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For Freedom Track #7
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

U2-Instagram-Poster

Believe it or not, neither Jenny nor I grew up listening to U2. We found them later in life. In fact, we ended up discovering U2’s “The Joshua Tree” in mid-2011, after we asked fans on Facebook what music they would suggest we listen to. Days later, we would discover arguably one of the most iconic albums of all time. We’d heard a bunch of the songs on The Joshua Tree before, but never in the right order, never as a complete work. It blew us away. It still does today.

We chose “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” for this covers album because it’s our favorite track on “The Joshua Tree.” It’s our favorite track because of a few reasons. First, the lyrics are some of the most profound and honest we’ve ever heard. Bono doesn’t leave much out.

In the first verse, we see a love that very few of us have ever seen, yet a love that, I would argue, all of us long for. This love would “climb highest mountain”, “run”, crawled”, “scaled these city walls”, yet this love is not enough; he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for.

In verse two, Bono speaks of the thrill of a relationship. He uses sensual, visceral language: “I have kissed honey lips, felt her healing in my fingertips; it burned like fire, this burning desire. He then moves to spiritual experience, both light and dark. “I have spoke with the tongue of angels; I have held the hand of a devil.” And while engaging the spiritual world felt euphoric at the time (“it was warm in the night”), he was left hardened and calloused (“I was cold as a stone”). Yet these experiences are not enough. His thirst is not fully quenched.

In verse three, Bono speaks of his belief in “the kingdom come, when all the colors…will bleed into one.” I take this to mean the kingdom of God, where there is no distinguishing or discriminating between race, color, sex, or social/economic status (see Galatians 3:28). All who are in Christ Jesus are one. There is such power in these words, possibly because we know this not to be case in the world today, but some part of us so desires this to manifest. Do you not long for the day when all will be made right, when injustice will be replaced by righteousness, oppression by freedom, hate by love?

Bono then goes on to cite the ensuing freedom accomplished on the cross of Jesus Christ, where Jesus “broke the bonds…loosed the chains, carried the cross of my shame.” This line feels like the pinnacle of the song. Yet even this is not enough; he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for. The honesty is brutal, yet so relevant. I believe that Bono is relating to the apostle Paul here. It not that the cross is not a complete work for the salvation of the world, it is. I think Bono would agree; “you know I believe it.” It’s that even though Bono has tasted the goodness and beauty of God and His grace, found life in and through Jesus, he’s not arrived yet, that is, he and the world around him are not perfect – and he has not yet experienced perfection. See 1 Corinthians 13:12 and Philippians 1:23; we see dimly, as in a mirror. One day we shall we face to face. That is arguably what we’re all looking for, to be with God, experiencing the fullness of His glory, unhindered.

Add Comment | Posted on 09.16.14

Behind the lyrics of “In Everything You Do”

When Jane was born, we learned to love in a way we never had before. With that love came a strong desire to shelter her from the harshness of the world, from pain, fear, doubt, etc. We know that we won’t be able to keep her from these things. We can, however, try to teach her how to face them, persevere, and grow. Moreover, and more importantly, we can try to show her that she is deeply loved.

Here’s a lyric video we just put together. It was a beautiful day in Nashville when we released this song, so we decided to take our daughter Jane out for a walk and bring the camera. None of this was staged. Jane just led the way and we followed.

Featured on iTunes’ Native: Americana Spotlight album: bit.ly/jtameri
Chords & lyrics at jennyandtyler.com/songs

Add Comment | Posted on 09.11.14

FALL UPDATE: U2 Video!

The 

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

(feat. Sara Groves & some of you in our virtual choir!)

Remember last summer when we asked you to submit videos to be part of a virtual choir for our cover of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”?  We do too!

Here’s the thing: We had a baby

You’ve heard your lovely voices on the audio recording, but now we can all FINALLY see your shining faces in the video!!!

We hope you really like it. Share it with your friends, family, neighbors, barista, flight attendant…

Touring commences soon!

After about a month off the road, we’re heading out again.  We have a few shows coming up! Click on the dates for all of the details.

8/16 Wilmington, DE, Brandywine Valley Baptist Church

8/22 Gloucester, MA, Community Church of East Gloucester

8/31 Ocean City, NJ, Ocean City Tabernacle

Now booking the Fall/Winter…

We’re just starting to booking this Fall/Winter, so if you’re interested in hosting a show at your college, venue, wedding, church, etc., contact Micah Watson at The Clementine Agency: http://theclementineagency.com/offer/

Finally…the new record!

Our new full-length, original record is pretty much finished, aside from mastering and a few other things! We’re not sure when it will release just yet. Be on the look out for updates!

Add Comment | Posted on 09.11.14

For Freedom Track #6
What a Wonderful World


What a Wonderful World – Jenny & Tyler – For Freedom
– Read about the rest of the project here
 – Download the album (Mastered for iTunes) here: http://bit.ly/4freed

What a Wonderful World holds a special place in our hearts. Songs celebrating life without being cheesy are hard to come by.  What a Wonderful World is probably the best example of this we can think of.  The lyrics are simple yet profound; the chord progression and melody, emulating the brief journey of our lives, bring us through peaks and valleys.  The song served as the mother/son dance at our wedding and Tyler’s dad played piano and sang. When we decided to cover it we knew that it needed to retain its simplicity and subtle beauty.  We decided to sing the entire song together to communicate the idea that marveling at the wonders of life should be a ubiquitous and shared experience. Harmonies naturally followed.

This song was the last that we recorded for the album, just a few weeks after Jane was born.  We tracked some of the vocals while she was napping and the rest after she woke up.  Her cries can be heard softly at the end of the song, from 2:20-2:25.  We also added her heartbeat throughout the entire song, taken from the ultrasound the two days before she breathed her first breath (it’s best to listen with headphones to hear these well).  New life brings new hope. The way we enter the world is miraculous and truly wonderful.

Listen to the original version here:

Read more about the song on Wikipedia here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_a_Wonderful_World

Add Comment | Posted on 11.19.13

For Freedom Track #5
The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence Jenny & Tyler For Freedom

The Sound of Silence – Jenny & Tyler – For Freedom
– Read about the rest of the project here
 – Download the album (Mastered for iTunes) here: http://bit.ly/4freed

Simon & Garfunkel are our favorite duo of all time. Their voices, harmonies, and songwriting are exquisite. We can only hope to create songs as beautiful and poignant as theirs someday. Paul Simon’s writing is truly unparalleled.

The Sound of Silence is our favorite song by Simon & Garfunkel.  Right from the beginning, it seems like every time we hear or perform this, the simple arpeggiated guitar and haunting “hello darkness, my old friend” lyrics, the song captures us.  And though we don’t know what Simon was thinking when we wrote it, there’s a mystery and ubiquitous quality to the lyrics that we relate to (that apparently many relate to), something general yet specific, something for which every good songwriter strives.

Hear the original version here:

We recorded this cover a couple of years ago and decided to release it as a single, with all of the proceeds going to organizations that fight human trafficking.  The subject of human trafficking is an interesting one, one we were first introduced to at college.  A few years later, Jenny’s good friend started working for an anti-human trafficking organization in D.C. and a year or so after that, we went on tour with Sara Groves, who is passionate about the subject.  We seemed to be drawn into it from many different angles, and finally, after praying about an organization to partner with, we felt led to choose one that fights human trafficking.

Human trafficking is an issue that has gained a bit more spotlight over the past few years, which is encouraging.  But it still not on everyone’s radar.   The fact that there are an estimated 20-30 million slaves in the world today is appauling.  That’s more than at the height of the trans-atlantic slave trade.  Slavery is illegal almost everywhere in the world.  The problem is not necessarily the law, but the justice system in general.  If there aren’t courts or police who enforce the law, the law is essentially null and void.  What organizations like the International Justice Mission do is partner with local governments to ensure that laws gets enforced.

Somehow this song transports us to contemplate the depth of the darkness of human trafficking.  We see hope in, “Hear my words that I might teach you.  Take my arms that I might reach you.”  But there is also the sad reality that that hope, in one sense, does not always avail – with, “But my words like silent raindrops fell. And echoed in the wells of silence.”  The opening line, “Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again” also stirs up in me the striking truth that I have befriended darkness, and I often return to darkness, as those responsible for human trafficking do.  It gives me pity for those who enslave the 20-30 million women, children, and even men, because I know they themselves are enslaved; they are living in darkness.  They must be brought to justice, but they must also be forgiven if true healing should take place.

When we recorded this, we asked our friends to come over to form a choir.  If you listen with headphones, you should be able to hear them speaking “people talking without speaking; people hearing without listening” from 1:34-1:40.  They provide a texture suggestive of the “ten thousand people maybe more.”  Paul Zimmerman-Clayton played the trumpet to imply a sort of a battle cry, as if to say, “Come join us. Fight the oppressor.”  Jenny’s clarinet, entering in verse 2, adds indistiguishable third voice, as sort of an invitation for the listener to lend theirs.  Bruno Jones of the Vespers played the upright bass and killed it.

Read more about the song on Wikipedia here:
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sound_of_Silence

Add Comment | Posted on 11.04.13