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Kerry Livgren's Stroke

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Kerry Livgren has put up a Christmas Eve letter about his recent, very severe stroke and significant but still-only-partial recovery.

For those who don't know, Kerry Livgren was a founding member of Kansas and chief songwriter until the mid-80s. He became an evangelical Christian near the end of his time with the band and had a Christian band called AD in the 80s, after which he has spent much of his time running a farm and producing solo albums, while occasionally appearing with Kansas and contributing some new material for them to record (even contributing an entire album that reunited the original members of the famous 1972-on version of Kansas in 2000). Most recently, he reunited with some members of Kansas from before the band was famous in a group called Proto-Kaw ("Kaw" is another name for the Kanza people, from who the state got its name). He appeared on Kansas' new DVD There's Know Place Like Home and former Kansas vocalist John Elefante's new Mastedon project Revolution of Mind, and he's been reworking some of his solo album, writing a cantata about the death and resurrection of Jesus' friend Lazarus in John 11, and updating his autobiography.

In the latest Christian Carnival, I found a post at Got Bible? about the term 'Reverend' for people we also call pastors or ministers. I remembered posting about the same issue a few years ago, but as I was reading this post a new idea occurred to me. At least I thought it was a new idea. Here's the idea. Wouldn't it be interesting to start calling every Christian 'Reverend' the way everyone is a brother or sister in a lot of congregations? After all, Paul calls everyone saints as a reminder that we're all made holy in Christ. Doesn't 'Reverend' pretty much mean the same thing?

The problem with the term is that it makes some people seem more holy just because they hold a certain position in the church, and that's completely opposed to biblical teaching. But if you called everyone by that term, it would removed the problem. I thought about doing this after church on Sunday, but I didn't get around to it with anyone.

So I went to go find my previous post, and here it is. Check out the last paragraph especially. Am I really that out of it that I can't remember the punchline of a post that I can nevertheless remember writing? I mean, I can remember the content of the punchline enough to come up with it again, but I can't remember that it's not new and that it was part of the original post that I was thinking about all along, and I somehow end up thinking it's a new idea that I've never thought of before.

I've often heard passages of music that sound similar enough to another one and wondered if the writer might have taken it from that without noticing. There's a beautiful Spock's Beard song that has a line that sounds an awful lot like John Williams' Jurassic Park theme, which came out the year before. I've long thought some pieces by Trevor Rabin of Yes had some similarities to the Princess Bride theme by Mark Knopfler. There's a repeated short bridge section in Carry on Wayward Son that sounds similar to a Journey song that was never released (but I think might be on their boxed set). That song had been played on a tour the previous year when Kansas had opened for them. The guys in Journey have several times publicly accused Kerry Livgren of deliberate plagiarism. If I can steal an idea from myself without even knowing it, surely these musicians (and all of them are good writers) can unknowingly come up with a melody that's similar to one they've heard before but don't happen to remember hearing.

Larry Norman has died. Some called him the grandfather of Christian rock music. He helped develop it before it got all commercialized and processed, and many of the earliest Christian rock musicians (Phil Keaggy, Randy Stonehill, Keith Green, The Second Chapter of Acts) were at least at some time all within his circle. His music was often cheesy but in a fun way, and it clearly challenged the status quo in evangelicalism in many good ways.

It was funny when I walked into my department a number of years ago and heard "Why Don't You Look Into Jesus?" playing very loudly through the hall, expecting that maybe our one evangelical professor had it playing (although he's not the type to play Christian music loudly so the whole department can hear). But it turned out to be a different professor, one who grew up in an evangelical home but is in fact an atheist. He had rediscovered Larry Norman on Napster and downloaded a whole bunch of his albums, and he was playing them loudly to illustrate the excellent music he'd grown up with. He wasn't in the least shy about proclaiming his appreciation for this outspoken evangelical rock musician whose lyrics were quite explicitly evangelistic.

Larry Norman had a hard life in many ways. Despite his significant influence, he never had much commercial success compared with the next generation of Christian rock (e.g. Amy Grant, Petra, Michael W. Smith, White Heart, Steve Taylor). He never became a mainstream artist or even a mainstream CCM artist in many ways, even though most early CCM musicians saw him as an important influence and owed him a great debt for helping get Christian rock going in the first place. He had heart trouble for decades, and to top it all off he had serious relational difficulties with several people close to him, the details of which too often made the rumor rounds in the public domain. His heart problems finally caught up with him on Sunday.

But whatever else is true of Larry Norman, he had a big impact on a lot of people, and I've probably been influenced by him indirectly in ways I don't even know about. I never listened to him much as one of my own favorites, but my brother Joel absolutely loved his stuff, so I have some familiarity with his music, and some of the people I did listen to growing up were directly influenced by him.

Larry was very nice to my brother, and I appreciate that a lot. Joel was in a college band called Mustard Seed that some people thought had all the signs of having a decent chance of becoming a hot new CCM act, just as Jars of Clay had done a few years earlier from the same school. (I won't comment on how Jars of Clay treated Mustard Seed when they had a chance to meet them, however.) My brother had put together a bootleg called We Wish You A Larry Christmas. Many people would have been upset, but Larry thought it was great, and he adopted the bootleg and began to produce it officially himself.

When my brother died in 1997, Larry did a free concert at his college as a tribute and performed one of my brother's own songs (Friendship's End) on a tribute CD some of Joel's college friends made after he died. His version isn't as good as Mustard Seed's, but it was a nice gesture. [I can't sing Larry's praises fully on this score, however. He later put that song on one of his own albums, and I have to think an administrative error took place, because he didn't give Joel any credit for it. Given how he'd previously treated him, this couldn't have been a deliberate attempt to take credit for my brother's work, even if it was disappointing to find out about.]

I've already seen several good tributes to Larry's life by people who know and appreciate a lot more about Larry's music than I can do justice to, so I'll refer you to those:

Charles Norman, Larry's brother
Internet Monk
my friend Gnu at Wildebeest's Wardrobe
Mark Joseph (at, of all places, the Huffington Post)
Steve Camp Jeff Smith posts Randy Stonehill's response
Michael Longinow, journalism professor at Biola University (guest-posting at GetReligion)
Chris Willman has a nice retrospective at Entertainment Weekly
Dennis Hevisi, New York Times
Rupert M. Loydell

I may add more as I discover them.

Phil Ehart interview

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Since March 27, Kansas fans have speculated about the reasons for Robby Steinhardt's departure from the band and his re-replacement by his former replacement David Ragsdale. See my posts here and here. In one of the best interviews I've ever read from drummer and band manager Phil Ehart, we now get the details. Robby wasn't fired, but he didn't just leave on his own either. He'd gradually been losing interest in the band, and it was showing in his performance. Eventually, the band had to make him realize that his heart wasn't in it and that it was affecting the band. But they didn't fire him. They left it to him to decide what to do, and he realized that he didn't really want to keep doing it.

There's lots of other great stuff in the interview. He explains why he has insisted that the band be part of any efforts by labels to repackaged already-released material and remasters, even with projects he wouldn't have been motivated to do. He just thinks that if it's going to be done, it ought to be done right with band input. He reflects on Always Never the Same, the album (with the following tour) that utilized an orchestra as a sixth band member. He also offers thoughts on their current situation with their two writers reserving material for other projects, the different band lineups over the years, and the controversial period of the early 80s when two band members became evangelical Christians, singer Steve Walsh left over the explicit Christian lyrics that followed, and newcomer John Elefante turned out to be an evangelical Christian himself, leaving them with a majority Christian band.

Rep. M. Holmes of the Kansas House offered the following speech last week to honor Kerry Livgren of the band Kansas:

I'd like to introduce a remarkable individual to the House this morning. You may not recognize his name, but you will recognize some of the songs he's written.

Kerry Livgren graduated from Topeka West High School in 1967. He started playing in rock and roll bands and song writing while still in school. His songs are not the typical "feel good'' rock and roll, but are laced with thought provoking lyrics. Kerry was on a spiritual journey and all his lyrics reflected that. Words such as "If I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know'' and "All we do crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see'' were typical of his hit songs.

Kerry's spiritual journey culminated in 1979 with his conversion to Christianity. His songs continued to be thought provoking, but took on a new dimension.

Not only were the lyrics of Kerry's songs unique, but the musical style was also unique. It was obvious that Kerry was as inspired by classical music as he was by rock and roll. I've often thought that if Bach or Beethoven were writing music in modern times, they would be in the same genre of music as Kerry Livgren.

Kerry's song writing career spans five decades, and he's played in numerous bands. The band he's best known for is a band named "Kansas." During the 70's and 80's, "Kansas" sold over 14 million records as the result of Livgren's song writing.

The band has produced eight gold albums, two triple platinum albums and one platinum live album. ``Kansas'' appeared on the Billboard charts for over 200 weeks throughout the 70's and 80's and played to sold out arenas and stadiums throughout North America, Europe and Japan. In fact, "Carry on Wayward Son'' was the second most played track on classic rock radio in 1995 and went to number one in 1997.


Over a week after Steve Walsh announced the departure of Robby Steinhardt from Kansas, the news section of the official Kansas website has now announced officially that he is gone and David Ragsdale has returned. Here is the announcement:

The band KANSAS would like to bring finality to our recent member change. After a mutual decision to separate, KANSAS wishes Robby Steinhardt only the best for his career and life.

KANSAS takes this opportunity to welcome David Ragsdale to the band and we look forward to an exciting and creative future.

And as always, we thank our fans for their continued support.

They continue to have my support. I will miss Robby. He was especially nice to me on one occasion, and I very much enjoyed talking to him both times I got to meet him. I wish him the best and will miss the special sensitivity he approaches his violin playing with and his soulful voice. I do really like David Ragsdale's contributions to the band, however, and I expect we'll see an excellent CD of Walsh-Ragsdale compositions perhaps even as early as next year. If it's anything like Freaks of Nature or David & Goliath, it will be good and very much like classic Kansas. I suspect it might be even better if the reason for this reunion with Ragsdale was so they could use the sort of material this time around that they didn't use before (the reason he left in 1997). Besides, you've got to love a guy whose fashion sense allows him to wear sport coats or vests with nothing on underneath except the ever-present fanny pack around his waist.

Unfortunately, they don't have any dates scheduled this summer anywhere near me except when I'm going to be teaching an intensive summer course and will just be unable to drive to NYC on a Monday afternoon, see them at night, and spend all night driving back so I can teach at 8:30 am with no sleep. And that's the best of the possibilities. Oh, well.

On Monday, Steve Walsh posted a message to his website announcing that violin player and second lead vocalist Robby Steinhardt had been released from Kansas. See the 3-27 message on his Wait Until Tomorrow section. There's still been no official announcement from the band, but this seems to be a done deal. It happened right after some shows in Las Vegas, where David Ragsdale, Kansas' violin player from 1991-1997 has been playing since he left the band. The buzz seems to be that Ragsdale has returned. Several fans who know band members have dropped hints in that direction, saying that it's already settled.

I piece the following together from three sources: Steve Walsh's above-mentioned comments, several hints from those in the know, and interviews from Steve Walsh, Phil Ehart, and Kerry Livgren. Kerry Livgren is busy with Proto-Kaw and sending all his songs that way. Walsh's songs have been reserved for solo albums. He's said several times that he doesn't think he can write for Kansas anymore. Perhaps a teamup with Ragsdale would allow him to do that again. They haven't had a new album since 2000, and Livgren wrote every song on it. The last one before that had only three new Kansas songs on it, by Walsh, and that was 1998. Before that it was the 1995 album that Ragsdale was on. So this may well be about Kansas wanting to keep moving forward and recording new material. They do have an obligation to Magna Carta Records, with whom they have signed on for one additional album. Their live sets have also gotten somewhat stale in the last few years. I last saw them in 2001, and since then there were maybe 1 or 2 songs that they've done since that I really wanted to see them so I could see them perform those songs, but it's nothing like the variety in setlists from year to year that they had from 1991-2001. I might have seen them if they were in town, but I wasn't going out of my way to see them with the infrequent changes in setlists. I would go out of my way to see Kerry Livgren and Proto-Kaw.

So back to my suspected account. I'm guessing that they tossed around the idea of bringing someone else in to help write new material, and David's name came up. The issue of what they would do with two violinists came up, and somehow or other Robby ended up out of the band, either at his own initiative because the others insisted on having David part of this or at their initiative because they didn't want two violinists themselves. People will always jump to conclusions about how this happened, but I don't see any reason to assume anything. This does seem to be my best guess as to what's going on, though.



Click on the picture for the full-size version. They've got Robby Steinhardt's photo above the Phil Ehart blurb, but otherwise this is pretty funny. One of the people on the discussion list where I found this spoke of Phil looking more and more like Robby every day!

What's funniest to me about this isn't intentional. It's that the members who would be most likely to favor ID aren't even in the current lineup, which is the group the picture shows. What follows close behind is that Kansas actually does have lyrics that deal with intelligent design. Then there's the fact that Kerry Livgren now thinks of Dust in the Wind as expressing the main theme of Ecclesiastes. It's not as if that song is contrary to Christian teaching, except in a couple of details ("nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky?" as if either would last forever anyway).

What's a little disappointing is the insinuation that intelligent design is about religion and the suggestion that it has anything to do with opposition to gay marriage. I'd guess that Kerry Livgren does oppose gay marriage, and I know he encourages all to become Christians, but this isn't about Livgren's current views and how he'd adjust the song in light of them. It's about how Dust in the Wind could be adjusted to sound like the ID proponents. Those would have been more important to put in the last box with those who prefer Foreigner to progressive rock. It's also a little unfortunate that ID is being held up against evolution, given what I argued in my last post on the topic. Good humor is good humor, but it still needs to be evaluated for its philosophical presuppositions.

Roundup

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Blogs4God has President George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789.

More Ethan pictures: Sam took him outside to play with the fallen leaves.

Proto-Kaw (the band Kerry Livgren of Kansas has reformed based on an earlier incarnation of Kansas that never released anything until this decade) has a new album coming out in February, called The Wait of Glory. We had the pleasure of seeing them and meeting them all this summer, and it was one of the highlights of the last decade for me. The lyrics for the Wait of Glory are up now. I can't wait to hear it. Everything I've heard is that it's even better than their last album Before Became After, which was one of Livgren's best works.

For some really perverse fun, see A Night at the Roddenberry. [Hat tip: The Gnu]

Speaking of the Gnu, he has a response to a few of Scott Adams's comments on Intelligent Design (see Abednego's post). I think his point about Crick and Watson is particularly interesting.

time signature carry on wayward son 4/4
Yes, it's 4/4, fairly boring for Kansas. There are lots of other Kansas songs to pick if you want 11/8, 13/8, 7/8, 9/8, 5/4, or whatever unusual time signature you need. You probably have all of those and more just in The Spider, and that's only like three minutes long.

must be a Christian Hedonist to be saved
This one amazed me. It led to some people taking Piper way out of context. He says that you need to find joy in what God has done in Christ before you can receive it, which is just astoundingly obvious. How could someone receive the gift of God while finding it horrific? These people think Piper is teaching that you need to have an explicit affirmation of the thesis of Christian hedonism to be saved, which isn't even close to what he says. Piper is making a very small point. He thinks Christian hedonism is true, and he thinks those who have accepted the Christian gospel and repented of their sin are living as Christian hedonists to some degree, even if they pretend they aren't. So when someone asks him if you need to fulfill your desires in God to be saved, of course he'll say yes. To paint him as if he's saying that someone can't be saved without affirming the words that he uses to describe Christian hedonism is simply bearing false witness against him.

Ash in the Wind

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Mark Roberts connects Ash Wednesday, Ecclesiastes, and the 1977 Kansas hit "Dust in the Wind" (which Mark wrongly lists as 1978). The song isn't even remotely representative of the group's symphonic and progressive rock sound, with its complex time signatures, textured and layered sound, and classically-influenced stylings mixed with classic American blues. Still, it's a well-done acoustic guitar tune with a nice violin solo, and the lyrics really are similar to some of the themes in Ecclesiastes. They were actually based on Native American poetry, but Kerry Livgren did later become a Christian, and now he does connect them to Ecclesiastes' themes. I find it interesting that John Elefante, the singer who took over for Steve Walsh when he left the group in 1981 and turned out to be a Christian, refuses to sing the third verse when he does the song live now. My guess is that he finds "nothing last forever but the earth and sky" to be blasphemous.

I woke up this morning
and I went back to bed
I woke up this morning
and I went right back to bed
Got a funny kind of feeling
Like I got broken glass in my underwear
and I really, really, really wish I was dead

Thus begins Weird Al Yankovic's The Generic Blues off his UHF soundtrack. I never knew what that funny kind of feeling was like until this morning. I really did have broken glass in my underwear. I wasn't wearing them, of course. Somehow they must have fallen on the kitchen floor as someone went through to the basement with laundry, and when Ethan dropped one of our brand-new glass bowls on the kitchen floor today right next to that fallen pair of underwear, guess what happened? I got this funny kind of feeling, like I had broken glass in my underwear.

Christian Carnival XIII

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This may have been the earliest posting of the Christian Carnival in its history (at TheGodBlog.com), and I've been out all day and haven't had a chance to look at anything until now. Let's see what we've got.

My post on intermarriage is in there.

Some young guy in the UK names Andrew Guilder has a reference to Yes keyboardist extraordinaire Rick Wakeman's new special on the BBC about British attitudes about Easter. The title is "Jesus Who?" This story from before it aired says far more about it than the link Guilder gave. I'd be interested in seeing it, but I doubt I'll ever get the chance. There are two problems overdetermining his failing to get a link from me. First, he called Wakeman "this old rock star guy Rick Wakeman". Keep in mind that the guy he's calling "this old rock star guy" is probably second only to Keith Emerson among keyboard legends and a real musical hero of mine. That's a real insult to anyone who knows the history of rock music. Second, he uses Xanga, which has no permanent links, and the relevant entry isn't even on his front page anymore with no way to link directly to it. I had to search for it myself. So much for getting publicity from me. I'm not merely being petty. I wouldn't know how to link to it properly if I wanted to.

As usual, ireneQ has some funny and thoughtful comments, this time about prayer and the annoying things we do when we pray. She keeps saying all sorts of things I've long thought, but I always thought I shouldn't say them. It's nice to see them out there.

Mr. Standfast, a blog completely new to me, blogs about when to conceal knowlege. Hmm?

There's other stuff too, including some good reflections on Easter that for some reason struck me as old hat and of last week simply because Easter is past. Isn't that awful? Why should the resurrection of the Son of God get dated simply because the day we single out to emphasize it more than other days is done?

Myriad

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I'm hoping the album arrives tomorrow. If not, I'll keep posting these. In case it does, I wanted to get my favorite Kansas song in. This is from their 2000 album Somewhere to Elsewhere, perhaps their best but at the very least up with Leftoverture and Point of Know Return. All the songs on it were written by Kerry Livgren, and it was recorded in his studio, and it features all the members of Kansas in the "original" lineup from the first album. (The original version of this song is older than that lineup and was done by the first two bands known as Kansas. The second lineup is Proto-KAW, whose new album Before Became After I'm awaiting. The third recorded the first album. He reworked this song considerably for this recording.)

Myriad (Kerry Livgren)

Upon the page, symbolic form,
Both a miracle and yet the norm
The functions clear, sum and difference will soon transform
Equations chain, lies in His hand,
Voice authority will dance command
Solution's true, line of measure will divide, expand

Myriad, see the numbers as they're counting down
Thousands and thousands
Myriad, form and function to display the sound
Line upon line every melody points the way

The cycle turns, like Heaven's gate,
Unknown integers predestinate
Calculating all we must explore, and navigate

Quantities no man can know,
No formula to wield
No pages left to turn,
No choices but to yield

Xylon

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No Before Became After yet, so I guess I have to wait until at least Monday, meaning at least one more of these tomorrow. This one's from Kerry Livgren's 1994 solo album When Things Get Electric and is highly appropriate for this week (it might have better for yesterday, but I didn't remember it until today).

Xylon (The Fury)

There's a garden in the valley
There's a beauty I could never conceive
In this paradise I dream of
I have known it though it's never been seen

I remember I was falling
Someone took me by the hand
I was burning in the sunlight
Now in the shade I stand

The Tree stands tall
It's mighty branches cover all
No wind can bend
It's majesty will never end

In it's shadow no illusion
In this place where there is never a fear
No sorrow or confusion
The enchantment of the glory is so near

I remember I was rising
And a light was in my eyes
I could feel my heart ascending
To this place I recognize

The Tree stands tall
It's mighty branches cover all
No wind can bend
It's majesty will never end

The fruit of love is falling from above
These roots run so deep and strong
With every breath a son
An endless new song

The Tree stands tall
It's mighty branches cover all
No wind can bend
It's majesty will never end

The Day After

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I lied in my 250th post below. I do have something with content worthy of being my 250th post, but I didn't write it, so I decided to keep it separate. I haven't had a lot of Easter-related stuff here, and this helps remedy that. It also ties together my current focus on things Kerry Livgren (whose new album with Proto-KAW still hasn't arrived) with the events we remember during what we call Holy Week (not that any period of time is really more or less holy than any other).

My friend Michael Brooks (whom I've never met in person but is someone I consider a friend nonetheless) wrote the following and sent it to some of the music discussion lists we both participate in:

Incantos

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Still no Before Became After. If it's arrived in Syracuse, the online tracking hasn't caught up to it. So here we go with another one. This is from Kerry Livgren's Prime Mover II, his 1998 rerecording/remixing/revision of 1988's Prime Mover. This song was new to the second version. He wrote it on a napkin while eating at a restaurant with singer Warren Ham.

Incantos (Livgren)

When I was young and world was old
I saw through eyes of light
These wonders will not cease until
The years have claimed my sight

Bright image floats above the plain
Whose voice renewing mind
Is building kingdoms long to last
A priceless pearl to find

The stories told have not been lost
But saved through pen and sword
And will not empty handed turn
Til' all have seen this Lord

A brighter way is nowhere found
In all Creation's hall
One misty dream doth now enfold
Since from estate did fall

The call is heard across the wave
To summon all would hear
Sweet song of company long endeared
And men who love good cheer

It is my brother's place to keep
And mine to you return
All works of straw will not retain
There's time enough to learn

No coin will buy or memories burn
Nor lift the sounding weight
Though all will press the wheel in turn
Not open Heaven's Gate

Too noble for this darkened plain
To walk among the lost
And hang upon yon coarsest branch
No measure of the cost

All start in endless number count
And glory testify
To all in truth the deep of night
And jewels of wisdom buy

In liquid skies no toil or tear
Brought down by crimson stain
In robes of light proceed before
Redemptions golden train

The fruit of labors long endured
Shall end in grand display
Til' peace like river freely flows
Has come in one fine day

The Wall

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Proto-KAW's Before Became After still hasn't arrived, so here's another Livgren lyric, from Kansas' 1976 album Leftoverture:

The Wall (Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh)

I'm woven in a fantasy,
I can't believe the things I see
The path that I have chosen now has led me to a wall
And with each passing day
I feel a little more like something dear was lost
It rises now before me,
A dark and silent barrier between,
All I am, and all that I would ever want be
It's just a travesty,
Towering, marking off the boundaries my spirit
Would erase

To pass beyond is what I seek
I fear that I may be too weak
And those are few who've seen it through
To glimpse the other side,
The promised land is waiting like a maiden that is soon to be a bride
The moment is a masterpiece,
The weight of indecision's in the air
It's standing there, the symbol and the sum of all that's me
It's just a travesty,
Towering, blocking out the light and blinding me
I want to see

Gold and diamonds cast a spell,
It's not for me I know it well
The riches that I seek
Are waiting on the other side
There's more that I can measure in the treasure of the love that I can find
And though it's always been with me,
I must tear down the Wall and let it be
All I am, and all that I was ever meant to be, in harmony
Shining true and smiling back at all who wait to cross
There is no loss

The Pinnacle

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Given that the new Proto-KAW album came out yesterday (even though it hasn't arrived here yet), I've decided to post a Kerry Livgren lyric in eager anticipation. Given the approach of Easter, I figured one of his meditations on the human condition from before his dramatic Christian transformation would be appropriate.

(For the unitiated: 'Kaw' is the preferred term for the Kansa Indians. When the Kansas lineup preceding the one that recorded the albums with the hits reunited, they chose this name, since they were a sort of proto-Kansas. Kerry Livgren, the mastermind behind much of Kansas' music, is at the helm again with this project. I've heard some cuts, and I'm longing for its arrival.)

The Pinnacle by Kerry Livgren (from the 1975 Kansas album Masque)

I've so much to say, and yet I cannot speak
Come and do my bidding now for I have grown too weak
My weary eyes have seen all that life can give
Come to me, O young one, for you I can forgive

I stood where no man goes, and conquered demon foes
With glory and passion no longer in fashion
The hero breaks his blade

Cast this shadow long that I may hide my face
And in this cloak of darkness the world I will embrace
In all that I endure, of one thing I am sure
Knowledge and reason change like the season
A jester's promenade

Lying at my feet I see the offering you bring
The mark of Cain is on our faces, borne of suffering
O, I long to see you say it's not been wrong
I stand before you now, a riddle in my song
The answer is that sweet refrain
Unheard it always will remain
Beyond our reach, beyond our gain

Trapped in life's parade, a king without a crown
In this joy of madness, my smile might seem a frown
With talons wrought of steel, I tore the heart of doom
And in one gleaming moment I saw beyond the tomb
I stood where no man goes, above the din I rose
Life is amusing though we are losing
Drowned in tears of awe.

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