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20 December 2011

Through the Eyes of God


Following is the tenth blog in Kent’s twelve-part series to share with you what influenced him to write each song on our debut CD Something on the Way. The lyrics to “Through the Eyes of God” are in italics below. The lyrics are also available under the Music tab, Lyrics category, by song title.

This song is very personal to me.  The song originated from my own experience of losing my cat companion of 19 ½ years, Sting.

Pet lovers dread the time leading up to a beloved companion’s death.  I was no different.  Additionally, my wife and I struggled with determining the best course of action for Sting–whether to assist his transition or allow him to die in his own time.  In the end, we determined that it was best for Sting to die in his own time with us caring for him.

Through experiencing the last few days of his life when his reliance on us was more evident, I came to an epiphany of sorts.  I realized that Sting was much more than “just” a cat to me.  He had freely given me many gifts and much guidance.  Unfortunately, I had not fully appreciated these blessings until I was about to lose him.

Animals truly are spiritual creatures of the light.  Because they do not have an ego and reasoning like humans do, they do not worry about the past or the future.  They simply focus on being in the moment.  The unconditional love a pet gives back without judgment is a lesson from our Angels on how we are meant to treat each other.  Looking into the eyes of our animals you truly can see the light of God looking back at you.  This song more than any other I have ever written has convinced me that when you truly write from the heart you are pulling music from something bigger than yourself.  When I tried to write the song from what I thought it should be, I was stuck.  Once I asked what it truly was about, the phrase “Through the eyes of God our Angels speak to us” came to me and the song just poured out as if I had pulled a plug out of the drain.

The verses describe interactions between myself and Sting and then insights lead into the chorus and the core message of the song.   The string quartet arranged by Tom and the marching snare drum brought in by J.P.  and Kevin help take the song to an even higher emotional level.

The beginning of the song starts with the arpeggios on an acoustic guitar that is tuned down a half-step. There are two patterns, one based on the G chord and the other starting with the Em. I liked using the VI and the II chords of the key and how they changed up the sections of the song. The first verse is describing Sting and one of our interactions:

Black and white velvet, jade green eyes
A little spot of brown, a kiss of white
I walk into the room and you lift your head
Your curling tail speaks to me like words unsaid

Between the verses is a little pause for one of the insights:

If only I would slow down
And think about what you’re teaching me

The second verse describes one of the many times that Sting would come over and comfort me when I was having a rough time:

You walk on over when I’m feeling down
And curl up by my side with a little sound
Softly purring when I stop to see
The gift you’ve just given me is your company

The pre-chorus adds reverence to the song as I begin to realize what a gift my little furry companion was:

And I thank you for your love and grace
Thank you for the guidance in my life
Looking in your bright, soul eyes
I realize what holds us

The chorus brings the message of the song home and diverts from the more standard I, IV, V pattern of a lot of pop songs and instead moves from the I, IV to the II and back to the IV. The minor chord phrasing of the II chord I think adds to the power of the chorus. The chorus takes this song about my cat and moves it into a spiritual view of animals and how they teach us through their “in the moment” living how to become more spiritual ourselves:

Through the eyes of God
Our Angels speak to us
Bringing wisdom and their whole love
Through the eyes of God
Beings of the Light
Show us how to create heaven on the earth

The last verse adds another lesson about playfulness and reinforces the message of the chorus:

You helped me to play and laugh without a care
I admire your spirit as you fly through the air
The creatures of this world our meant to be
The ones who help us with our destiny

Repeating the pre-chorus leads into the double chorus at the end. Although it lengthened the song I felt that it was important to drive the message home and since I started with 2 verses in a row I did not want to give the chorus short-shrift. I changed the last line of the last chorus in order to tie the animals and angels together:

Our animals are really angels on this earth

Normally you do not want to end a song on the IV chord as it feels unresolved but it felt more powerful to me than returning to the root chord. It invites the listener to think about their own pets and to honor all of God’s creatures.

If you enjoyed reading about the inspiration behind this song, you may also enjoy the video.

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