Toublemaker's Vote: Favorite JT Song Countdown Part 3 (40-36)
are the next 5 songs in our countdown! Ron adds his comments to the mix
alongside Mark and Jerry in this installment. You don't wanna miss it!
40. If You Believe
I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the
door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." - Revelations 3:20
I wanna say everyday in every way what you mean to me
They say that time heals all wounds and this certainly applies
to this track for me. The original, frantic, punkish version of If You Believe
(that you hear on Diggin' Up Bones) was kind of like our theme song. We opened
all our early shows with it. It was our way of establishing right out of the
gate, "This is who we are, this is what we do."
Once we got in the studio with Terry, he began disassembling
many of our songs and reconstructing them. It seemed at the time like Frontline
had maybe instructed him to concentrate on the whole Beatles/Monkees aspect of
our sound, when truthfully live we were a little more like the Who. Anyways,
"If You Believe" was the most radical departure from the original
version. Most of the changes were arrangement variations but with this one, it
was a complete overhaul. At the time, it freaked us out. We absolutely hated
it. So much so that we dropped it from our live set entirely. We felt at the
time like a big chunk of our identity as a band just got taken away from us. It
was a bitter pill for us.
I grew to really like it over the years, and recently as we have
been rehearsing for the reunion concert, I am really enjoying it. The only
thing about it that still bugs me to this day is the drum flub on the track. I
cam in about a half beat too late on the second verse and we never went back
and fixed it. It stands out to me like a big zit!
39. O.N.F.S (Obligatory New Father Song)
are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the
hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose
quiver is full of them." - Psalm 127:3-5
a grand adventure there ahead of us
can hardly wait to rediscover this old world
can only see things for the first time once
the razor edge of youth is all too quickly dulled
Erik and Kelsey
When my firstborn, Erik, was a baby, I didn’t know a whole lot
of the kids songs and lullabies so ay bedtime I would sing to him things like “Young
At Heart” by Sinatra and “Blackbird” by the Beatles, stuff like that. Also, I
would make up songs. This song is the result of one of those homemade kids
songs. This is probably one of the most personal songs I ever wrote with JT
because it’s such an unfiltered inside glimpse into what God was stirring in me
with the birth of my first kid. I actually wrote songs around the birth of all
three of my kids but since I was no longer in JT by the time my other two were
born, you will probably never hear them. (For any of you who actually heard the
ultra-rare sideways8 CD, Uberpop!, I recorded Whitney’s song, “What
Will You Be?”)
The title is a reference to the seeming inevitability of a
recording artist writing a song about becoming a parent. In my opinion, this
track stands out as a gem if not for the sole fact that it actually turned out
like I wanted. I am especially proud of the lyrics in the bridge: “You can only
see things for the first time once/ and the razor edge of youth is all too
quickly dulled.” I confess I stole the phrase “razor edge of youth” from Mike
Nesmith’s classic unreleased Monkees song “Carlisle Wheeling.”
There is a 4-track demo of this song that Keith, Steve, and I
recorded that didn’t make it onto Diggin’ Up Bones. The only
real difference is that in the break between the first and second verses I
inserted a simulated baby burp for comedic effect. We tried it in the Truth sessions
for the CD, but it sounded silly and Mark Heard thought it better to leave it
off. Also, the “Aw, shoot!” you hear in the timbale break is me actually
expressing very real frustration at botching the part. It was very simple to
play but I kept screwing it up to the point where I was getting mad at myself.
We left it in because it made us all giggle. It really plays well with the
theme of the song, embracing all the imperfections of becoming a first-time
Nathan Fink, who plays Hammond organ on “Something Good Happens,”
play s the marimba part. If memory serves me, I think Nathan was Ron’s
brother-in-law. One good thing about recording in Atlanta was that we had
access to all our friends in the local music scene to come play on the record.
38.Never Would Have Known
if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his
mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory...?" - Romans 9:23
I get down on my knees to see Your face
listen for Your footsteps as You knock upon the door
the line I draw between us disappears
in hand we're walking side by side
I have always been able to write best with a 12 string guitar,
because the chords you can create have a bigger sound and have all these cool
overtones. This was another of those fun, jangly songs that you can write,
another one with that "sterling silver sound" that Jacob's Trouble
was known for.
Romans 7:7, What should we say then? Is the law sin?
Absolutely not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin if it were not for
the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had
not said, Do not covet.
This was the idea I wanted to convey, that if I had continued in
wavering between two opinions, I would never had known what sin was. It was
because I could not measure up to God's standard did I finally realize my need
for a Savior. None of us are exempt from our need for a Savior.
37. Morning Light
his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime;
remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." - Psalm 30: 5
don't have to cry anymore
will fall down but just for one night
don't have to cry anymore
I know I'll be fine in the morning light
invited to join the band after the release of “Knock Breathe Shine”. The band
had recently added Keith to flush out the live sound. After doing a number of
opening dates as a three piece with Jerry singing lead from behind the kit they
wanted to get him out front.
a short tour with another drummer, Matt Goldman, working as a ‘hired gun’ prior
to bringing me in. But I had known the guys for years and they invited me in as
a full member before we ever played a note together.
toured a lot. More than they had before and most people who saw the band live
never knew that Jerry had once been trapped behind the kit. Like Phil Collins
or Dave Grohl, Jerry was one of those few that made a very natural front man /
lead singer. A great drummer too, one of my favorites. But JT would have never
achieved the reputation of such an entertaining group without Jerry up front.
began to prep for ‘Truth’, the 3rd JT record, the guys asked me to take a hand
at bringing a song to the table. I had written and sung before in a few
previous bands but never expected to write anything for JT. We already had the
power house writing of Mark and Jerry. Then Keith started blowing us away with
his stuff. So it was a little intimidating bringing my ideas. If one could even
make such a comparison, we already had a Lennon/McCartney duo and a George
Harrison. This was definitely a ‘Ringo’ situation.
I got together one evening at his place. I already had a basic structure, the
chorus melody and a rough idea for a few lines. With me on a six string Mark
picked up the Twelve string and came up with that great opening hook. At the
time the main line of the chorus “ I don’t have to cry anymore” was just a
place holder for some future brilliance I hoped would come. But as we worked
thru it Mark got out his bible and flipped right to Psalms 30:5. (He was always
good like that). So that became the permanent hook. I went home and the rest of
the lyrics, melody and bridge wrote themselves. I was always a fan of cool
country rock and considered this a fun little ditty. It had all my favorite
elements of JT, jangling guitars, acoustic rhythms and great harmonies.
was more surprised than I was when the label released Mornin’ Light as a
years many people have shared how much the song meant to them. I never really
liked singing lead and we only performed it live a few times.
You never know what will happen when you throw Ringo a bone.
36.I'm a Little World
1 through Revelations 22
Knock, Breathe, Shine seek to mend me now
burn, heal and make me new again
Donne’s influence is all over Knock Breathe Shine, as much as Terry’s or the
Beatles’ or anybody’s. In fact, the title itself was taken from one of his
sonnets, which we used as the basis for “I’m A Little World.” Donne’s passion
for God, his desperate thirst for Him, runs all through the record.
all the songs we wrote based on Donne’s Holy Sonnets, this is the only one
where we took the actual lines from the poems. It’s also the song where we got
the name of the album.
is pretty much Terry’s brainchild from start to finish; musically, lyrically,
and in the studio. Dan Michaels from the Choir plays saxophone. -Jerry