Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link

Episode 9: Sacred Sunday Morning Volume 2 Part 2

April 06, 2021 Peter Link
Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link
Episode 9: Sacred Sunday Morning Volume 2 Part 2
Chapters
Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link
Episode 9: Sacred Sunday Morning Volume 2 Part 2
Apr 06, 2021
Peter Link

Sacred Sunday Morning Volume 2 – Parts 1&2 is an exploration of stories and concepts from the Bible.  With Guest Artist, Julia Wade, both Link and Wade  discuss and investigate through song and conversation some of their favorite Bible stories and themes.  The amazing work and voice of Julia Wade gets a beautiful presentation here as she performs and delves into her process of preparation to record. We also hear from Mindy Jostyn and The Jenny Burton Experience.


Scattershot Symphony is presented by Watchfire Music. Learn more about this episode at their website watchfiremusic.com

Join our email list and tell us what you think!


Show Notes Transcript

Sacred Sunday Morning Volume 2 – Parts 1&2 is an exploration of stories and concepts from the Bible.  With Guest Artist, Julia Wade, both Link and Wade  discuss and investigate through song and conversation some of their favorite Bible stories and themes.  The amazing work and voice of Julia Wade gets a beautiful presentation here as she performs and delves into her process of preparation to record. We also hear from Mindy Jostyn and The Jenny Burton Experience.


Scattershot Symphony is presented by Watchfire Music. Learn more about this episode at their website watchfiremusic.com

Join our email list and tell us what you think!



Peter


This is Sacred Sunday Morning Vol 1 - Part 2


Peter

We’re here today with Guest, best selling artist, President of Watchfire Music and wife, Julia Wade. And we’ve been exploring songs from the Bible and their impact on our lives.  When Julia and I first fell in love, one of the first things I did was to take her to one of my favorite places on the planet, Jamaica, in the Caribbean.  For a decade, 

I had owned a house in Antigua, an Island off the coast of South America also in the Caribbean, and then for another decade, I had the use of a villa in Jamaica.  I would often go south to write and enjoy the world beyond the steel and concrete of New York City.  I could never imagine falling in love and then skipping the wonders of Jamaica.  So off we went.


Each morning we would rise early and run the roads in the heat, and upon returning, fall fully dressed, exhausted, into the pool and then sit down to a breakfast of mangoes and papaya, de breadfruit, de Johnny cakes and fresh pineapple juice.  Then Julia would retire to her hammock with a book in the shade of de Banyan Tree and I would grab my guitar and sit on the balcony overlooking the sea and write.  Sometimes I would even wake up early and write on the balcony as the sun rose before me from the sea. This next song, another staple in the repertoire of Julia, came from just one of those mornings.  


It’s lyrics were from the feathered pen of King David, one of my favorite writing partners of my life in music.  And is it any wonder?  The beauty of these thoughts and the way he put these words together can only be described as one of the most beloved and gorgeous inspirations of poetry in the history of mankind. We’ll never know of his melody, his music.  Sadly that’s been forgotten.  So, I hope I have done it justice. Be with me now on that balcony as the red sun rises from a pink sea and the blue black sky turns golden.


Julia Wade — Psalm


Psalm

Music by Peter Link

Lyrics by King David


How precious are your thoughts oh God

How great is the sum of them how grand

If I could count them all oh God

They are more in number than the sand


Whither shall I go from thy spirit

Or whither shall I flee from thy care

If I ascend up into heaven

You are there

You are there

And if I make my bed with the devil

Behold

You are there

In the halls of heaven

You are there

Watching over me


If I take the wings of the morning

And I dwell

In the uttermost parts of the sea

Even there your left hand shall lead me

And your right shall always hold to me

For you are there

You are there

On the wings of morning

You are there

Always holding me


If I say surely the darkness

Shall cover me

Even the night shall light my way

Yea the darkness cannot hide from thee

But with you the night shines as the day

And I will praise thee

For I am fearfully and wonderfully made

Yes I will praise thee

For I am fearfully and wonderfully made


How marvelous are thy works oh God

And that my soul knows right well


How precious are your thoughts oh God

How great is the sum of them how grand

If I could count them all oh God

They are more in number than the sand (x6)


Peter

Revelation, the last chapter of the New Testament in the Bible, has often been called “Saint John on the isle of Patmos on Psychedelics.” It is the visionary imagination of John delving full bore into both spiritual and religious imagery — both poetic and other worldly.  Some of John’s visions are far beyond my own spiritual imagination, but within the chapter of Revelation are many immaculate images of Truth.  


I’ve spoken several times in past episodes of a production I created that ran in New York City both at Lincoln Center and Off-Broadway called The River.  I needed a powerful closer for this show that was a spiritually based Gospel Concert. I decided to take a shot at the chapter of Revelation and spent a great amount of time pouring over the chapter to find a basic theme for the song that would use some of the best of John’s poetry.  The writing of this song was, for me, a total immersion into the chapter and produced a 9 minute opus that closed the show on a most powerful note. Subsequently, the song found its way into the performances of The Jenny Burton Experience and then as the closer of our NY concert, Is Anybody Listening? as well. Sacred Sunday Morning would be incomplete without this seminal collaboration between Saint John and me. Here is the recorded version performed so definitively by The Jenny Burton Experience.


Julia

The Jenny Burton Experience — The Revelation Of Saint John ... 

and Peter Link


Revelation

Music by Peter Link

Lyrics by Saint John


I was in the spirit on the Lord's day

And I heard behind me a great voice

As of a trumpet


Oh yes and I was in the spirit

On the Lord's day

And I heard behind me a great voice

As of a trumpet


Saying I am alpha and omega

The beginning and the end

I am alpha and omega

The beginning and the end


And I turned to see the voice

That spake unto me

And I saw seven golden candlesticks

And seven heavenly stars

And one like unto the son of man

The son of man


And his eyes were as a flame of fire

And his eyes were as a flame of fire

And his eyes were as a flame of fire

And his voice was as the sound of many waters

Was as the sound of many waters

Was as the sound of many waters


Saying I am he that liveth

And I am he that died

And now behold I am alive forevermore

I am he that liveth

And I am he that died

And now behold I am alive forevermore


Write the things which thou hast seen

And the things which are

And the things to be hereafter

Write the things which thou hast seen

And the things which are

And the things to be hereafter


Write the things which thou hast seen

(I am he that liveth)

And the things which are

(And I am he that died)

And the things to be hereafter

(And now behold I am alive forevermore)


And I saw as it were a sea of glass

Mingled with fire

And I saw the dead

Small and great

Stand before God


And the dead were judged

From the book of life

According to their works

Yes the dead were judged

Every man

According to their works


And whatsoever was not found written

In the book of life

Was cast into the sea of fire

And whosoever was not found written

In the book of life

Was cast into the sea of fire


And the devil went down in the sea of fire

Into the sea of glass into the sea of fire

The devil went down in the sea of fire

As the flames rose higher

In the sea of glass

And the flames rose higher

In the sea of fire


And there was no more sea

And heaven and earth were passed away

And there was no more sea


And I saw a new heaven and a new earth

And the holy city New Jerusalem

And a great voice out of heaven said

Behold God is with men


And they shall be His people

And He shall dwell with them

Yes they shall be His people

And He shall dwell with them


And God shall wipe away all tears

And death shall be no more

Neither shall there be the pain

And sorrow from before


Behold He shall make all things new

Write these words

For these words are true

These words are true


Write the things which thou hast seen

And the things which are

And the things that be hereafter

Write the things which thou hast seen

And the things which are

And the things that be hereafter


For I am alpha and omega

The beginning and the end

I am alpha and omega

The beginning and the end


And he that overcometh

Shall inherit all things

And I will be his God

And he shall be my son


And he showed me a pure river

Of the water of life

And I sang hallelu

And he showed me a pure river

Of the water of life

And I sang halleluia

And he showed me a pure river

Of the water of life

And I sang halleluia

Clear as crystal

Coming from the throne of God

Clear as crystal

Coming from the throne of God


And he showed me a pure river

Of the water of life

And I sang hallelu

And he showed me a pure river

Of the water of life

And I sang halleluia

And he showed me a pure river

Of the water of life

And I sang halleluia

Clear as crystal

Coming from the throne of God

Clear as crystal

Coming from the throne of God


Halleluia (x9)


Julia

OK, now I have a question for you.


Peter

OK ...

Julia 

Years ago you wrote a song for me to sing entitled, “The Christ Lives On.” It debuted on my first album with you, Upon The Mountain, which still sells well today.  However, the actual song never sold well as a single. A few people bought it, but, though I thought it was a beautiful song, it seems that nobody else did. We’ve had so much success together, but why do you think that song wasn’t particularly successful?


Peter

Hmmm, good question.  That surprised me as well. It was probably not the music that sabotaged it. More likely the lyric.  I remember that I wrote the song from the point of view of Mary Magdalene who, as we know, was present at the Crucifixion of Jesus. It was written for Easter. I imagined that when they took his body down from the cross, that she was there still caring for him.  She wanted to make sure that even if he had passed, that the soldiers would respect him and deal with the body conscientiously.  


Mary, like many of the other disciples, was not yet of the elevated mentality to understand that the body of Jesus was not the Christ. Remember, that in those days the Bible never used first and last names, but rather a first name and then often instead of a last name, the person was known for what they did, not just another name — like Peter, the Fisherman, John, the Baptist, John, the Beloved, Herod, the King.


So his name was Jesus, the Christ. The Christ was what he did, or what he brought to the world. The body of Jesus had died, but The Christ Lives On.  Mary says to the soldiers:

If you want his body

Take it down

I can’t bear to watch

Hold his head be gentle

Don’t let what went on before


If you want his body

Take it away

Do the things you do

But close his eyes be gentle

I just can’t take anymore


I will not watch

I will not weep

But I’ll not ever let him go

For in the way he lived his life

He taught me all I know

Now the man is gone

Yet in me the Christ lives on


Perhaps your average church goer thought the lyric was just too graphic, too human. I, for one, liked the human touch, the love of Mary caring for Jesus, while in her the Christ idea of the man lived on.


Julia

I think, for the worldwide congregations I was singing to, your gorgeous song was an idea ahead of its time. Yeah, it was more human than they were used to.  The Board of Directors of the international church actually met and had a discussion about whether I could sing this.  They were truly interested in it.  But for the worldwide congregation, it was deemed, like you said, more human than would be  accepted.  


I’m so glad that today, this song is finally getting a much wider opportunity to be heard.  It deserves to be brought forth and sung.


Peter

Julia Wade — The Christ Lives On


The Christ Lives On

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


If you want his body

Take it down

I can't bear to watch

Hold his head be gentle

Don't let what went on before


If you want his body

Take it away

Do the things you do

But close his eyes be gentle

I just can't take anymore


I will not watch

I will not weep

But I'll not ever let him go

For in the way he lived his life

He taught me all I know

Now the man is gone

Yet in me the Christ lives on


So if you want his body

Do what you will

Lay him in his grave

But let me wash his feet first

Then you may take him away


And through the darkness of these hours

I must not let my weakness show

For as he lived so then shall I

And that is all I know

Now the man is gone

Yet in me the Christ lives on


And in the years that lie ahead

The world will learn to love this man

The way he lived

The things he said

The way it all began

Now the body's gone

But through it all

The Christ lives on


Julia

We all know the story of Mary Magdalene, finding the body of Jesus missing, three days after his crucifixion, at the sepulcher, when someone had rolled the stone away.  


But then, Peter, you went again into your imagination and wrote another song from Mary’s point of view, that took place at the last morning meal by the sea, when Jesus advised the disciples who were fishing to re-cast their nets on the right side.  


I loved how you placed me high on a cliff overlooking the beach, the sea and the boat —me --  the thirteenth disciple, a woman, who probably could not hang out with the men in those last moments, but still was there ... watching from afar. 


I remember that morning so well.  I remember … I was there …


Peter

Julia Wade, as Mary Magdalene — I Was There


I Was There

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


I was there on that morning by the sea

As the sun broke purple through the haze

I was there as they cast their nets in sorrow

And the waters yielded nothing

As the sky was all ablaze


I was there as he stood upon the shoreline

Watching those he loved struggle on

I was there as he whispered 'cross the waters

"Cast your nets now on the right side

For the night is surely gone"


Yes I was there with the master

In the purple light of dawn

I was there as we all went struggling on


I was there

And the catch that day was a billion souls

And it's happening again

He's teaching us to pray

He's teaching us to heal

And then we too can be

Fishers of men


I was there when he told them how he loved them

And his words burned a purpose in their hearts

As the fire turned to ashes then he left them

But the gift of God stayed with them

In the inward parts


I was there


Peter

Julia, we haven’t dealt much with Jesus’ power to heal. Let’s make this closing song reflect the incredible works of the Master on just that subject ... on healing.  I can’t think of a better song to do that than yet another of your repertoire classics, There Is A Balm In Gilead. Tell us about your experience with this classic song ... and give us some insight into its lyric.


Julia

There is so much I could say about this amazing song. It has a long history, we know it originally as a spiritual that came from a verse in the book of Jeremiah which asks 


“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?”  


This Old testament verse was later re- interpreted  to mean that Jesus the Christ was  the balm that came to heal us of our wounds. It was so natural to take this song further and write new verses to tell the story of Jesus’ healings and how that Christ -- his balm -- is still with us today.  


Peter 

And finally ... Julia Wade — There Is A Balm In Gilead


There Is a Balm in Gilead

Traditional Lyrics based on Jeremiah 8:22

Additional Lyrics by Peter Link and Clara M. Brooks

Arranged by Peter Link and Margaret Dorn

Background Vocals Written, Arranged, and Produced by John Danny Madden


Sometimes I feel discouraged

And think my work's in vain

But then the Holy Spirit

Revives my soul again


There is a balm in Gilead

To make the wounded whole

There is a balm in Gilead

To heal the sin-sick soul


They came in search of healing

They came in such despair

With lame and halt and withered

With more than life could bear


He healed the leper and the sinner

And he chased the clouds away

He healed the deaf, the dumb, the blind

Christ's with us here today


There is a balm in Gilead

To make the wounded whole

There is a balm in Gilead

To heal the sin-sick soul


The heav'nly touch of spirit

Has wondrous healing power

To banish your diseases

Be healed this very hour


There is a balm in Gilead

To make the wounded whole

There is a balm in Gilead

To heal the sin-sick soul

To heal the soul

There is a balm in Gilead


He raised the dead he freed us

He holds us in his care

He is the balm of Gilead

Yet Christ is everywhere


There is a balm in Gilead

To make the wounded whole

There is a balm in Gilead

To heal the sin-sick soul


Peter

So there ya’ have it. Scattershot Symphony, Episode 9, Volume 2, Parts 1 & 2

Julia

Next, Episode 10,  On My Way Home – An Immigrant’s Lament.

We’ll look at the writing of this new song from the pen of Peter Link and discuss with guest artist and Videographer, Skye Malone, the making of the new Music Video.

Peter

Also, please rate and subscribe ...


Peter

The lyrics from the song, Creation, come from the prose writings of Mary Baker Eddy.

Julia

Thank you to Jenny Burton and Peter Link for joining me on Isaiah 40.  

The Background Vocalists on Isaiah 40 were Darryl Tookes, LaTanya Hall and Margaret Dorn who also did the vocal Arrangement.


Peter

The Jenny Burton Experience singing Revelation was comprised of Margaret Dorn, Keith Fluitt, Steve Abrams, Stephanie James, John James, Don Corey Washington, Andricka Hall, Chrissy Faith and Branice McKenzie … and of course, Jenny.


Julia

There Is A Balm In Gilead’s lyrics are Traditional, based on Jeremiah 8:22 with Additional Lyrics by Peter Link & Clara M. Brooks.


The Background Vocals were Arranged by John Danny Madden.


And thanks to Watchfire Music, Nathan Burgdorff and the entire staff for all your work in producing and promoting this podcast. 

A very special thanks also to Stuart Barefoot, our Associate Producer for all your invaluable knowledge and good vibes.

And a posthumous thanks to Ludwig Van Beethoven for your opening 4 bars.

Julia

(over playout music)

This podcast is presented with loving care by the staff at Watchfire Music. If you liked what you heard, we got lots more where that came from. In the meantime, you can find the songs you just heard on watchfiremusic.com. There you can purchase the singles or albums and have access to all the lyrics. Also, there you will find all previous podcasts and future scheduling.

 

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