Hannah Schuldt
01/01/2014
Hannah Schuldt

Story

Time

03:40
Julia Grippe & VVS EI Class
04/25/2014
Julia Grippe
Katie Quick
Katie Quick
Donna Mucks
Donna Mucks

Story

 

Be Still - Donna Mucks - (2007-2008)

When I wrote Be Still I thought it was simply a personal mantra, something to remind me to be still and not forget to whom I belong. I was thinking about the importance of just “being.” In this crazy busy world of ours it is so important take some time to be still and really to just “be.” It is necessary for relaxation, for focusing, for true fellowship with others; or when walking, when reading the Bible, the list goes on and on. While I was pondering this, the scripture verse Psalm 46:10 ‘be still and know that I am God’ came to mind. I decided to play with the words just a bit, to reflect my thoughts at the time, and Be Still was born.

As I was composing the song, I was walking, of course, and singing the song to develop a melody. As I sang “be still,” a bird answered “tweet, tweet.” I did it again, and the bird responded again “tweet, tweet.” That moment of “just being” revealed the idea of an echo for some of the lyrics of the song.

I mentioned above that I intended Be Still to be a personal mantra, but one day I played it for Colleen Bennett. We were recording some songs for music therapy for her KEYS Program and brainstorming what to record, sharing songs and ideas. I decided to share Be Still. She immediately said “We need that song for our KEYS Kids. It is perfect!” If you join us at a KEYS Benefit, we demonstrate how we use it in music therapy.

A few days ago, as I was singing Be Still at the Grand Opening of Life Discovery Christian Books and Gifts, someone came up to me and said “That was beautiful. I don’t think I have ever heard it before.” That spurred a wonderful conversation with a Christian Sister! (She also bought the CD.)

I think the beauty of Be Still lies in it’s simplicity; the tune, the words and the overall message. I thank God for reminding me to be still, for blessing me with this song and for trusting me to be the messenger.

Take some time today, and every day to Be Still!

Much love and blessings!

Donna

Birdseed Bandits
Birdseed Bandits
Nick Piccininni
Nick Piccininni
Nick Piccininni
Nick Piccininni
Donna Mucks
Donna Mucks

Story

 A New Normal - Donna Mucks

January 8, 2013 @ 9:43 PM

I hesitate to tell too much of the story behind this song, only because I am learning that it has come to mean something different to everyone.  When I began performing, I was advised about telling too much of the story when you introduce a song.  This point was brought home to me again recently at a workshop. I invite you to FIRST listen to the song and read the words, THEN read the “The Story Behind the Song!”  That way you can make your own interpretation!

 

The Story Behind the Song “A New Normal”

This song has had an interesting evolution; it has been in the works for about 20 years!  It began marinating even before I knew I was a songwriter! In the early 1990’s I was chatting with my cousin’s husband Mark, who had been working with someone from out of the country.  This gentleman said to Mark, “I don’t understand Americans. Different is not bad, it’s only different!”  What an interesting observation.  The phrase and the sentiment would ring in my ears over and over again through the years.

In 2010, the inspiration for “A New Normal” came from two sources; listening to and reading stories of wounded warriors, and from a story told to me by a warrior of a different kind, someone battling a disease. I was deeply touched by the demonstrated love of life and desire to move on in their respective new normals.  You will notice in the lyrics, I have added the word disease in parenthesis.  I think they both work in this song, and when I sing it I’m never sure which one is going to come out! As I sat down to write “A New Normal” the phrase “Different’s not bad, it’s only different” entered my mind again!

When I was preparing to record “A New Normal” on my CD Faith and Service, I was having trouble deciding on an arrangement. Should I sing it like a ballad, or more upbeat?  I sat down with my husband and sang it both ways and asked which one he thought worked.  He, in his songwriting wisdom said, “Why not both?”  (He is not a songwriter, but I think maybe he should be.)  If you have listened to the song, you know that is exactly what I did.  I incorporated the changing music to the changing moods of the song.  It builds to a hopeful ending, a change in attitude to meet the challenge and to not do it alone. 

Although “A New Normal” was written with the intention to help warriors of many types, it is really a song of triumph over challenge. 

Please feel free to share what “A New Normal” means to you!

Much love and Blessings!

Donna

Lyrics

I have fought the demons

Through long dark sleepless nights

But they no longer haunt me

Today I finally won the fight

I put away regrets

Of the life I leave behind

The new one will be different

And different’s not bad

It’s only different, it’s only different.

My soul which had departed

Today returned to me

Together we decided

I am not my injury (disease)

I’m still husband, father, son

I’m still daughter, sister, wife

Friend I may be different

But different’s not bad

It’s only different, it’s only different.

I might need your help

As I move on

I’m not used to asking

So that will be different

But different’s not bad

It’s only different, it’s only different.

So now I begin my new normal

Today is the day

I am accepting the challenge

Of learning to live in a new way

Because now I understand

There is life after change

Some things will be different

But different’s not bad

It’s only different, it’s only different.

Call4Backup
Colleen Bennett & Sarah Schumaker
02/01/1988
Colleen Bennett
Christine LaClair
Christine LaClair
Cincinnati Creek
Cincinnati Creek
Steve Laureti
Steve Laureti
Donna Mucks
Donna Mucks

Story

For You and For Me - Donna Mucks

April 9, 2013 @ 8:27 AM...Many years in the making...

The motivation for For You and For Me has come from many places and spanned many years. I have been surrounded by the military most of my life, both personally and professionally. I am daughter, sister, wife, niece, aunt, cousin and friend of members in all branches of the armed services. Although I wasn’t politically aware during the Vietnam era, I never understood how people could treat our military so horribly upon their return. How people could treat anyone so horribly! It obviously left an impression on me, because when we went to war again, my first instinct was to do what I could to never let that happen again.

The final motivations for the song came in 2008 and 2009, when as a Red Cross Volunteer, I attended the wakes and/or arrival ceremonies of of Sgt. John Sigsbee, Lance Cpl. Daniel J. Geary and Lance Cpl. Blaise Oleski. I did not know any of these young men, but I felt compelled, as did many members of the affected communities, to pay my respects and show my support. At each event, I was of course, saddened. However, I was also uplifted by the support of the communities, and amazed by the strength of the family members in the receiving lines. During this time I also came to know of the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR). When I attended the wake, there was the PGR again, with their “heads and flags held high”, silently standing and guarding the fallen hero and all those gathered.

I stood in line at the funeral home and asked myself, “Why do I, and so many others, go pay our respects to someone we don’t even know?” I went to my car and took out a pen and paper tried to put my feelings into words. I sat there for a while, watching people come and go, watching the American and Service flags waving in the breeze. I went home, and thought not only about fallen heroes, but also of those who were currently serving and those who have served, our Veterans. I managed to put the thoughts and feelings together as a poem. Friends who know me as a singer and songwriter asked, “When are you putting that to music?" I had never intended it to be a song, but I sat down one afternoon, and it was there, simply and easily. A gift from God.

As I prepared to go into the studio, I kept feeling there should be a fiddle and a drum in the song, along with the guitar, but I was not sure how. While brainstorming with my husband John, he suggested I listen to the song The Minstrel Boy, from the Blackhawk Down soundtrack. It was originally written by Thomas Moore to honor his friends who were killed in the Irish Rebellion of 1798. It was also popular in the American Civil War and WW I, and is still used sometimes at military funerals. The tune of The Minstrel Boy is The Moreen, an old Irish air and it blended well with For You and For Me. I learned from the Oleski family, after recording, that it was one of Blaise’s favorite songs. Divine intervention once again.

My hope is that those who hear the song feel the mixed emotions, the sadness, the patriotism, the thankfulness, and the honor that I felt, and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, those who have fought for our freedoms, and those who continue to do so. Please....never forget...they do it For You and For Me! God Bless our Gold Star families and God Bless America!

Chicago Four
Chicago Four
Colleen Bennett & Sarah Schumaker
11/20/1993
Colleen Bennett