“Young man up on a hillside, teaching new ways. Each word winning them over. Each heart a kindled flame.”
You could say that I was won over by this song as a kid. Despite the gory (yet true to history) music video, this little girl knew every word to Michael W. Smith’s legendary 1988 Secret Ambition. (Shout out if you are with me!)
I distinctly remember asking my dad to “turn the music down” as he rocked out to Petra from our living room tape player. This guy’s voice was too edgy. They were pioneers in Christian rock, and my dad was a big fan.
Their style influenced his band, Battlesong, which he and family friend Mark Oliver fronted. They would often be writing songs and recording in our home studio while all the kids played together.
The year of my great adventure. That is, an instant dance party with the release of the Steven Curtis Chapman’s The Great Adventure.
Oh, and we couldn’t keep this to ourselves. Elissa & I took the tape to England that summer and played it for ALL our friends. More dance parties followed.
“Saddle up your horses
We’ve got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder
of God’s amazing grace.”
Maybe that’s what sparked my love for horses which began around that time….hmm.
With ‘94 came God Is In Control by Twila Paris, a familiar voice in our house. I saw her live as a toddler with my parents (although I can’t say I remember much).
Twila’s a brilliant songwriter and I believe she has always influenced our writing.
“I saw a man with tat on his big fat belly
It wiggled around like marmalade jelly”
Things kept getting better! Pushing the envelope was Jesus Freak by DC Talk. By this time an actual CD was purchased (cutting edge, I know) along with tickets to see their show in Dallas. Ecstatic would be an understatement. I STILL know every word to this song.
I often wonder why a song like Secret Ambition would grab my attention as a kid, lyrics stuffed with big ideas that I couldn’t fully grasp.
Perhaps it was the picture that was painted with the lyrics & the video (yep, we had the VHS TAPE folks). Not a doubt in my mind, I learned this for the first time:
Jesus really walked this earth.
Songs have a way of writing their lyrics onto your heart, resurfacing years later, then over again. Like a familiar smell, you can name-that-song within a second of it playing.
Whether we know it or not, our ears are listening and recording at the same time.
What is your childhood playlist?