Last weekend I played mandolin and guitar for a couple of songs at the launch of David MacGregor's album of worship songs "More Than Dream". David finally fulfilled his own dream of recording a selection from the many songs that he has written. To have a song on the album that we had co-written is a delight for me. I also put the album artwork together for him, based on his design.
God of life, you're the light that shines
Love afire, in these days, these times
David MacGregor is the Robin Mann of the Uniting Church. He has written hundreds of songs over what must be four decades. I have sung and played David's songs many times in congregations across Australia, at childrens and youth camps, and at Synod and Assembly meetings. He sometimes writes spontaneously, but also after long reflection, when words and melody find their right place.
Bring your peace, Lord
Peace in the hard times
Peace in the pain
The timeliness of David's songs is their hallmark - whether in response to tragedy, or just in thanks for life as a gift from God. David often has a song for the moment, written on a day when he has the space to reflect and listen. Many of these songs are the most prayerful, less about a message than for a moment. For me, they are among his best songs; while simpler in lyric and slower in pace, they gather us deeply into prayer. I have a hunch that, like Leonard Cohen or Paul Simon, the older we get, the more we uncover some kind of clearer, less insistent, affirmation or yearning. We find our deeper voice.