songwriter sessions

sharing a passion for writing songs

Music Video: Man in the Mirror

Here's a new song, inspired by the sermon from we heard by Jay Pathak here in Denver. It was one of the more unusual songwriting experiences I've had. Usually I get the chorus first and then move through the rest of the song. But this time, the verse and bridge came almost immediately at the beginning of the week. But it wasn't until today that the rest of it came into place. (If you don't want to hear it, I've put the lyrics here for you to read through.)

I'd appreciate your feedback. The arrangement is basic. The recording is the second time I'd played all the way through it. I'd like to spend some time on it at another time.

Man In The Mirror
©2006 N. Durand Robinson

Verse 1

Plagued by my pain, I am lost and afraid
Broken and bruised by the mess that I've made
Longing for hope, but I'm helpless to change who I am.

Frightened by failures and hiding my face
(I'm) living a lie and deserving disgrace
Pretending I'm fine when I'm far from the man I should be


Hold me. I'm amazed at your mercy!
Hold me. I know where I belong
Hold me in the grip of your grace
Let me look in your face 'til the man in the mirror is gone.

Verse 2

I'm so ashamed, I don't know what to do
Wandered away from the love that I knew
Spent all I had hoping I could live life on my own

Feel like a failure who can't pass the test
The man in the mirror needs more than my best
I don't deserve more than fruit from the seed I have sown


(Still you) Hold me. I'm amazed at your mercy!
Hold me. Like a prodigal son
(Father) hold me in the grip of your grace
Let me look in your face 'til the man in the mirror is gone.


What would make me hold tight to my weakness?
Just to see when I'm weak that he's strong.
If the river of God brings forgiveness
Then I'll dive in that flood and be carried along.

Yes, I'll cling to the cross of my savior
And I'll throw myself down at his feet
For it's there that I gladly surrender
at the place where God's justice and love finally meet.


Hold me. I'm amazed at your mercy!
Hold me. When I'm weak you are strong!
(Father) hold me in the grip of your grace
Let me look in your face 'til the man in the mirror is gone.

Let's get connected!

Some of my favorite fellow musicians: Don and Susie Newby, Marj and Russ Speiser, Chris Janz, Matthias Keller, Jason Howell and George Vinson

I read yesterday that only 1% of bloggers create content. Another 10% interact. The rest just watch. I've just put a new tab at the top of the blog to tell friends about the blog easily. I'd love to have more songwriters sharing their stories.

So far people have emailed me but not made comments. So I took the email me tab off the page. I also put a counter on today. Looks pretty bare at the moment.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing from you. I'll pass on good stuff like music, lyrics, links, books, discs and other resources as I discover them.

Tale of two guitars, part 1

Note: If you're not an instrumentalist, this post will make no sense to you. You'll think I've gone off the deep end (which is probably true). But if you're a guitarist, I think you'll relate.

I've been blessed with a good guitar since the time I bought my first Martin D-28 for $350 from a girl who'd owned it for a couple of months and then discovered the strings "hurt her fingers".

I thought I was set for life. Unfortunately, on my move to Ireland about 12 years ago I discovered Lowden guitars. I heard a singer/songwriter like myself at a festival doing a soundcheck and couldn't believe my ears. I went over the sound man and asked what processing he was doing to make that awesome sound. He looked at me like I'd insulted his mother and said, "That's a Lowden. You don't put anything on one of those. You just set everything to flat and let the guitar do it's thing."

Now I'm a missionary, I'm basically a skin-flint, and I don't spend money to fix things that aren't broken. There was no logical need for my kids to go hungry so that I could have a second great guitar. I dismissed my urge as selfish and told myself to get over it. End of story, or so I thought.

One of my buddies from the States decided to purchase a Lowden as an investment during a visit with me, so we went up to the factory and hung out with George (Lowden). My buddy didn't know much about guitars so I got to choose. We fell in love with a beautiful double O-25 jumbo. I couldn't play a wrong note. It literally took my breath away.

We took it home, and every time I played it I'd create new song ideas. Seriously. When it left with my friend, I have to say I was heart broken. But on my next trip to the States, he asked me to use it for the tour and find a buyer for it. I relished the time I got to play it, but reluctantly and dutifully sold it to a friend at a supporting church of ours in Alabama.

Over the next years, each time I'd come to the church I got "visiting rights" because he'd let me use it to lead worship at the church. I'd always try and fool myself into thinking I was simply exaggerating its virtues (I NEVER exaggerate!) but every time I'd play it, I'd fall in love all over again.

Then last spring during one of my visits there, my friend shows up to lunch and offers the guitar to me as a gift. I thought he was joking. He'd been planning to give it to his son, who, unbeknownst to him had already purchased a high-end Taylor. I told him I couldn't in good conscience accept the guitar until he'd spoken to his son. He said he would, but in the mean time offered it to me for the duration of my stateside assignment.

And so here I am, falling madly in love with this guitar. The song ideas haven't come to me this abundantly in years. I don't know what the outcome will be. I may be setting myself up for even bigger heartbreak, but at least I'm planning to make the most of our time together.

To be continued...


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