Song of Grace

Mary, our Singing Diva

“Anam Cara”.  In Gaelic, “Soul Friend”.  Yet even Anam Caras can experience conflict.  Conflict deep enough to split apart this musical group of four Soul Friends.  That is where we were a moon and a half ago.  Then we talked, we processed, yelled, screamed, and cried.  In the end we accepted, and re-connected.  Better friends, having come through the fire together.  Now, we are writing a song together.  About Grace.  Yes, not just playing the song together, but writing it.  All in the group are songwriters, and had also experienced co-writing in pairs.  But none had ever co-written with four together !  Very interesting.  Challenging, different.  And amazing.  Co-creating together.  A creative musical community in action.

Linda, “Where’s My Violin?”

And why about Grace?  We felt Grace had something to do with our healing.  We all are fascinated by the rich and lovely concept of Grace., though it seems to be little understood and hard to define.  The first ideas for the song came to me in my three hour drive to visit these friends.  The first lines had “Grace” and “marketplace” in them, as I was questioning whether Grace was present even there.  Whether it is freely given, whether we have to be “worthy”, be open to it, be prepared to accept it.  My friends and I have now embraced the theme, the questions, and the hope, wholeheartedly.

A song is being born.  I thought you might like to follow the process.  I will.  As four musical friends create a song together, in word, melody, chord patterns, musical accompaniment and arrangement, and finally both audio and visual recording and production.  These are just a few video still shots I had.  I was going to get more, but forgot the videocam charger.  ( You can follow my progressing early senility here as well ! )  Couldn’t leave out the video still of Ed and the moon.  An interesting thing as I’m learning video, in the transitions (like from the shot of Ed gesturing, to the moon shot), it happens so fast in the video you don’t see a “connection”.  But in some still frames, there’s a moment when they intersect/connect, sometimes with beautiful or funny results.  Me, well, I’ll get in more shots, as I train the troops, er, group to shoot.  Shots, not me (hopefullty).  Anam Cara’s first music-video-in-progress lives here:  “Southern Moon”, a song of mine we all recorded together.  Yes, Anam Cara will soon have its own website.  With its own music videos.

And more songs written together.  By the Grace of God.

Blessings, John Paul

ps- Ed plays piano, but sometimes is distracted by celestial objects.

Ed, Trying To Catch The Moon


About John Paul McNeil

New to blogging. New to being retired (my daughter says I retired too early). I say not soon enough, as so much music was waiting to come out. Thoughts which turn to poems which turn to songs. The Earth is one rich theme. But also want to theme this search for where the Music, and the Words, and the Songs come from. And go.
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7 Responses to Song of Grace

  1. lytlejoc says:

    Three things:
    1 – Just listened to Southern Moon and I think it’s beautiful. Love the harmony.
    2- Also listened to River’s Daughter. Your poetry is amazing.
    3 – I love, love, LOVE the name Anam Cara. I realized after reading about the meaning that you remind me of a dear friend of mine who I call my Soul Brother and he calls me Soul Sister. He calls my sister OsmoSis – she’s my sister, so she’s his sister by osmosis. 🙂

    Keep creating. Such beauty!

    • What a lovely comment, thank you. And the connections with your own Soul Friend. OsmoSister, I LOVE it! Yes, a man after my own heart, and Soul. I want to say more, and revisit your site, but I am in Florida where my dear 92 yo Dad is in the hospital. I am sure some Soulful thoughts, poems, and songs will come of this. Tears for sure as well. I must attend to this. More later. Thank you for staying in touch, and keeping this real. Blessings.

      • lytlejoc says:

        Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. Strangely enough, my dad is in the hospital on the other side of this vast country and I am slated to head home in 20 days… so I understand. Attend to your dad and take care. My thoughts are with you.

        • Though not a synchronous connection that is immediately uplifting, the illness of our fathers is still a connection. I hope you can lift him up as much as we have my Dad. I know it is your intent, and pray it transpires. Humor uplifts as well. And I just read your “poop post”. Yes, another synchronous connection. For from opposite ends (ahem) of the aging spectrum, we are just as watchful for 92 yo Dad’s elimination as you are with your 6 month old son. Your OsmoBrother, John Paul ( Oh, I hope I am not too forward in claiming that title. Perhaps OsmoBrother in Training….no, not that, I am potty trained…..mostly).

        • lytlejoc says:

          You are the best, OsmoBrother! 🙂

  2. Kerry Dwyer says:

    I love the picture of Ed playing with the moon. Looking forward to hearing the results of these sessions.

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