Patterico's Pontifications

3/30/2020

The Patterico Music Project: The Lyrics to “Things I Never Said”

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 12:01 am



On Friday I debuted a song that I wrote in early 2018, which was recently re-recorded by Jamie Woolford of the groups The Stereo and Let Go. If you missed it, here it is again:

As I said on Friday: the background image you see above is a partial photographic portrait of Mrs. P’s grandmother from her younger days. Here’s a better image:

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 9.02.35 PM

Below are the lyrics to the song.

THE THINGS I NEVER SAID

In spite of all this time
There is no reason
The things I want to say
Cannot be said

I could weep that
The old is out of season
Even though you’re gone
The words stay in my head

Everybody said
You were their best friend
But only when they knew
You could not hear

There’d always be tomorrow
Or the weekend
How could we have known
That you’d just disappear?

And everybody knows
The time will come
When everyone moves on

The picture is erased
Before it’s drawn

In spite of all that’s been
And all that’s coming
In spite of all those dreams
We never shared

What you are
Is now what I’m becoming
I know if you were here
You’d tell me
“Don’t be scared”

And everybody knows
The time will come
When everyone moves on

You’re here
For a moment
And then you’re gone

I should acknowledge that I stole the line “I could weep that the old is out of season” from Yeats, from his poem titled “The Arrow”:

I thought of your beauty, and this arrow,
Made out of a wild thought, is in my marrow.
There’s no man may look upon her, no man,
As when newly grown to be a woman,
Tall and noble but with face and bosom
Delicate in colour as apple blossom.
This beauty’s kinder, yet for a reason
I could weep that the old is out of season

So as I hinted at on Friday, the songs is about things never said — in this case, the things I never said to my wife’s grandmother, LaVerne Jackson Yandell, who is one of the people I have admired most in my life.

In recent years, my mom, whom I love and adore, has given me as a birthday present a trip to Fort Worth in May, to watch the Colonial golf tournament and hang out with my brother Kerry. (My mom made it to the tournament one year recently, two or three years ago, but it’s tougher for her to do so these days as she lives with my sisters in Bryan and it’s a nearly three hour drive to get to Fort Worth.) (I don’t think the tournament is happening this year. Another victim of the dread disease whose name I refuse to mention in this post.)

The last time I saw Bram (which is the name the whole family gave Mrs. P’s grandmother) was on one of those trips. She was living at a managed care facility and, as in years past, I used my presence in town as an excuse to go see her and play 42 (a traditional Texas dominoes game) with her and her son Mike (Mrs. P’s uncle) and his wife Glynda. It was a great time, as any time with Bram always was.

At the end of the evening, she made a special point of telling me how much she loved me, and said very nice things about me. It was the kind of thing someone says when they worry they may never see someone again. She had said similar things the previous couple of times I had seen her. As on those previous occasions, I told her I loved her. But, to my shame, I held back on giving her a long speech about how she was one of the people I admired most in the world.

Do you know why? Here’s why: and don’t let this happen to you. The reason was: I always felt as though, if I said those things right then, I would be signaling to her that I thought I would never see her again. And I wasn’t going to do that! By gum, I was going to see her again! It was an attitude of denial. And a couple of times, that attitude worked!

Until it didn’t.

In the short time between when I saw her and her passing, Mrs. P. and my daughter had the chance to visit Bram. Lauren interviewed her for a school project. They got to give her a hug goodbye — like me, not knowing if it would be the last hug they would give her, but wondering nevertheless.

Bram was always so kind, to everyone. She suffered a lot at the end, both in her health and in her treatment at the hands of the people where she was staying. But my memory — which I acknowledge may be imperfect, but this is my memory! — is that I never heard her complain. At all. I never heard her criticize anyone. At all. I never once heard her curse. And indeed, she was famous in the family for not cursing. She would say, at most, “Oh spit!” Everyone knew what she really meant — but Bram would never ever say that word. She was, as a personalized domino set given to her long ago attested, “the sweetest.” And she really was.

I wish I had told her that. I hope she knew it’s how I felt. How we all felt.

I think she did know.

Don’t think or wish or hope about your loved one who is still alive. If they are near you, give them a, I dunno, an elbow bump or something. (Don’t kill them for goodness’s sake! There’s no vaccine yet!) If they are remote, pick up the phone and give them a call. Tell them all the stupid things that, if they were gone tomorrow, you would wish you would have said.

Do it. For me. Thanks.

3/27/2020

The Patterico Music Project: “Things I Never Said” Recorded by Jamie Woolford

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It’s time for Song #8 in the Patterico Music Project. If you are a long-time reader, you are familiar with the idea. Over the years, I have asked some of my favorite musical artists to record cover versions of songs I have written. Most of those songs, I wrote in the early 1990s — about 28 years ago. This one is a little different. I wrote it in early 2018, just over two years ago. I wrote it thinking about my wife’s grandmother, LaVerne Jackson Yandell, who passed on in July 2016.

If you remember previous entries, I generally publish the lyrics in a follow-up post, but reserve the original post for the cover. All I’ll say about the lyrics at this point is that they are a tribute (and a lament about the things I never said) to my wife’s grandmother. She is one of the greatest people I have ever met. I admired her deeply, but never quite told her just how deep my admiration ran. This song expresses some of my regret in the words I left unspoken. This cover version is yet another performance by Jamie Woolford, another special influence in my life, who (to my everlasting amazement and deep satisfaction) has covered several of my previous songs. I told you about Jamie here, in my post announcing his cover of “Alien Song.” Click the play button to listen to today’s entry:

The background image you see above is a partial photographic portrait of Mrs. P’s grandmother from her younger days. Here’s a better image:

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 9.02.35 PM

If there is someone in your life who means something to you, and they’re still around, don’t leave anything unsaid. No matter how corny or overdramatic it might seem, say those things. Say them as soon as you can. Before you lose the chance.

P.S. Here are the previous entries in the series:

3/15/2020

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 170

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the third Sunday in Lent. My church service is cancelled today and perhaps yours is as well. Let’s worship together, with music. Today’s Bach cantata is “Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust” (Delightful rest, beloved pleasure of the soul), a solo cantata for alto:

Today’s Gospel reading is John 4:5-42:

So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

“I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

The Disciples Rejoin Jesus

Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Many Samaritans Believe

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.

They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

It sickens me to live longer,
therefore take me away, Jesus!
I shudder before all sins,
let me find this dwelling-place
where I myself shall be at peace.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

11/17/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 183

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Sie werden euch in den Bann tun” (They will put you under banishment):

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 21:5-19:

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times

Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”

“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”

He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

“But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

They will put you under banishment, but the time will come, when, whoever kills you will think that he does God a service by it.

. . . .

You are a Spirit that teaches
how one should rightly pray;
your prayers will be heard,
your singing is harmonious.
It climbs up to heaven,
it rises and will not diminish,
until the One has lent aid,
who alone is able to help.

Stand up for what you know is right. Even if you are persecuted for it.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

11/3/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 55

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 10:41 am



It is the twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht” (I, wretched man, a servant to sin):

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 19:1-10:

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

I, pitiful man, I, slave of sin,
I go before the face of God
with fear and trembling for judgment.
He is righteous, I am unjust.
I pitiful man, I slave of sin!

. . . .

Although I have been separated from You,
yet I return again;
even so Your Son set the example for us
through His anguish and mortal pain.
I do not deny my guilt,
but Your grace and mercy
is much greater than the sin
that I constantly discover in me.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

10/27/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 179

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 8:14 am



It is the twentieth Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei” (See to it, that your fear of God be not hypocrisy):

The performance was recorded live at St. David’s Cathedral in Wales.

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 18:9-14:

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Who is on the inside just like the outside,
can be called a true Christian.
Thus was the tax-collector in the temple,
who beat his breast in humility,
he did not credit himself with a holy existence;
and this sets for you,
o fellow man, a worthy model
for your repentance;
though you are no thief, adulterer,
no unrighteous oath-breaker,
ah, do not imagine therefore
that you are angelically pure on that account!
Acknowledge your sins to God in humility,
so that you can find mercy and aid!

. . . .

Wretched man that I am, wretched sinner,
I stand here before God’s face.
Ah God, ah God, be gentle
and do not enter into judgment with me!
Have mercy, have mercy,
God, my Forgiver, over me!

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

10/20/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 157

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 9:06 am



It is the nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn” (I will not let you go, except you bless me):

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 18:1-8:

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words — an ode to the rewards of persistent faith:

I will not let You go, therefore bless me!

I hold my Jesus tightly,
I will not let Him go now or ever.
He alone is my resting-place,
therefore my faith forcefully grasps
His countenance full of blessing;
for this comfort is indeed the best.

. . . .

Yes, yes, I hold Jesus tightly,
therefore I will also enter into heaven,
O lovely place!
Come, gentle death, and lead me away,
where God and the guests of His Lamb
are crowned for the wedding.

. . . .

I will not let go of my Jesus,
I will walk beside Him forever;
Christ shall for ever and ever have me
guided to the springs of life.
Blessed, whoever says with me:
I will not let go of my Jesus.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

10/13/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 17

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 8:49 am



It is the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich” (He who offers thanks praises Me):

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 17:11-19:

Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him — and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

One, however, among them, when he saw that he was cured, turned back and praised God with a loud voiceand fell upon his face at His feet and thanked Him; and this was a Samaritan.

What an abundance of goodness
You give me!
Yet what shall my conscience
give You in return?
Lord, I know nothing else to bring,
except to sing thanks and praise to You.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

10/6/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 75, Part 2

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is the second part of the cantata we heard the first part of last week: “Die Elenden sollen essen” (The miserable shall eat):

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 17:5-10:

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Who rests in Jesus alone,
and is driven by self-denial,
which in God’s love
he practices in faith,
has, when earthly things have disappeared,
found himself and God.

. . . .

O poverty, like no other kingdom!
When out of the heart
the entire world departs
and Jesus alone governs.
Then a Christian will be led to God!
Grant, God, that we do not scorn it!

What God does, is well done,
I will cling to this.
Along the harsh path
trouble, death and misery may drive me.
Yet God will,
just like a father,
hold me in His arms:
therefore I let Him alone rule.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

9/29/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 75, Part 1

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is the first part of the cantata “Die Elenden sollen essen” (The miserable shall eat):

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 16:19-31:

The Rich Man and Lazarus

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

The wretched shall eat until they are satisfied, and those who ask after the Lord, shall praise Him. Your hearts shall live forever.

What good is the majesty of royalty
when it passes away?
What good is the greatest abundance,
since everything that we see
must disappear?
What good is the tickling of vain thoughts,
since our bodies themselves must be gone?
Ah, how quickly it happens,
that riches, pleasure, grandeur
send the spirit to hell!

. . . .

God topples and exalts
in time and in eternity.
Whoever seeks heaven in the world,
will be cursed hereafter.
But whoever overcomes hell here,
will be overjoyed hereafter.

I take my sorrows upon me with joy.
Whoever bears Lazarus’ torments
patiently,
the angels will take to themselves.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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