On Lyric Changes For Your Church Services

October 17th, 2017

Recently a gentleman commented to our FB Solo Thoughts Group with a statement that we hear all too often.  In essence, he stated that when he would choose songs to sing in church and the lyrics in places were inappropriate for his service, he would simply rewrite those lyrics to fit.

Julia Wade, our Director of Digital Sheet Music, brought the comment to me for a “yet again” discussion that was now becoming far too repetitive.

She had written him back the following:

Thanks so much for your contributions to the conversations here in this group!

With respect to changing lyrics, you bring up a relatively constant issue that has come up again and again over the years. It was interesting to me that your comment came on the heels of an hour-long conversation with a soloist/music committee chairperson who called recently to discuss the changing of lyrics for a composer’s work represented on WFM.

That conversation, combined with your comment, showed me one more time that this issue is a timely issue. So, I asked my partner, Peter Link, who is a successful and experienced composer, to give a definitive statement on this subject.

Since this topic of changing lyrics is a new subject, Peter has posted his response to all concerned in a new conversation thread.

Here is his answer:

On Lyric Changes For Your Church Services

One does not even consider rewriting Shakespeare to fit their needs. No one would ever consider taking someone’s movie and adding their own scenes to it to make it “better.” I can’t imagine anyone buying a Picasso and bringing it home and adding their own brush strokes to the work to “improve” it. Would anyone ever rewrite the fourth chapter of a Hemingway novel to better the writing?

Perhaps one could get away with doing these things in private, but never in public.

These works of art belong to the artists who created them and are sacrosanct and inviolable to the original artist who created them whether or not the original artist is a master of his/her work or a beginner.  Their “intellectual property” is clearly protected by copywriter law.  So, consequently, changing someone’s lyrics or music to “better fit” one’s needs is not only illegal, but also immoral.  Simply put, their work is not yours to change, whatever your philosophy.

Rather, we would strongly suggest, if the song’s lyrics do not fit your message, go back to your research work and find another song that does.

If your neighbor’s new car is blue, yet you wish it were red, you may not repaint it to your satisfaction.  It belongs to them.  There is a principle here that really needs a deeper understanding by many, it seems.

In essence, “Thou shalt not steal.”

Respectfully submitted,

Peter Link

CEO & Creative Director

Watchfire Music

Nuff said.



September 22nd, 2017

All the water there will be,

Already is …

“The very same water

That is wetting your lips

May have flowed through the streets

Down in New Orleans

Or flowed down the cheeks

And spilled upon the piano keys

As the brilliant Tchaikovsky sat

And wrote his Pathétique.


“Did ja’ know that

Here on this rock

As we journey through time

We live by the grace of water”

With all the water on this planet, who ever thought we’d run out?  They’re certainly not worried about running out in Houston.

And yet water is their biggest problem.  For some it’s too much; for some, too little.  For most, what there is, is unusable – too salty, too chemical, too dirty.  And for me, well, I’m told I should drink more of it.

“The very same water in the apple you eat

May have fallen as rain

Half-way ’round the world          

Or could have been used

A hundred million years ago

By a mighty mama brontosaur

To bathe her baby girl”

“Water”, a song from our concert, “Is Anybody Listening?” is sung by a trio of sterling singers, Freedom Bremner, Brian Collazo and Jonathan Singletary on our new CD just out.

If you’re listening, you’ll find it much worth the listen.

“Yes the very same water

That grows the cocoa bean

And brings the sweet taste of chocolate

To the hungry world

May be the mystery

That carries forth the seed of life

As it brings to pass the life and times

That spring from you and me”

Water – it’s the stuff of life.

“One part oxygen

And two parts hydrogen

Put ‘em both together an’ whadda you got


Clear and cool

Pure water”


“Water” – Music and Lyrics by Peter Link











Solos For Sunday Morning — 13 New Songs!

September 12th, 2017


It’s been a busy summer.  Well, it’s been a busy couple of years!  A lot coming down the pike and coming to fruition this fall.  It gives me great joy to announce the launch of 13 new solos that I have composed with church soloists especially in mind. Watchfire Music has released these songs individually and as a Song Bundle (digital song book) called ” Solos For Sunday Morning” all penned by yours truly.

You can check out the digital sheet music, study tracks, accompaniment tracks and more right here.

By way of introduction, I include here my Note from The Composer article that we have included with all of the Song Bundle downloads.  Take a read.  I think it will tell you a lot.  Also, if you want to read on about how we are helping musicians to feel more comfortable preparing contemporary church music, download this free PDF chock full of information and suggestions!

Additionally, for those of you who would like to listen to a solo from the song bundle this week, stop by our ISOTW (Inspirational Song of the Week) — I went into the studio and sang a couple of these songs for you.  This one is called “Words Upon The Wall.”  I hope you enjoy it.

And now … here are some thoughts on this new bundle of songs from me … to you:

A Note From The Composer

I have truly loved working on this book of solos.  About a year ago I made the decision to dedicate a major portion of my life to the study of spirituality through the Bible.  And what better way of doing this than through music.  The work has been buoyant, challenging and totally fulfilling.  And what a gift I have in my partner, Julia Wade, and her magical interpretations of my music!  Her CD, Sunday Morning, fully orchestrated, will follow soon after the release of this book of 13 songs expressly written for church soloists around the world.

These songs require consecration.  They are not songs one can first pick up on a Friday and then sing on Sunday.  Like anything worthwhile, they will take some time to contemplate and prepare properly — for both you, the vocalist, and your musician.  I ask that you give the song time — time to gather inside of you, time to fire your being.  I like to write songs with the rhythm of the spoken word and the natural feeling of the inspired moment.  

Consequently, the rhythms of my music are often complex and perhaps a bit tricky for some musicians. And so I very much recommend listening to the study tracks and Julia Wade’s album to feel the naturalness of those rhythms before you start to learn the songs.  The notes on a page of sheet music are an approximation of the music in my heart and soul, but only that, an approximation.

It’s why both Julia and I have worked very hard all these years to get off the music  paper and more into the moment or total experience of the song. A song is just so much more that what’s on the page.  It must be, for everyone present, an inspirational experience.

When Julia sang her seven years as soloist at the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, The Mother Church, she would always start the work on a given song at least a month in advance.  This enabled her to get inside of the song and its meanings, its rhythms, its depth.  I certainly understand if your lifestyle will not permit this kind of consecration, but give it a try occasionally with these songs.  I promise a rich musical and spiritual experience.  

Thanks for singing my songs.

I write them for each of you.


On My Way Home – A New Song

June 16th, 2017

Immigrant – A. Einstein

“Is Anybody Listening?” continues to develop and evolve. Looking at the issues that we all face as a people going forward, we decided to explore the issue of immigration. What better way to do this than to put myself into the shoes of one actually going through the experience? Though this lyric is of my imagination, it comes from a deep research into 5 or 6 heartbreaking stories of modern day immigrants that I found exploring the Internet.

The song itself is a tour de force soaring and heartfelt performance sung by one man who represents so many experiences.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know him.

On My Way Home

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

Enter a man, either Middle Eastern or North African, dressed in an expensive subtly pinstriped suit, white dress shirt, no tie. He’s elegant and from all manner looks to have been a most successful business man, however his suit is filthy, perhaps torn, his shirt has been on his back for days and is dirty and stained, and a rough stubble completes his unshaven presence.


Look at this face

Look at these dirty clothes

Look at these worn out shoes

Ah yes, I’m one of those

Just look at this face

Look at these filthy clothes

Look at these worn out shoes


I come to you by land, by sea

On foot, I come

By raft, I come

A refugee

I seek your asylum

A cup of your kindness

I come from a place of nothing but blindness


I run for my life

A flight into exile

A fugitive from the heart of darkness

My lot in life, yes, a refugee

My future, so far, unknown

I live in a chaos that spans the world


I look to find my family

I search to find the man I used to be


I know so well this road of desperation

I carry what little hope that’s left

In my frail imagination


And I carry my past life

In this pack up on my back

I carry my past life

In a sack


With all that I’ve worked for


All that I’ve fought for


And all that I’ve lived for



Here am I

A man of no place

Lost out here in space

But on my way home


Look at these hands

So sad what this life can bring

Look at these wasted hands

These hands that have built such things


And look in this heart

This heart of a worthwhile man

Look at this broken heart


I offer you a man of dignity

A fruitful life I’ve lived

But now, a refugee

I seek your asylum

I seek your compliance

I beg you renounce your thoughts of defiance


What I’ve left behind …

A life of such promise

A family with its long traditions

But along the way, yes, I’ve let them go

My future, so far, unknown

To live now in peace is my only need


Each night before I sleep I ask

What wrong I must have done that brought me here


I cannot find the answer to this question

I carry this damning pain of guilt

Like a rancorous obsession


And so I run from my past life

Yeah, from one to the next

Confused and disheartened

So perplexed …


And all that I’ve loved now


And all of my dreams now


My life as I knew it



Here am I

A man of no place

Lost out here in space

But on my way home







I come to you, a man

Trying to stay alive

Trying my best to survive

While I’m on my way home

I’m goin’ home

Lookin’ for a new home

Yes I’m on my way home


Yeah I’m goin’ home

I’m goin’ home

Ooh I’m goin’ home


I’m goin’ home



Seven Steps To Creating A Successful Benefit – Part 7

June 1st, 2017

The “It’s Time To Get Out Your Checkbook” Speech

Who makes the necessary “Now it’s time to get out your checkbook” speech?  

How do you propose doing that when you’re webcasting from NYC?

Yes, that moment of “OK, now it’s time to get out your checkbook” is the climactic moment of your benefit – even if you’ve sold $5000 tables. You want to approach your potential donor at just the right time when they are most excited and most inspired by the experience you’ve just given them. And you want that request to come from the leader of your organization. And you want that leader to be well rehearsed in what he or she has to say, be a good speaker, feel natural and make a very fine impression in this all too important speech. You want them to have presence. Not always easy …

An “Is Anybody Listening?” Webcast Benefit will originate from New York City, but your pitch speaker can be in Akron, Ohio in the comfort of his living room or in his plush office at work. He or she can come into the webcast live or even pre-taped and give their pitch well rehearsed and natural. This can all be done on a laptop computer sitting in front of them or, if you like, could be pre-recorded and inserted into the webcast at just the proper place in the evening. Donations can be made online at a previously arranged link and submitted through your guests’ handheld devices or cell phones.

Speak to us about the many more intriguing time saving and financial bonuses of using “Is Anybody Listening?” as the draw for your next benefit.

Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Benefit

Part 1: Producing A Benefit
Part 2: Your Audience
Part 3: The Professional Producer/Presenter
Part 4: Promoting Your Benefit
Part 5: The Cost And The Profit
Part 6: The Benefit – More or Less

Seven Steps To Creating A Successful Benefit – Part 6

June 1st, 2017

The Benefit – More Or Less

I’ve been to many benefits and sometimes found them overly long and speech-ridden to the point of boredom. How can we avoid this all too often problem?

Most Benefit entertainments are sloppy, overly long and disorganized — and for good reason.  Rarely is there enough initial funding for proper rehearsal of the event, so things are thrown together at the last minute. Talent is also often donated and so they come in the day of, do a sound check and perform that evening.  Most events never even have a run through.  There simply isn’t enough money to do things right. It’s a one-time performance and the object usually is to just get through it with no total breakdowns.

“Is Anybody Listening?” Webcast is a fully developed, fully rehearsed performance that has been filmed, edited and remixed to provide you with the most professional of entertainments. What’s on the stage represents the worth and quality of your organization and it better be elegant, highly organized and run smoothly if you expect people to get behind your project. Going in, you will know what you have on stage and how well it works. No surprises.

Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Benefit

Part 1: Producing A Benefit
Part 2: Your Audience
Part 3: The Professional Producer/Presenter
Part 4: Promoting Your Benefit
Part 5: The Cost And The Profit
Part 7: The “It’s Time To Get Our Checkbook” Speech

Seven Steps To Creating A Successful Benefit – Part 5

June 1st, 2017


The Cost And The Profit

There seems to be a bit of a Catch 22 here. I need the funding to stimulate my cause, but don’t really have the money to produce the benefit in the necessary fashion to begin with.

What do I do?

We’ll work with you. For a normal webcast payment from you comes to us in three ways – a base rate of $500 per webcast, a projected count of $10 per person (non-refundable) upon the signing of your agreement, and a final tally of your per person attendance on the day after the webcast. We suggest you keep your initial projected count of $10 per person low and only count how many you absolutely know will attend to keep your upfront cost as low as possible. If more than your projected count show up, all the better. You can pay for the additionals on the day after the presentation.  For a benefit we’re also presently looking at accepting a small percentage rate of what you raise in addition to the above.

Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Benefit

Part 1: Producing A Benefit
Part 2: Your Audience
Part 3: The Professional Producer/Presenter
Part 4: Promoting Your Benefit
Part 6: The Benefit – More or Less
Part 7: The “It’s Time To Get Our Checkbook” Speech

Seven Steps To Creating A Successful Benefit – Part 4

June 1st, 2017

Promoting Your Benefit

Our organization has a strong and dedicated following, but we need to get them all under one roof at the same time. Promoting this event seems both expensive and time consuming.

Where do we start?

Most organizations have a tough time at promoting, advertising and audience development. Again, monies are spent where they don’t need to be spent and promotion opportunities are missed because the organization is not in the business of promoting. Also, the organization’s staff is too busy running the organization to do all the extra work of promoting the benefit properly.

An “Is Anybody Listening?” Webcast can be easily promoted through your emailing list and physical posters distributed in your community, but where our expertise really becomes effective is in our ability to promote through social media. As an example, if your organization has a Facebook page, we can help you design and expedite a very focused Facebook Ad campaign targeting your particular audience for your benefit.  If you are interested in working with us in this capacity, we’ll be glad to offer professional services for your benefit ad campaign.

Also we recommend having at least 4 weeks lead-time where we will supply you with 6-8 professional email flyers promoting the various aspects of the Webcast and parceled out evenly over the 4 weeks. We’ll do the heavy lifting while you can just sit back and count the blessings!

Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Benefit

Part 1: Producing A Benefit
Part 2: Your Audience
Part 3: The Professional Producer/Presenter
Part 5: The Cost And The Profit
Part 6: The Benefit – More or Less
Part 7: The “It’s Time To Get Our Checkbook” Speech

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