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Tuesday Tunes: What If by Julie de Azevedo

STORY Behind the song “What If”

A recurring struggle in my life is that I am rarely satisfied…with anything or anyone, including myself. I find it extremely rare that I am satisfied with the way things are and that I’m constantly looking ahead. Maybe the lack accepting the moment is just part of having a “creative personality”. Maybe it’s part of being a therapist and being trained to look for problems to be solved or fixed.  Maybe it’s just part of a spiritual knowledge that there is always more to experience. Whatever the source, it has brought unhappiness and restlessness. I’ve often wondered what life would be like WITHOUT  wanting more, or different, or new, or…

What if…?

LISTEN To “What If”

Play

BUY “What If” on iTunes

LYRICS

What If

Originally From the album Home
Words: Julie de Azevedo
Music: Julie de Azevedo & John Hancock
©2005 Julie de Azevedo (BMI) / Spooky Cowboy Music (ASCAP)

What if I loved the skin I’m in
Focused on beauty from within
What if my spirit and my body lived in harmony
What if my grass was always green
Greener than any field I’ve seen
What if I celebrate the garden right in front of me

CHORUS
What if I loved the life I’m living
What if I only wanted what I’ve been given

What if I loved the man I’m with
Not who he’ll be but who he is
What if it loosened up the soil for more love to grow
What if I let my children be
Just who they are not what I need
What if I watched in wonder as their tender wings unfold

CHORUS

BRIDGE
What if I laid the past to rest
Looking ahead not looking back
What if I savored every moment like it was my last

What if I wanted what You bring
Didn’t long for the next big thing
What if I only lived for the peace and not for the thrill
What if I gave You all my heart
Didn’t hold back the slightest part
What if I lay it on the altar of Your will

Tuesday Tunes: Feel The Fire by Julie de Azevedo

STORY Behind the song “Feel The Fire”

There more of a “feeling” behind the song than an actual story. I wrote it about those times when I can remember having fiery faith; I can remember living a life illuminated by the spirit; I can remember feeling the warmth of God’s love and the glow of the mercy of Jesus Chris, but I can’t FEEL it anymore. Being a follower of Christ requires our hearts and when I can’t feel the fire, it’s much harder to walk in the path Christ has shown.  We all have times when hurt, bitterness, disappointment that threaten to dim our light of faith. The lyrics of this song are my plea to rekindle to fire of faith in Christ.

LISTEN Feel The Fire

Play

BUY on iTunes (“EFY Season Of Courage” CD version 1999)


BUY on iTunes (“Window To His Love: Intimate Renditions of Inspirational Favorites” CD version 2003)

 

LYRICS

Feel the Fire

From the album Window To His Love: Intimate Renditions of Inspirational Favorites
& Masterpiece: The Best of Julie de Azevedo
Words: Julie de Azevedo
Music: Julie de Azevedo & Tyler Castleton
© 1999 Mohrgud Music (BMI)

Holy breath
Move in me
Warm my soul
And fill my need
I’ve grown so cold from bitter rain
So I need to feel the fire again

Hold me close
In love’s sure grasp

Don’t let me go
I’m falling fast
Make from my embers a mighty flame
‘Cause I need to feel the fire again

Chorus
Like the heart of a child
Burning high
It once was mine
With the faith of a baby
Wrap me safely in His name

Here I am
A willing heart
Make a fire
From this tiny spark
I’ve known the burning of truest flames
And I need to feel the fire again

Repeat Chorus

Holy breath
Move in my
Warm my soul
And hear my plea
I’ve grown so cold from bitter rain
And I need to feel the fire again
I need to feel the fire
I need to feel the fire again

Tuesday Tunes: Happily Ever After by Julie de Azevedo

LISTEN to Happily Ever After

Play


BUY on iTunes

STORY Behind the song “Happily Ever After”

My husband I had  been married a couple of years when I realized that the honeymoon phase was over. Every fairy tale, every love story, and every marriage lesson in church ended with “and they lived happily ever after” and I felt ripped off that I hadn’t been fairly warned and felt unprepared for what comes after “happily ever after…”

This song was written to help me process the transition to a new phases of marriage where there are differences of opinion, hurts, disappointments and I found out that being married to real person instead of an idealized man is both refining and rewarding. Two months ago my prince an I celebrated our 22 wedding anniversary.

I had totally forgotten, until I looked at the lyrics & copyright information for this song, that the music was co-written with my dad, Lex.

LYRICS

Happily Ever After

Words:  Julie de Azevedo
Music:  Julie and Lex de Azevedo
For Jeff, my prince

How come the stories always end
With happily ever after
So we grow up not knowing what comes next
The lovely princess rides toward the sunset
With her charming prince
Well I’ll tell you where they went
They rode through disappointment
Waded through the tears
Lost in unknown forests
They battled darkest fears

Chorus
After happily ever after and all the smiles end
The partying and laughter have quieted
In the face of disasters
They conquer them (we’re conquering) together
After happily ever after true love begins

It seems that our story began
With happily ever after
Then suddenly reality set in
‘Cause this princess who is often selfish
Has a stubborn prince
Will we ever find it again
With firm determination
Hours of compromising
Faith and dedication
We continue climbing

Repeat Chorus
After happily ever after
And though we’re far from bliss
We’ll embrace our journey
‘Cause that’s what this life is

As we’re guided by the Master
We’re traveling together
After happily ever after true love begins
After happily ever after grows from within

(c) 1992 Embryo Records
From the CD “State of the Heart”

Does Motherhood Really Matter? A Tribute to My Mom

It wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized what precious gifts my mom had given to me. She gave her body, her heart, her time, her attention, her sleep… and I rarely gave her the respect and appreciation she deserved.

I’m stepping away from your love & relationship questions this week to share a that I wrote to honor motherhood, and in particular my mom, Linda de Azevedo.

Written shortly after my parents divorce, and during a time when my mom was questioning the value of her life’s contributions to our family and to the the world, I hoped to convey through music my overwhelming gratitude to her for her tender care throughout my life. The little things she did to support our family day in and day out for decades mattered not only to me and to my eight siblings, but they mattered in heaven…the angels carried her.

Click here to listen to the song “Angels” (quicktime)

Download or gift “Angels” (iTunes)

Preview my “Celebrating Mother’s” Playlist (iTunes)

Angels
Words & Music: Julie de Azevedo
© 1996 Mohrgud Music (BMI)

She was a girl just a young girl at nineteen
When she left behind her the life she had known
Got all dressed up in white to be a new bride
And set out to make a house a home

When she found herself she was drowning in laundry
Up all the night and driving all day
And every few years she would come up for air
In between lessons carpool & PTA

But the angels – they carried her
Through the fire and the rain
And the angels – they carried her
From the end of her rope to the end of her day
And the angels – they sang to her
When she thought no one was there
She had wings and prayers
Looking back it’s clear
She was touching heaven all those years

Well by now you would think that her house would be empty
‘Cause most of the children have grown up and gone
I’ll be the first who would say that I can’t stay away
From that woman who gave me my first birth and my first home

‘Cause the angels have carried her
Through the minutes and the days
And the angels have carried her
To a strong and wise and noble place
And the angels still sing to her
And I join them in their praise

‘Cause the angel that carried me
‘Til I saw the light of day
Was the angel that carried me
Through the years of laughter joy and pain
And the angel – she sang to me
So I knew someone was there
I had wings and prayers
Looking back it’s clear
Oh so clear
I was touching heaven all those years

Tuesday Tunes: Celebrating Mothers Playlist

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new.  ~Rajneesh

In honor of Mother’s Day I put together this custom playlist of songs written about my journey of motherhood — joy, pain, growth, wonder, exhaustion, delight, sorrow, empathy, loss,  humility….

Download “Celebrating Mothers” iTunes Playlist here

Here’s the run down of the playlist and a little bit of background on each song…

1-Make Enough of Me

Written at a time when the needs and demands of family and life felt crushing. This song is a prayer born out of my inadequacy and desperate need for  strength beyond my own.

2-Angels

Dedicated to my own mother, Linda, and written after my parents divorce, I hoped to convey my gratitude for her loving care during my childhood, and let her know that all of the little things she did for me and her other 8 children mattered.

3-Healing

Written when my oldest children were still in elementary school as I came to the realization that while I could soothe and calm all of their worries and hurts, the time would soon come where they would need a “healing beyond me”.

4-Open Apology

Before my children became teens I wrote this song of apology for all the mistake I’ve made, and will continue to make. I wanted to apologize before they realized my humanness and to reassure them that I am well aware of my shortcomings as a mother.

5-The Child in Me

When my oldest son was a toddler, it found myself reliving certain emotions and experiences of my own childhood. At the same time, I was in grad school studying about child development, psychology, therapy and realized that the best tool to get in touch with my “inner child” was asleep in my arms.

6-Home

“You are my resting place. You are my saving grace. You are the arms where I belong.” We all want and need a home.

7-One Child

There’s a huge space between our 2nd & 3rd children — 9 years.  We were ready for another baby and the anticipation and celebrating was so wonderful. Then my thoughts turned to another mother — Mary. What kind of anticipation did she have waiting to hold the Son of God?

8-Hope Enough For Two

Part of family life is leaning on each other and loaning our own strength to help our loved ones get through painful times. “I’ve got hope enough for two. Let me offer faith to you. I know there’s a God in the heavens. And I know that he’ll see you through. And He’s got, he’s got hope and faith in you.”

9-Michelle

The sudden death of my friend Tracy’s little sister, Michelle, inspired this song. I wrote it before I had my own children, but coming from a close family of many siblings I tried to imagine the difficult road ahead in dealing with the loss of a young sister.

10-Sometimes He Calms The Storm

It’s the daily parenting experiences teach me more about the nature of God and his relationship with his children –like when a little one is scared at night and needs comfort. I am starting to see that in every small interaction with my children I am the parent AND the child.

Tuesday Tunes: Something Holy

After writing songs for 25 years, I have written quite a few songs and most of them you’ve probably never heard. So, I thought I’d start a weekly “Tuesday Tunes” post to share some songs and the stories behind them. If you have a suggestion for a song you’d like to hear and know more about let me know! I’ll include a link to listen to a streaming version of the song, and an iTunes link in case you like it enough to buy it, the the song lyrics, and a tidbit about the writing of the song. How does that sound? So here we go…

LISTEN Something Holy – Julie de Azevedo

BUY on iTunes

STORY Behind the song “Something Holy”

I wrote this song in the early 2000’s during a time when I was acutely aware of my weaknesses and at the same time marveling at the atonement of Jesus Christ. How on earth can He take such a flawed person and make  ME holy? I know He can because I felt His healing before. This song “Something Holy” is my hope and my prayer that He will continue to purify me through His mercy and grace.

While I love being a performing songwriter, there is something really uncomfortable about the tendency for listeners to put me, or anyone else who is “on stage” on a pedestal, believing that somehow that I am more enlightened or spiritual because I can write songs. I decided a long time ago that if I was going to write songs, I would be totally honest about myself and my experience, refusing to sugar coat life. So, also in this song is my plea to listeners to see my humanness. I struggle. I am just like everyone else, totally flawed, and so in need of a savior every day.

From a production standpoint, I love how John Hancock’s string arrangements make this song soar. The frenetic guitar part in the verses fit so nicely with the angst of the lyrics “Tangled in a web of insecurity and pretense, demons run my head, there’s so much to feed on. Where is my freedom?”

The song and production came together in a powerful way, and the lyrical honesty make this song one of my favorites, so I decided to include it on my “best of” CD “Masterpiece” even though very few people have ever heard this song. Enjoy!

LYRICS

Something Holy
Words & Music: Julie de Azevedo
© 2001 Mohrgud Music (BMI)

Tangled in a web of insecurity and pretense
Demons run around my head
There’s so much to feed on
Where is my freedom

Julie de Azevedo

With this ego I’m entwined
I alone cannot unwind
Take this mess and make of it
Something holy somehow
Holy somehow

Chorus
Take this broken crown
This tarnished halo slipping down
Take this broken crown and make it new
Take this hand me down tattered heart and soul that’s used
And make something holy
Something holy somehow

I feel it in my blood
A healing fire in my bones
Burn this flesh ‘til nothings left of what I once was
‘Til I’m overcome

Ashes ashes we fall down
We bruise our hearts and break our crowns
Take this dust and make of us
Something holy somehow
Holy somehow

Repeat Chorus

Somewhere sometime
Something holy
Somewhere sometime
Something holy only you can do
Only you can do

Repeat Chorus

FREE Music Download of “Angels”

Mormon Times website is offering my song “Angels” as their featured FREE download this week only! This is a song written for and dedicated to my mom, Linda, and to all of the mom’s out there who wonder if they are making a difference.

Click HERE to download “Angels”

Julie de Azevedo

LYRICS

Angels

Words & Music: Julie de Azevedo

© 1996 Mohrgud Music (BMI)

She was a girl just a young girl at nineteen
When she left behind her the life she had known
Got all dressed up in white to be a new bride
And set out to make a house a home

When she found herself she was drowning in laundry
Up all the night and driving all day
And every few years she would come up for air
In between lessons carpool & PTA

But the angels – they carried her
Through the fire and the rain
And the angels – they carried her
From the end of her rope to the end of her day
And the angels – they sang to her
When she thought no one was there
She had wings and prayers
Looking back it’s clear
She was touching heaven all those years

Well by now you would think that her house would be empty
‘Cause most of the children have grown up and gone
I’ll be the first who would say that I can’t stay away
From that woman who gave me my first birth and my first home

‘Cause the angels have carried her
Through the minutes and the days
And the angels have carried her
To a strong and wise and noble place
And the angels still sing to her
And I join them in their praise

‘Cause the angel that carried me
‘Til I saw the light of day
Was the angel that carried me
Through the years of laughter joy and pain
And the angel – she sang to me
So I knew someone was there
I had wings and prayers
Looking back it’s clear
Oh so clear
I was touching heaven all those years

The Little Music Video That Could

On Sunday Feb 2, 2011 I was home sick, on my computer, and noticed that over 300 people had shared my “Make Enough Of Me” YouTube music video on Facebook. So, on a whim I posted an update on Julie de Azevedo Facebook Page with a link to “Make Enough Of Me” asking friends to share it wall. Here’s what has happened since…

2/27 — 314 facebook shares &  2000 views

3/6 — 1403 facebook shares & 5100 views

3/15 — 1733 facebook shares & over 6500 views!!!

Thank you. Thank you! To all of you who shared this music video with friends and loved ones. Although, I’m not producing a lot of music lately, thank you for allowing my music to continue to inspire others. I am grateful.

Look what I found on YouTube

My husband brought it to my attention the other day that several of my songs are on YouTube. These aren’t “official” music videos. It looks like some fans have put a few songs to slide shows and some of them are pretty good. Here’s are some of the best.

Wings (acoustic version)

Take Me There

Amazing Things

I Wrote A Christmas Song?

It never occurred to me that my song “Shepherd Of My Soul” was a Christmas song until I started getting sheet music requests at Christmas time. Thanks to all who taught me that I HAVE actually written a Christmas song.Originally recorded on my CD “Pray For Rain”, it’s my imaginary conversation with Mary as she holds her newborn baby boy. How much did she know about who he was, and who he would become? These lyrics are my way of telling her that her son is my only hope.

That’s my Dad Lex on the piano.(You’ll notice me coaching him on the arrangement at the beginning of the video – we hadn’t rehearsed it).