Hush the Baby: a tale of two melodies
A thing I do to drive myself a little crazier: “finish” something, make it public, and then regret it because it was just. plain. wrong. I did that last December with my latest Christmas song, “Hush the Baby.” The melody and feel I had chosen were simply wrong. Not that I was smart enough to recognize that on my own. It wasn’t until I began trying to arrange it for solo voice and kept hitting brick walls that I realized maybe Heavenly Father was trying to tell me something. As I struggled with the arrangement, here’s what my Facebook entry looked like:
A question for my creative friends out there: How do you deal with mental blocks? How do you kick-start your artistic engines? How do you motivate yourself when you’re feeling… blah? I’m there. And to tell you the truth, it’s a fairly unfamiliar place. No energy, no ideas, no nothing. And I’m usually full of it. 😉
And when I finally wised up…
Well, a follow-up here to my mental block of a few days ago. All of you gave me great suggestions, most of which made me sure I needed to go to Disneyland… which thing, unfortunately, didn’t happen. I *did* try several of your ideas, and most of all lots of praying.
The roadblock didn’t budge until I backtracked quite a bit and re-wrote the melody I was working on with an entirely new feel. When I decided to go another route instead of stubbornly pursuing the path I was on, things started to move again.
All the while I was trying to pray away the blahs and wondering why I wasn’t getting an answer, I should have realized that the mental block WAS the answer. The Lord wanted me to go in another direction, and there was no way in heaven He was going to remove that barrier until I got the message. So hopefully I’ve learned my lesson from this stupor of creativity. I’m really glad He knows what He’s doing when I don’t. Which is most of the time.
Fortunately, the only place I had made the old version public was Facebook*. And nobody reads Facebook, right? 😉 “Hush the Baby” is another song inspired by imagining what Joseph’s part in the nativity might have been. I’ve never taken “but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes…” too seriously. He was a baby, after all, and I’m sure he did everything that newborn infants do.
Bearing a child under the conditions we ascribe to that first Christmas would have been tiring in the extreme, and Mary would have been in need of all the rest she could get. So this little lullaby is an invitation to Joseph to hold and comfort the newborn, while Mary get’s some much-needed sleep. “Hush the Baby” is, for now, solo voice only. Maybe I’ll hear it in parts one of these days… maybe not. 🙂 Here’s a recording, with vocals by Katie Bastian:
*BTW, if you’d like to join me on Facebook, you’ll find me at www.facebook.com/sallydefordmusic