LOU SOILEAU

Reaching New Heights

99

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"Engage" with a song that demands personal action: Remove the Sandals (based on Exodus 3:5)

I start with the goal of writing a song that people want to sing; a song that you leave the room singing.

I try to make my lyrics engaging and convicting. Then, or simultaneously, my melodies and tempo/rhythm come together to bring the lyrics to life and make the song fun to sing.

The theme for this song "Remove the sandals from your feet for the place you stand is holy ground" was chosen for a Christian men's retreat which occurred just a week ago. I offered to compose a theme song for them.

I have developed a way to deal with inspiration for new songs. I dwell on the "theme" and then put it to the back of my mind for a time. As the time comes to deliver a song or when the "spirit" moves me, I sit down to write. I was blessed in this case to write it in almost one pass. There was not much in the way of iterations for this song - a few lyric tweaks only.

I tested the song first with a group of inmates who attended our prison ministry. I introduced it and they grabbed right on it! They are churched and love to sing and this kind of song really helps them focus. Of course, I began by saying that since we opened in prayer and had come to praise God that we were standing on holy ground - not dissimilar to Moses on the mountainside at the burning bush.

As you read the lyrics, you can see that I drew on Moses' hesitancy and his concern over his inability to speak, "Lord, I am a simple man and I can hardly speak." And, then upon his humility, "A shepherd, lo these many years..."

Then, I clinched it by letting Moses draw on his status as a refugee in flight from an oppressive regime, aa are so many Middle Easterners and Ukraines today, "...a lonely refugee."

The second verse is true to Moses' disposition but, also, hooks the listener/singer by making it universally personal, "Though unworthy, I will go to do as you command. To speak the truth, to love, to serve, to do the best I can."

And, each verse closes with the ultimate recognition of unworthiness, "Lord, who am I that you should call on me?"

The then bridge, if you like, drives home the fact that God seeks availability not capability by saying that Moses knows all he needs to know to do the job and each man on retreat knows likewise,

"You know the way (i.e., to go , to live, to accomplish the mission).

You know my Name (heretofore, the Creator did not have a name).

Bring them home to me!" (the mission of Moses and each committed Christian).

The guys liked it. I hope you do. Here it is.

Remove the Sandals from your Feet

after Exodus 3:5 (composed by Lou Soileau for the St Philip Neri Mens 2016 ACTS Retreat)

D

Remove the sandals from your feet

C2

For the place you stand is holy ground, and

G                       D

I, the Lord, have called you here to me!

D

Remove the sandals from your feet

C2

For the place you stand is holy ground, and

G                         D

I, the Lord, have called you here to me!

           C2                 G                  D           D

I have chosen you to set my people free!

verse 1

A                                      G                   D

I am but a simple man, and I can hardly speak,

     A                                             G              D

A shepherd lo these many years, a lonely refugee.

          C2                G                        D

Lord, who am I that you should call on me?

C2                  G                         D

Who am I that you should call on me?

verse 2 

Though unworthy, I will go to do as you command,

To speak the Truth, to love, to serve, to do the best I can.

But, who am I that you should call on me?

Who am I that you should call on me?

bridge             C2                         G                                    D

You know the way! You know my name! Bring them home to me!

                        C2                           G                                 D

DYou know the way! You know my name! Bring them home to me!

(C) Lou soileau 2016

As soon as I have a quick recording, I will include a link to it..... Remove the Sandals from Your Feet

This is a very rough recording using my computer mic and SoundTrap online studion.

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