First - our purpose: To provide a fun, memorable way to learn Bible stories and teachings to children and families.
When I set out to write a series of Bible songs, I knew I couldn't do it alone, So I called my sister, Linda. We started with The Creation and just kept going. It’s been a fun project and I have LOVED doing it with Linda, who is fun and smart and witty and wonderful. And – LOL – she calls herself my
LYRISISTER. Or my LYRISIS for short. :)
I’ll start with the summary - then you can read details below, like the struggles, and the miracles (so far) - if you're interested.
There will be 9 songs. Released December 1st on this website. All on YouTube. All downloadable. All included in a songbook and CD. All singable at home. Maybe not all singable at Church. (Depending on your bishop/pastor/worship leader/music director/or reverend.)
Sample of what will be on YouTube
I didn’t want typical music videos on these because I felt like kids would get awfully tired of watching other children sing. Instead, I wanted the songs to be illustrated as they went along.
These beautiful illustrations are by Darryl Quinn, @TheSundaySketchbook. Finding her was a miracle – which you can read about below. And she has been an absolute joy to work with.
And in case, you want to know more:
Some of our struggles:
- We wanted to tell the stories of the Old Testament. But there is NO WAY to tell the story of Joseph, for example, in one song. So we really struggled to make the songs an appropriate length while still telling a synopsis of the story. In the end, a few of them are little long. But they’re so fun!
- We didn’t want all the songs to sound the same. So we have children-ized versions of a lullaby, a gospel anthem, a sea shanty, a pop ballad and, of course, a few simple children’s songs. We hope there’s a good mix, without being too ‘out there.’
- Narrowing it down. After The creation, Adam and Eve, the Abrahamic covenant, Noah, Moses, Joseph, David & Goliath, Esther, etc., we had 10 more we wanted to do! So I think in doing the YouTube series, we’ll just add more down the road. After we take a break. :)
One of our miracles:
- I didn’t want typical music videos on these because I felt like kids would get awfully tired of watching other children singing. Instead, I wanted the songs to be illustrated as they went along. But I took a few months to help my husband plan a medical conference during the summer and I just kept putting off finding an illustrator. In late August, I was stewing about how I would find someone. The thought came distinctly: “The Lord will provide.”
Not long after, a woman named Darryl Quinn tagged me on Instagram. I am the worst social media citizen – and I rarely respond, but I responded to her. Then I actually went to her account and discovered she’s an illustrator! I reached out to her over Insta, and soon we were on a Zoom call planning to work together.
I can’t tell you how amazing she is! And I love her illustrations! She’s creating them to unfold a little at a time as the song is being sung – like a whiteboard video but WAY better. Yay!
As I learn with every song, the Lord works alongside us to help us share truth, spread the gospel message, and strengthen others however we can. Like it says in one of our songs:
And now for the answer you’ve been waiting for: When will they be released?
I will get them on the site as soon as possible, starting mid November, and I won't wait for the videos - I'll just put the sheet music and mp3 up as soon as they're finished.
I am indebted to my husband, John, for supporting me and being my biggest fan. Also, for doing the laundry, grocery shopping, dishes and being chief Door Dash orderer while I've been working on this project. To my sister, Linda, who is endlessly creative and fun, and has put up with my process and my quirks throughout the whole thing. To Darryl Quinn, who is going to make these songs come alive through her her incredible illustrations. To Daniel Blomberg, whose always upbeat approach to life is only exceeded by his upbeat and simply beautiful arrangements. And to Tami Lemon, who drops everything to round up singers, bring them to the studio, and wait for hours while we record. Tami, you are the best!
That’s probably more than you wanted to know! Have a wonderful few weeks – and we'll talk soon.