So on Sunday, we’re ending the service with ‘Amazing Love.’ And I’m playing the progression, softly, and oh-so-worshipfully, underneath our pastor as he gives the altar call. I’ve even got the closed eyes, with the head tilted slightly to the left as if that helps me hear the Spirit better, and I’m giving the ‘Yes, Lord’ nod every once in a while. And as I’m doing the G/B C G/B D progression (or tonic with third in the bass, sub-dominant, tonic with third again, dominant, progression, for the sake of showing how songs can share progressions without necessarily sharing keys), I suddenly realize that ‘Amazing Love’ sounds a lot like ‘Free Fallin’.’ Not exactly, but close enough to make me quite happy. So I start singing ‘Free Fallin’ in my head while I’m uh, tenderly playing under the salvation message.
So now, as our lead pastor revs into the big, heart moment, and the congregation silently prays, and my guitar is softly helping the mood with the ‘Amazing Love’ chords……I’m now off in a completely other place, trying to figure out what chord comes next for ‘Free Fallin’.’ And please note that I am picking out the chords here…I’m not flashy-John-Mayer-fingerpicking, as cool as that is. The point here is not to say that I’m such a great guitarist that I can make worship songs sound like Tom Petty or John Mayer. I’m not (and I’ve tried, which is even sadder). The point is, one, how most good songs share chord progressions; and two, how incredibly far away from worship you can get in your mind; while still keeping the eyes closed, head tilted to the side so as to better hear the Spirit, ‘Yes Lord’ nodding thing.
And then my pastor finishes strongly, gives me a deeply spiritual look of mutual Christian understanding, I step to the mic, open my mouth, and start to sing, ‘She’s a good girl, living in Recita…’ Yep. Luckily I turned my head away just in time so that all they got was ‘Sh…’ Which could be bad on other levels, too. And then I had to actually re-think how ‘Amazing Love’ starts. Oh, ya! It starts like ‘Free Fallin’!’
Incredible how far away I can be at times…when no one else knows. Nothing wrong with ‘Free Fallin’;’ just perhaps not the best choice when people are making the most important decision of their lives.