & Angels (Memorial Service Version)

 
       
 
Jan 03, 2018, 07:00 PM

Hello, everyone. This is my most recent venture into actually finishing a project. “Shepherds & Angels” was written for my mother who passed away in September (2017). The music I had started years ago. It was in the dead archives, in fact. After getting the phone call that she had left us, I sat outside by the fire for about 12 hours one evening. I went through every piece of music I had ever started (music stems mostly) to associate some sort of feeling in my dead heart. My mother was a concert pianist in her youth. When I found the music you will hear shortly, it was just patterns for a verse and a chorus. I began uttering none-sense words to fit the melody. Within three hours I had finished the lyrics. It just flowed. Then, I went in to her house and wrote the bridge you will hear on her out of tune piano. I needed to finish before her memorial. It was done a day later. Typically, I sing my own songs. But this time, I went into a friend’s studio and asked my friend, Joe Butcher, to play acoustic and sing (I knew I wouldn’t make it through the song). Joe has a folksy, fable-esque (and slightly Irish) quality to his voice. It’s pure and authentic. And my mother was a huge fan of the Irish Rovers.

I hadn’t really begun to morn up to that point. Joe and Aaron (the engineer) were in the studio practicing when I arrived. I opened the door just as Joe began singing the first line, “There she goes, boys…” Needless to say, I began morning quite heavily on the spot. I needed to hear someone else sing this. I picked a winner. I ended up joining him on the bridge and sang all the backing vocals.

That said, because this track was rushed for the memorial service, we are going to rerecord the track this summer with about 15 other musicians. So have a listen and feel free to give me any pointers or suggestions you have because come summer it will be set in stone. Don’t worry about the emotions wrapped up in the thing. I’ve been at this a while and critique is the stuff of life (and I’ve sooooo put this song behind me now). Thank you for your time, friends! Here’s the track:

https://soundcloud.com/user-299128651/shepherds-angels-mastered-version

The Lyrics:

There she goes, boys.
To the island where all good girls go when they’re all finished workin’.
There she goes, leaving shadows behind.
And try as we might we all know we cannot go with her.

The shepherd and angel won’t let us cross over yet.
To lie down and rest in the green fields of freedom.

When the rain falls
Tell her how much the sunlight she brings gives your life real meaning.
Tell her how much you care, boys.
Before you let go of her hand to take hold of her memory.

Shepherds and angels wake up before you do.
And lead her away to the green fields of freedom.

(Bridge/Interlude)

From the darkness came the light
From the soil came life
From the garden came everything under the sun
What the fire doesn’t burn; to the garden returns
The great invisible world becomes visible
When we all get Home
We’ll find her there
Waiting for everyone she’s come to love
When we get Home
We’ll find her where life never ends, celebration begins


There she goes, boys
To the island where all good girls go when they’re all finished workin’.
There she goes, leaving shadows behind.
And try as we might we all know we cannot go with her.


— JJ

[ Edited: 03 January 2018 07:03 PM by JJ Silver]

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JJ Silver Joined Jan 03, 2018
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Jan 03, 2018, 10:27 PM

Hello JJ,

Truly sorry to hear of your loss.  Shepherds & Angels is a fitting tribute for your love of your mother, very well written.  Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed this piece very much.  The first four lines set the stage for the rest of the song, “There she goes, boys” is an immediate grab, and you did well with the imagery throughout the song, and the melody has a definite Irish feel.  JMO, this might do well as a motion picture soundtrack.  Kudos, good luck and best wishes,

Speak soon

Music is an international language, say it with a song.

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Deacon Joined Aug 30, 2009
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Jan 03, 2018, 10:48 PM

Thank you so much, Deacon! Interesting you mention a soundtrack. This track will be the closing track for a documentary I’m working on that chronicles our family as we walk with our mom through the final stages of dementia. You can watch part one of the film here: https://youtu.be/6Dlka3ZLmOg

The last track of part one is the song in it’s original form. I decided to leave it in concept form rather than polish it up for the production (which is really difficult for me because I hate letting people hear earlier iterations of my music). But as I listen this very minute…I’m glad I left it alone. Thanks again! I really appreciate your heartfelt words.

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JJ Silver Joined Jan 03, 2018
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Jan 07, 2018, 06:25 PM

I liked this too. The lyrics look awkward on the page but flow nicely with the melody. Good production and Joe does a great job. And yes, there is a bit of an Irish feel to it.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Jan 09, 2018, 03:08 PM

Just some thoughts….......

From the darkness comes light
From the soil came life
From the garden came everything under the sun
What the fire doesn’t burn
Then nature returns
And the veil of all wisdom is lifted
When we all get Home
We’ll find her there
Waiting for everyone she’s come to love
When we get Home
We’ll find her where
The celebration of life becomes endless…. (I think this should crescendo so the movement
to your last verse isn’t so abrupt)

Agree with above, definitely an Irish folk feel to this! :) Great job!

[ Edited: 11 January 2018 05:17 PM by JAPOV]
 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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