1. Our Emmanuel (Marc Coderre)
Composed February 2011.
Initially when was trying to find words for this song I thought of calling it Freedom and making it about popular democratic uprisings against tyranny, but instead wrote my first ever Christmas song. It borrows from O Antiphons and some other scriptural passages.
Music: Sean Chhangur.
2. Magnificat (Holy Is His Name) (John Michael Talbot)
The Magnificat is a two part suite in which Holy is His Name is preceded by the instrumental “Prelude to Faith” and this is how we’ve done it here.
I like John Michael Talbot a lot, in particular his compositions from 1980-82, from his albums The Painter, Come to the Quiet, For The Bridge, Troubadour of the Great King, and Light Eternal. I have done numerous of his songs from this era. It’s inevitable that I would get around to doing what is considered his most popular one. Aside from being a beautiful song, based on the Magnificat, which is Mary’s response to finding out she is to bare Christ, it is one that was part of my Cursillo weekend which only added to the reasons to select it.
Guitar: Jim McIntyre.
Vocals: Marc with Louise Rathier.
3. All Who Are Thirsty/I Lift Up My Soul (Brenton Brown, Glenn Robertson / Tim Manion)
This was the theme song for the 125th Ottawa Men’s Cursillo of which I was part. I immediately took a liking to this beautiful and simple song. I later used it as the processional song for my wife’s funeral. My twist on this tune is the inclusion of the refrain from I Lift Up My Soul by Tim Manion.
Guitar and bass: Armando.
4. Send Us Your Spirit (Marc Coderre)
Original composition October 2008, revisted in December 2010.
This African-flavoured a capella song grew out of “Come Holy Spirit” I wrote for Inspiration in 2008 but did not use. I expanded it with new bits into a new song.
Percussion programming: Armando & Marc.
5. Do You Hear My Heart Cry (Marc Coderre, lyric by Marina Coderre)
Composed June 2010, lyric summer 1995.
I had to move some of my wife’s words around in this one, but as with the others featuring her words I didn’t add any of my own. I think this one has her best lyric. The original title for the song was “The Threefold” which I always though rather odd, and it had the subtitle “My Love, My Lord, My People”. The idea of the song, as she had explained to me, was that each verse was aimed at a different person. The first from her self to her love, the second to God and the third from Jesus to his people. The words though are rather ambiguous a first glance but essentially describe situations of unrequited love. I completed this one in mid June 2010.
6. Here I Am, Lord (Dan Schutte)
This probably Schutte’s best known song, though he himself says he gets even more comments about “You Are Near”. Here I Am Lord is one I considered for Inspiration. I think at the time I was biased against doing really well known songs, preferring lesser known gems. But I’ve come to realise that certain songs are really well known and popular for good reason, because they are really good songs. This song, which is about heading the call for discipleship, was part of my Cursillo weekend as well. And while my own church hasn’t done it in a couple decades, as far as I know, I still hear it in other places for various occasions.
7. Be Not Afraid, You Are Mine (Bob Dufford/David Haas)
Back in early 2008 noticed that these two songs can in intertwined into one. Be Not Afraid is a very popular hymn for funerals by Bob Dufford (one of the St Louis Jesuits), and probably his best known song. I had strongly considered it for Inspiration, even after I moved away from the original idea of have the whole CD just be St Louis Jesuits music.
You Are Mine, by David Haas, is also nice for funerals. It was used for communion at my wife’s funeral. Haas is one of my most favourite composers and this is one of my most favourite songs by him.
Vocals: Marc with Karen Lahaise Mazur, Louise Rathier, Debra Scarpelli
8. May The Lord Bless You (Terry Talbot)
This is a beautiful guitar instrumental tune that Jim McIntyre is fond of playing. When he came in to the studio to record The Magnificat he asked if we could record this as well. It makes for a nice interlude in the CD.
Guitar: Jim McIntyre
9. In My Soul (Marc Coderre)
Composed January 2012.
The tune came to me oddly enough while washing the dishes. The music is cheerful and it took many days to think of a lyric. In the end I found words that can either be interpreted as a romantic love song or perhaps adoration of Jesus.
Music: Sean Chhangur. Guitar: Armando.
Vocals: Marc with Debra Scarpelli
10. Forever (Semper Fidelis) (Marc Coderre)
Composed June 2010, new lyric October 2014.
The day after my wife’s death I was looking around my house trying to find letters and such I had she had written in the past to re-read. One thing I found was a work book where she had written lyrics for songs she was working on to record at home on my Fostek 4 track. She never got far into that as the machine broke down on her and for whatever reason once I got a replacement a year later she never thought to resume. Anyway, I found various lyrics and some I felt were good enough to try to set to music and thus immortalise her in some way. The first of these that I completed was “Forever” which is unabashedly a love song.
In late October 2014 I discovered that the lyric she had handwritten were in fact not original but from an existing song with a few word changes (to make the song about current love instead of a past one). I thus had no choice but to compose new words for the song (which was a blessing in disguise) and rerecord the vocals. I retitled the song as “Forever (Semper Fidelis)” to distinguish it from the older version.
Music: Sean Chhangur.
11. Anniversary (Marc Coderre)
Composed June 2012.
I thought I had the set list closed and since Spring 2012 my music writing was directed as doing a Warhorse home album. But I wrote this song at the cemetery on my wedding anniversary (June 28) and, just like when I wrote Unity in 2004 for a Warhorse project, this song was too good not to also include on my CD.
12. Be Free (Marc Coderre)
Composed December 2010.
This song was once again inspired by the grieving process. Here I wanted to express the feelings I was going through but also give some comfort.
Music: Armando. Oboe: Angela Schleihauf.
Vocals: Marc, Karen Lahaise Mazur.
13. You Raise Me Up (Rolf Lovland, Brendan Graham)
I had performed this live a few times over the years and always enjoyed singing it.
Piano and guitar: Armando. Oboe: Angela Schleihauf.
14. Living Without You (Marc Coderre)
Composed June 2010.
This was in development in my head for a few weeks before I finally completed it. Obviously given my wife’s recent death I was conscious of the profound changes my life and my identity. Rather than being a song full of woe, it instead expresses gratitude to my wife for sharing her life with me.
15. New Day (Marc Coderre)
Composed March 2011.
Given the heaviness of the subject matter of many of the songs, I felt I should have something a bit more light. This song has a more optimistic outlook, that we can leave behind the troubles of yesterday and start over again.
Music: Sean Chhangur. Guitar: Armando.