Deep Waters – Part 3

B&W-WOMAN-FLOATINGOut Of The Depths, the second song of the Deep Waters trilogy, is drawn from Psalm 130.  I’ve always known that I would write this song one day, but I also knew that I should wait – wait until I was older and hopefully wiser – perhaps lived more.  To a certain sense I do believe that if one is going to write about the depths of anything, it’s probably wise to have experienced them.

I’ve had a pretty smooth ride through life.  Little war, little tragedy, no poverty, health.  So when it came to speaking about my depths I finally realized that our depths are pretty relative.  I’ve felt the pain of lost love, I lost over a hundred friends during the decades of the AIDS epidemic, and I’ve been healed of some relatively scary problems in the course of my life.  So the operative word here is probably “relative”.  Your depths may be deeper than mine, but my depths have been deep enough to experience them and understand their meaning in my life.

As a writer I like movement in my work.  I desire to move the listener from A to B to C during the course of the song – not just state a principle, but tell the story of how one moves from Point A to Point B and so on.  I like the drama of a testimony.  I like the story of the struggle and believe that it makes the inspirational revelation that much more powerful if we understand the struggle.  I want to experience the process of healing – not just the celebration.

Perhaps this all comes from my years working in the Broadway theater and learning the principles and powers of drama.  I like to take you on a ride and I deeply believe in struggle, light, climax and satisfaction.

So diving into Psalm 130 was not taken lightly by either me or Julia Wade, the vocalist on the song.  We knew it had to be an in-depth experience to portray the powers and drama of this rich Psalm of David’s.

This particular Psalm is called “A Song of Ascents.”  Though I knew what “ascent” meant, I looked it up anyway and the definition nailed the song for me.  “Ascent: a movement upward, a rising, ascension”

Out Of The Depths isn’t just a lament, but must be, of nature, and must express the rising out of these depths.

Wikipedia says of Psalm 130, “This lament, a Penitential Psalm, is the De profundis used in liturgical prayers for the faithful departed in Western liturgical tradition. In deep sorrow the psalmist cries to God (1-2), asking for mercy (3-4). The psalmist’s trust (5-6) becomes a model for the people (7-8).

v1. the depths: Here is a metaphor of total misery. Deep anguish makes the psalmist feel “like those who go down to the pit” (Psalm 143:7). Robert Alter points out that ‘…”the depths” are an epithet for the depths of the sea, which in turn is an image of the realm of death’.  Other Bible passages (Creation, the dwelling of Leviathan, Jesus stilling the storm) also resonate with imagery of fear and chaos engendered by the depths of the sea.”

Sounds pretty heavy, I know, but who of us has not experienced something of the above at some moment here on Planet Earth?  Besides, the point here is not to languish in the depths, but instead, to get out of them, to rise up, to triumph – to breathe the fresh air.

If I’m going to write about deep waters, it would be rather shallow of me not to take you down there, to the bottom of the sea first, before we ascend.

So come take a swim with us!  Bring your water wings.  Fear not; we provide you with a happy ending.  Julia will lift you up with her voice, with her depth of understanding and with the music of life – and best of all with these immortal words of this amazing lyricist, King David.

Out Of The Depths
Music and Lyrics by Peter Link
From King David’s 130th Psalm

Out of the depths
Have I cried unto thee, oh
Lord.
Out
of the depths
I cry
I cry
I cry
Lord, hear my voice:
Let thine ears hear the voice of my prayers.

Forgive me, Lord
Forgive me
Forgive me, Lord
Forgive me

I wait for Thee oh Lord,
My soul doth wait,
And in Thy word I hope.
I
wait for you
More than they that watch for the morning:
More than
they that watch for the morning.

Standing in the shadows I cry unto thee
Bring me thy light
Oh how I love thy light
Thy light!

Out of the depths
Now I cry unto thee, oh
Lord.
Out
of the depths
I cry
I cry
I cry
Lord, hear my voice:
Let mine eyes see the light of thine eye

Forgive me, Lord
Forgive me
Forgive me, Lord
Forgive me

Forgive me, Lord
Forgive me
Forgive me, Lord
Forgive me

Light
Light
Light!FROM-THE-DEPTHS

There is forgiveness with Thee
In the spiritual understanding
Of Thy light

Here in Thy light
I’m free

 

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