Thanks for Visiting

Over time I have written a number of songs. I will continue to add them to this blog so, please, keep coming back to see what's new.


Sunday, January 2, 2022

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

This piano duet is for my beautiful sister, Dineen.  Growing up we’d sing this hymn at church in the old Pine Street chapel.  It was a fun one to sing — especially the echo part.

Dineen is three years younger than me.  We’re the middle children --  three and four in the line up of six, so we share many golden childhood memories.

When we were young our grandparents built a small cabin just over the mountains from our house.  We had the best of times there.  Dad would always stop on the way there and get us ice cream.  We climbed mountains and trees.  Gazing off summits it felt like we were on top of the world.  We’d save our nickels and dimes and walk to Lawson’s candy store.  We’d go rock hounding on Crystal Mountain and play hide and seek in the trees until dark.  We would take shovels in the heat of a Topaz summer and create trails on the side of the mountain so that come wintertime when the snow flew we’d have the perfect tubing runs. And there was Mutley, the world's coolest dog, who’d protect us on our bone hunting adventures.

I remember catching bunnies in grandma's backyard, matching moo moos, and summers filled with watermelons, camping and fishing.  We loved skiing and riding in the boat with grandpa.  Dune buggies.  Hondas.  We had epic Fourth of July park sessions with the cousins at Shasta Park.  The list goes on and on.

My sister is hard-working. 

My sister is fearless. 

My sister loves to laugh. 

My sister has a heart of gold. 

She notices the unnoticed. 

She is so much fun to be around.

She loves animals and nature.

And she loves a challenge.  She played center on the Modesto Maniax, a women's tackle football team.  Yeah, my sister is cooler than your sister.

I love you, Dineen!!!  Thanks for putting up with me as a kid.  When I grow up I want to be just like you.

Click HERE to download free sheet music 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Away in a Manger

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,

The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,

The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,

But little Lord Jesus no crying He makes.

I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky

And stay by my cradle 'til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay

Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,

And fit us for heaven, to live with Thee there.

          -John T. McFarland

Wishing you peace, light and joy this holiday season.  

Merry Christmas!!

Click HERE to download free sheet music 

Monday, November 15, 2021

Now Thank We All Our God

Now thank we all our God

With hearts and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things hath done,

In whom his earth rejoices;

Who, from our mothers' arms,

Hath blessed us on our way

With countless gifts of love

And still is ours today.

Oh, may our bounteous God

Through all our life be near us,

With ever joyful hearts

And blessed peace to cheer us,

And keep us in his love,

And guide us day and night,

And free us from all ills,

Protect us by his might.

Text by Martin Rinkhart

trans. by Catherine Winkworth

I give thanks for family, friends, and all that I hold most dear.

Piano Prelude No. 13:  Now Thank We All Our God

 Click HERE to download free sheet music 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

This German hymn was written over 300 years ago.  It is loosely based on Psalms 103 and 150.  It was the favorite hymn of King Frederick William III of Prussia, who first heard it in 1800. 

My people are from Prussia.  These are my great great grandparents, Annie and Ernest Lueck.  I wonder if in their youth they ever sat in pews at church and sang this magnificent hymn of praise to God.


In 1890, Annie and Ernest left Germany with their five young children and set sail for America.  Their journey was perilous and en route Ernest died and was buried at sea.  Annie arrived in Galveston, a widow, with five little ones all depending on her.  She spoke no English. I marvel at the challenges she must have faced.  I am told she was small in frame but lively in spirit.  She lived to be 85 years old. I share not only her birthday, but her name also.  (Ann is my middle name.)

Fifteen years ago my sister, Julie, and I traveled to Littlefield, Texas, with our folks and left flowers on Grandma Annie's unmarked grave. 

I believe that music ties the generations, both here on earth and beyond the grave. I can't help but smile as I imagine hearing the echoes of Annie’s young voice singing this very hymn in her native tongue back in Germany so many years ago. We are connected not only by blood, but through music as well.

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Dragon's Lament

My children grew up with healthy imaginations.  They would spend countless hours playing games, writing scripts and making home movies, and building Lego castles.  So I was not surprised to hear that my now grown, eldest son Adam decided to create a board game with his friend, Nick. 

The game is set in medieval times.  There are villages and peasants, castles, treasure and, of course, a dragon.  I jumped at the chance when earlier this year Adam asked if I'd be interested in writing music for it -- background music for people to listen to while playing the game.

There are 15 pieces in all.  The music focuses heavily on the many moods of the dragon.  Some of his faces include sleepy dragon, ferocious dragon, angry and annoyed dragon, and even drunk dragon for comic relief.  I used strings and brass, wind instruments, percussion and more.  It was so much fun.  Dragon music filled my dreams for an entire month -- and then some.

One of the last pieces I wrote was entitled Dragon's Lament.  I was trying to get into a "Ruh-roh, writing's-on-the-wall, remorseful, dying-and-his-life-is-flashing-before-his-eyes-and-he's-sorry-for-frying-all-those-peasants" kind of mindset.  I went with a simple piano solo. I think I even started relating with the fictional character, Ann Darrow, after she was no longer terrified of her captor King Kong once he saved her from the T-rex.  Haha.

So here you go... For the soon to be released game Peasant Plunder: a Dragon's Hoard, piano solo Dragon's Lament. 

Click HERE to download free sheet music

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Abide with Me; ’Tis Eventide & Clair de Lune

I began working on this piece last fall shortly after my eighth grandchild, Tessa, was born.  I knew I wanted to mesh a hymn with Claude Debussy’s mysterious and beautiful Clair de Lune, but I wasn’t sure which one.  I skimmed through the hymnbook looking for something that matched the mood and meter, and Abide with Me; ’Tis Eventide jumped out — not exactly newborn material.  All the while as I combined these two pieces I was thinking about sweet baby Tessa.  I tried to keep it soft and delicate like a newborn, but this arrangement has spirit.  It wasn’t whispering to me, it was shouting, “Go big or go home.”    Speaking of big, at birth Tessa tipped the scale at 13 pounds 4 ounces.  Go big or go home is right!  Lisa, YOU are a rock star!!!   

I can’t wait to watch as Tessa’s personality unfolds.  Maybe she will play volleyball in college like her mama or she might be drawn to basketball like her dad.  I can just see her — bold and fearless!!  But for now she’s our sweet little cuddle bug.  When I hold her in my arms I feel the warmth of heaven sink deep into my bones.  Love you sweet Tessa girl!!!


Click HERE to download free sheet music

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Master, the Tempest Is Raging

Things have been a little hectic around here for the past few months with barely a moment to catch my breath.  When I have been able to sit down at the piano, I have reached for Chopin’s Preludes — G Minor and G# Minor especially.  They have matched my frenzied mood.  So when I randomly picked up a pencil and staff paper these first four agitated, driven lines came spilling out.  

Didn’t know what to do with them at first until the hymn Master, the Tempest Is Raging came to mind.  The time signature didn’t quite fit but not far into it I adopted a 6/8 time signature to remedy that.

Storms of life come and go.  Some are mild, others knock me off my feet.  When I land on my knees it is always Christ stilling the tempest that brings peace to my soul.  I’ll keep searching the skies for rainbows after the storms and maybe even learn to dance in the rain.

1. Master, the tempest is raging!

The billows are tossing high!

The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness.

No shelter or help is nigh.

Carest thou not that we perish?

How canst thou lie asleep

When each moment so madly is threat’ning

A grave in the angry deep?


The winds and the waves shall obey thy will:

Peace, be still.

Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea

Or demons or men or whatever it be,

No waters can swallow the ship where lies

The Master of ocean and earth and skies.

They all shall sweetly obey thy will:

Peace, be still; peace, be still.

They all shall sweetly obey thy will:

Peace, peace, be still.

2.  Master, with anguish of spirit

I bow in my grief today.

The depths of my sad heart are troubled.

Oh, waken and save, I pray!

Torrents of sin and of anguish

Sweep o’er my sinking soul,

And I perish!  I perish!  dear Master.

Oh, hasten and take control!

3.  Master, the terror is over.

The elements sweetly rest.

Earth’s sun in the calm lake is mirrored,

And heaven’s within my breast.

Linger, O blessed Redeemer!

Leave me alone no more,

And with joy I shall make the blest harbor

And rest on the blissful shore.

-Mary Ann Baker

Click HERE to download free sheet music