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Stephanie Kern "my gift of song"

About the Artist | About the CD | About the Songs | Order Form

Ex-Nestle / Hills Bros Coffee Reunion - June 2011

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     "Stephanie is a third-generation native San Franciscan and has been singing all her life (to some people's dismay!). She started writing her own songs a couple of decades ago & decided it was time to see them recorded. She's lived in Joshua Tree, CA for 3 years now. Her other work includes computer training."
     I didnt follow up on my gift of song until I was well into my 20s. For whatever reason, I was led to other activities. But I found the joy in singing, sharing my gift and performing when I made my Cursillo (a Christian spiritual retreat weekend) at age 23 and then joined the Folk Group at our Catholic parish in Daly City. From there I helped to form a group called Coffee & Tacos. Our motto: The Gospel in Music, Food for the Soul. (Dont ask about the name, you had to have been there)
     Coffee & Tacos performed at benefit performances and weddings for 5 years. It was a wonderful time of my life and I still have many, many friends  from those experiences.
     After many years in business (with time out for a year at The Graduate Theological Union and a year in campus ministry), including the last 2 in Silicon Valley, I decided to offer my services to a newly created spiritual retreat center started in Joshua Tree, CA by James Twyman of the Beloved Community. I moved to the desert in 2000 (NOT something I ever imagined for me!!) and worked with the Beloved Community for a year and a half. It was exciting and wonderful! When James moved the Beloved Community to Ashland, OR, I stayed, found paying work and finally made the connections to make this dream come true. Thank you for sharing it with me! :o)

 

     "I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to making this CD possible.  My good friends Marilyn, Cathy, Jerry and Karen, who encouraged and supported me in writing and performing my own music.  Shara, who kicked me into getting this done.  Alice & Albert Williams and the many friends here in Joshua Tree, without whom this would not be possible. And most especially, my parents, my sisters and my family who shake their heads at my adventures, but who love me anyway. I couldn't have done this without you."

 

1. Heart Wise Gem | 2. Symphony of Life | 3. I've Only Just Met You | 4. Michael
5. What's the Meaning of This? | 6. I'm Walking With You | 7. City of Mystery
8. Bless Me Father | 9. For the Love of Life | 10. Shadows on the Wall
11. No Hands But Ours | 12. Mother's Medley  | 13. How Great Thou Art

1. Heart Wise Gem I was starting a new position as Director of Campus Ministry at the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, CA. Before I left for my first day, I sat down to mediate and pray for help and guidance. This was the first time I would be doing any paid ministry. I received what I asked for. Jesus touched my heart and place a beautiful, sparkling gem just about heart wise. From that experience, came a song.
Lyrics;

HEART WISE GEM

Words & music by Stephanie Kern
Copyright 1983

HE CAME TO ME AS A GIFT OF LOVE
AND HE CAME TO ME WITH THE GIFT OF LOVE
HE TOUCHED MY HEART AND HE PLACED IT THERE
AND NOW IT SHINES FOR ALL TO SEE

(CHORUS)
A HEART WISE GEM, A HEART WISE GEM
IT TOUCHES THOSE AROUND ME, UNLOCKING EVERY DOOR
A HEART WISE GEM, THAT SHINES FOR ALL TO SEE

LOVE FILLED MY EMPTINESS THAT ACHED WITH THE COLD
LOVE FILLED MY EMPTINESS WITH WARMTH AND LIGHT
DARKNESS AND FEAR ARE NOW DISPELLED
AND HAPPINESS FOUND A WAY TO COMFORT ME

I TESTED IT FOR COULD NOT BELIEVE
THAT ALL COULD COME SO EASILY
I'D BUT TO ASK FOR WHAT I NEED
THE ANSWER CAME I COULD BELIEVE, IN
(CHORUS)
CONFIDENCE IS NOW MY GUIDE
I HAVE A DREAM HERE BY MY SIDE
I NEED NOT LOOK BEYOND TODAY
FOR LOVE IS MINE AND HERE TO STAY

I TRUST HIM NOW WITH NO DESPAIR
FOR HOPE IS BORNE ON WINGS OF AIR
I FOLLOW HIM WITHOUT REGRET
AND TEND THE SEEDS OUR LOVE BEGETS, IN
(CHORUS)

 


2. Symphony of Life Symphony was the first song I ever wrote. I was 23, had just completed a wonderful spiritual renewal weekend and was thinking to myself, I wish I could write songs like that. Suddenly, a little light pinged on in my head (yes, this really does happen!). Why not? Why couldnt I write a song like that? And I did. This is the result.
Lyrics;

SYMPHONY OF LIFE

Words & music by Stephanie Kern
Copyright 1986

ROUND US YOULL FIND HARMONY AND JOY
ALL THE WORLDS OUR MUSIC TOY
LISTEN CLOSELY, YOU CAN HEAR
EVERY CHORD RING SWEET AND CLEAR

EVERY SONG I SING IS A HARMONY OF LIFE
EVERY WORD I BRING IS IN HARMONY WITH LIFE
SING WITH ME NOW AND TOGETHER WE SHALL SEE
WHAT THE SYMPHONY OF LIFE CAN BE

COME HERE, DONT HIDE, YOU ARE A GIFT
WITH YOUR LOVE YOU CAN UPLIFT
EVERY NEW DAYS A TREASURE YOU CAN SHARE
ONLY SHOW THEM THAT YOU CARE

EVERY LEAF ON THE TREE IS A HARMONY OF LIFE
EVERY HUM OF THE BEE IS IN HARMONY WITH LIFE
SING WITH ME NOW AND TOGETHER WE SHALL SEE
WHAT THE SYMPHONY OF LIFE CAN BE

YOUR FEARS ARE NOT SOMETHING TO DISGUISE
WE CAN MAKE EACH OTHER WISE
IF YOU CAN ADMIT TO WHO YOU ARE
WE CAN GO SO VERY FAR

EVERY STAR IN THE SKY IS A HARMONY OF LIFE
EVERY ANIMALS CRY IS IN HARMONY WITH LIFE
SING WITH ME NOW AND TOGETHER WE SHALL SEE
WHAT THE SYMPHONY OF LIFE CAN BE

RIGHT HERE WITH YOU IS WHERE I WANT TO BE
LET US GROW OLD NATURALLY
LETS NOT WORRY, COMPLICATE, OR FUSS
ALL THE WORLDS HERE JUST FOR US

EVERY CITYS RISE IS A HARMONY OF LIFE
EVERY CREATURE THAT DIES IS IN HARMONY WITH LIFE
SING WITH ME NOW AND TOGETHER WE SHALL SEE
WHAT THE SYMPHONY OF LIFE CAN
SYMPHONY OF LIFE CAN
SYMPHONY OF LIFE CAN BE.


3. I've Only Just Met You This came from a very brief encounter with a young man I was very attracted to. We met at a party. And I never saw him again
Lyrics;

I'VE ONLY JUST MET YOU

Words & music by Stephanie Kern
Copyright 2003


I'VE ONLY JUST MET YOU, BUT TO MY SURPRISE
I FEEL LIKE I'VE KNOW YOU FOR A LONG, LONG TIME
ONE LOOK IN YOUR EYES THRILLED ME TO MY HEART
WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY FOR BRAND NEW START.

I'VE GOT FEELINGS INSIDE I'VE NEVER HAD BEFORE
A SURGING TIDE RISING STEADILY
AND IN MY CONFUSION YOU REACH OUT YOUR HAND
AND I FOLLOW YOU INTO ANOTHER LAND.

WHEN I THINK ABOUT YOU I WONDER WHAT'S IN STORE
IS THIS ALL THERE IS? IS THERE SOMETHING MORE?
BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER ANYWAY
OUR LOVE'S FOREVER, FOREVER AND A DAY.

OUR LOVE'S FOREVER, FOREVER AND A AND A AND A DAY


4. Michael I met Michael while working the team on a Making a Difference: A Course for Those Who Minister workshop (created by graduates of the est Training). We were friends for a while and, of course, I was attracted to him!
Lyrics;

MICHAEL

WORDS & MUSIC BY
STEPHANIE KERN
COPYRIGHT 1985


I MET A MAN HIS NAME IS MICHAEL
LORD WHAT HE CAN DO TO ME
I MET A MAN HIS NAME IS MICHAEL
HE'S A ONE WHO'S BOUND TO BE FREE
MICHAEL LOVES TO ROAM HE GOES WHERE HE WILL.
HE'LL NOT BE TIED YET I LOVE HIM STILL.
WHAT IS IT MICHAEL THAT DRAWS ME TO YOU?
WHY IS IT OTHER MEN WON'T DO?
OTHER MEN JUST WON'T DO.
MICHAEL LOVES TO ROAM HE GOES WHERE HE WILL.
HE'LL NOT BE TIED YET I LOVE HIM STILL.
COME OR GO, ROAM OR STAY, MICHAEL I LOVE YOU ANYWAY.
COME OR GO, ROAM OR STAY, MICHAEL I LOVE YOU ANYWAY.
MICHAEL, I ALWAYS WILL.
I MET A MAN, HIS NAME IS MICHAEL.


5. What's the Meaning of This? Yes, Id met Michael, and then realized that as much as I was attracted to him, it just wasnt going to work out.
Lyrics;

WHAT'S THE MEANING OF THIS?

Words & music by
Stephanie Kern
Copyright 1989



WHAT'S THE MEANING OF THIS?
ALL MY LIFE I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR THE ONE
I WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF IT WITH.
NOW YOU SAY YOU CAN'T STAY
YOU SAY YOU'VE GOT TO GO AWAY.
OH LORD, WHAT DO I DO?
THE ONE I WANT TO BE WITH IS YOU.

I GUESS I REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN.
I CAN'T FOLLOW YOU, I'VE GOT THINGS I'VE GOT TO DO
AND I SURE WOULDN'T WANT YOU TO CHANGE.
SO, WHAT CAN I SAY?
I LOVE YOU AND COME BACK THIS WAY
I LOVE YOU AND COME BACK THIS WAY
OR MAYBE I'LL FOLLOW YOU ONE DAY


6. I'm Walking With You Written for a good friend.  I didnt see him much but we talked a lot and he is always in my heart.
Lyrics;

I'M WALKING WITH YOU

Words & music
By Stephanie Kern
Copyright 1989


CHORUS:
WHEREVER YOU ARE, WHATEVER YOU DO
REMEMBER ALWAYS, MY THOUGHTS ARE WITH YOU
MY LOVE I DO SEND, MY PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS TOO
REMEMBER, OH REMEMBER, I'M WALKING WITH YOU

WHEN WE'RE TOGETHER TIME SLIPS AWAY
OUR LOVE'S FOREVER, AND DAY BY DAY
I WANT YOU ALWAYS BY MY SIDE
BUT WITH YOUR ABSENCE I MUST ABIDE.
THERE IS SO MUCH IN THIS WORLD TO DO
AND WE MUST BE ABOUT IT
SOMETIMES IT TAKES US APART
BUT YOU'RE ALWAYS IN MY HEART

(CHORUS)


7. City of Mystery In 1985, I joined the Earth Steward's on a journey to Northern Ireland, specifically Belfast.  Danaan Parry, co-founder of the Holy Earth Foundation and Earth Stewards was my mentor and an incredible human being.  This trip was geared towards young adults and its goal was to bring together people of opposite sides of a conflict.  (The Earth Stewards Network continues this work today in various forms.  Check them out at: www.earthstewards.org.)  We Americans were the excuse needed for groups of Catholics and Protestants to gather together and talk.  We worked together, played together, ate together, cried and prayed together.  It was an eye-opening experience.  A sheltered American meeting tanks and machine guns on the street  Well, you imagine it.
Lyrics;

CITY OF MYSTERY (BELFAST)

Words & music by Stephanie Kern
Copyright 1989


I CAME TO LOOK I CAME TO LISTEN CAME TO SEE WHAT I COULD SEE
IN THIS TOWN THAT THEY CALL BELFAST //WITH IT'S TROUBLE PLENTY//
I'D HEARD OF MURDER, HEARD OF KILLING,
HEARD OF DANGER, HEARD OF STRIFE
WHAT I HADN'T EVER HEARD OF //WAS THEIR LOVE FOR LIFE//

CHORUS: BELFAST, BELFAST, CITY OF MYSTERY
BELFAST, BELFAST //WILL YOU EVER SHOW YOURSELF TO ME//

SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU'VE BEEN CAUGHT IN WEBS OF HISTORY
PLAYING ANCIENT ROLES OF CARNAGE //REVENGE AND PIETY//
OPEN ARMS TO WELCOME STRANGERS OPEN HOMES TO LET THEM IN
CURSE YOUR BROTHER ON THE NEXT BLOCK //FOR THE CHURCH HE'S IN//
(CHORUS)
IN THE MIDST OF ALL YOUR TROUBLES IN THE MIDST OF YOUR DESPAIR
YOU FIND COURAGE TO CONTINUE, YOU FIND //HEART ENOUGH TO CARE//
THE WORLD TODAY IS MUCH TOO SMALL
FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T LIVE SIDE BY SIDE
OH, BELFAST CAN YOU TELL ME WHEN WILL YOU SEE THE LIGHT?
WILL YOU EVER SEE THE LIGHT?
CHORUS:
BELFAST, BELFAST, CITY OF MYSTERY
BELFAST, BELFAST, WILL YOU EVERY SHOW YOURSELF TO ME?
WILL YOU EVER SHOW YOURSELF TO ME?
WILL YOU EVER SHOW YOURSELF TO ME?


8. Bless Me Father This was written for a Catholic priest friend of mine who encouraged me to reach out, grow and get involved.  But he wasnt quite so sure about my journey leading me away from the Church.
Lyrics;

BLESS ME FATHER

Words & music by Stephanie Kern
Copyright 1982

FATHER, I RISK YOUR ANGER. FATHER, I RISK YOUR LOVE.
BUT I COULD NOT GO WITHOUT TELLING YOU I NEED YOU.
BLESS ME FATHER, BLESS ME PLEASE.

IT WAS YOUR LOVING CARE THAT TENDED THE SEED
FROM WHICH MY VISION GREW.
NOW IT CALLS ME AWAY AND I KNOW I MUST WALK ALONE
BUT IT WOULD HELP TO KNOW I CAN COME BACK HOME

FATHER, I NEED YOU. FATHER I MUST GO.
AND I WANT TO GO WITH YOUR BLESSING
THAT I MIGHT LEAVE IN PEACE
ON THIS JOURNEY MY HEART CALLS ME TO.

I DONT EXPECT THAT YOU WILL UNDERSTAND
THOUGH I HOPE AND PRAY YOU DO
ALL I ASK OF YOU IS YOUR LOVE AND YOUR BLESSING.

FATHER, I RISK YOUR ANGER. FATHER, I RISK YOUR LOVE.
BUT I COULD NOT GO WITHOUT TELLING YOU I NEED YOU.
BLESS ME FATHER, BLESS ME PLEASE.


9. For the Love of Life My greatest pleasure was to sing this song for my Sister's wedding and have her claim that I wrote it for her!
Lyrics;

FOR THE LOVE OF LIFE

Words & music by Stephanie Kern
Copyright 1989

CHORUS:
IT'S A BRAND NEW BRAND NEW DAY & THE FUTURE BECKONS ME
IT'S A BRAND NEW BEGINNING & IN THIS LOVE I'M FREE

TAG:
LET ME SHARE WITH YOU THE JOY OF LIVING FOR THE LOVE OF LIFE.
LET ME SHARE WITH YOU ALL THAT IT'S WORTH THE LIVING FOR

FOR THE SUNSHINE & THE RAIN, FOR THE LAUGHTER & THE PAIN
FOR THE FRIENDSHIPS & THE FIGHTS, FOR THE VALLEYS & THE HEIGHTS.
FOR THE LOVE THAT FILLS OUR DAYS, FOR THE SORROW & THE WAYS
WE CAN TOUCH EACH OTHER'S HEARTS, FOR THE BRAND NEW, BRAND NEW STARTS.

(CHORUS)

SOMETIMES IN THE NIGHT, IT SEEMS THERE'LL NEVER BE A LIGHT
TO GUIDE US THROUGH OUR LIFE, AND THE ONLY THING IS STRIFE
THEN COMES A BRAND NEW DAWN AND WE REALIZE LIFE MOVES ON
THROUGH THE BAD TIMES TO THE GOOD, IT NEED NOT BE UNDERSTOOD.

(CHORUS)


10. Shadows on the Wall I wrote this song on my second visit to Belfast in Northern Ireland. I spent several days at a retreat centre in Donegal and definitely felt close to my own center. I wanted to say that keeping quiet when you have something important to share is like walking around with the "unspoken dead."
Lyrics;

SHADOWS ON THE WALL

Words & music by Stephanie Kern
Copyright 1989


DANCING ON THE EDGE OF MADNESS
SHADOWS PLAYING ON THE WALL
GHOSTS AND FAERIES GATHER ROUND ME
I DON'T KNOW MYSELF AT ALL

DRIFTING CROSS THE DARKENED WATERS
MIST AND DEW ADORN MY HAIR
VOICES CALLING ME TO FOLLOW
DAMNED IF I CAN TELL YOU WHERE

STANDING 'MIDST THE SWIRLING CHAOS
NAKED 'NEATH THE BURNING SUN
LIFT MY EYES TO DRINK THE GLORY
OF THE LOST AND ONLY ONE

WILL THERE EVER BE AN ANSWER
WILL WE ONLY CUT AND RUN
FROM THE FEAR AND TENDER MADNESS
OF THE QUESTIONS JUST BEGUN

// OPEN DOORS AND OPEN WINDOWS
SAY WHATEVER NEED BE SAID
THERE IS NO RIGHT WRONG OR FOOLISH
ONLY THE UNSPOKEN DEAD //


11. No Hands But Ours This is the only song I've written by request (to date). I worked Cursillo spiritual renewal weekends for many years and I finally took on the privilege of leading one of the teams. When the core team was deciding on a theme song they asked me to write one. I said only on the condition that if they didn't like it, we wouldn't use it! We used it. :o) The line I like best is: "He said to us, whatever I do you can do, and even more than I."
Lyrics;

NO HANDS BUT OURS
Copyright 1990

(Chorus)
Christ has no hands but ours in the world
We are God's light; we are God's glory
We are God's life on Earth today
We walk the land, we tell God's story

Jesus showed us a new way to live
He said to us whatever I do you can do
And even more than I
(Chorus)

I see Christ in your eyes and mine
We have the gifts to give each other love and life
We walk the path of peace
(Chorus)

Reach out your hands to teach and to heal
To spread the news, we are the children of our God
We share the way of love
(Chorus)


12. Mother's Medley This collection of five short songs were written about and during my involvement with the online course for the Beloved Community. The first is one of the Community's mantras. Sacred Ground was written after walking a labyrinth in Canada. The last one is the beginning of my journey to join the Community in Joshua Tree.
Lyrics;

MOTHER'S MEDLEY
Copyright 2003

TO SEE AS GOD SEES
To see as God sees
To feel as God feels
To know what God knows
The Beloved sees only the Beloved

MOTHER OF GOD
Mother of God
Fill our hearts with your love
Bring us your Peace
Oh, Mother of God
Mother of God
We surrender to you
Trust in your wisdom
With all gratitude

SACRED GROUND
Chorus:
//Every step on sacred ground
Every thing is see is holy
Everyone I meet Beloved
Every step on sacred ground//

Sacred ground, sacred ground
The Beloved all around
Sacred ground, sacred ground
Mother, help me to remember
Every step on sacred ground
(Chorus)

MY LIFE IS JOY
My life is joy
And love is for giving
For giving and receiving are the same
My life is joy
And love is for giving
For giving and receiving are the same


I OPEN MY HEART
I open my heart to a brand new adventure
I open my eyes to see you beckoning me
I open my ears to hear the words that you whisper
I open my heart, oh God, I open my heart

Chorus:
I trust in the Mother to hold me in loving arms
I trust in the Father to give me the tools I need
I trust in the Spirit to show me what steps to take
I trust in my heart, oh God, I trust in my heart

I'm amazed every day by the beauty and joy
We've been given
By the sparkle of Love in my Beloved's eyes
And everyone's Beloved you see
No matter what they think of you or me

(Chorus)


13. How Great Thou Art This one is for my Mom.  It is her favorite.  A thank you to Manna Music for allowing me to include it.
Lyrics;

HOW GREAT THOU ART

Words & music by Stuart K. Hine
Copyright 1981 Manna Music, Inc.


O LORD MY GOD! WHEN I IN AWESOME WONDER
CONSIDER ALL THE WORLDS THY HANDS HAVE MADE
I SEE THE STARS, I HEAR THE ROLLING THUNDER,
THY POW'R THROUGHOUT THE UNIVERSE DISPLAYED

CHORUS:
THEN SINGS MY SOUL, MY SAVIOR GOD TO THEE:
HOW GREAT THOU ART! HOW GREAT THOU ART!
THEN SINGS MY SOUL, MY SAVIOR GOD TO THEE:
HOW GREAT THOU ART! HOW GREAT THOU ART!

WHEN THROUGH THE WOODS AND FOREST GLADES I WANDER
AND HEAR THE BIRDS SING SWEETLY IN THE TREES,
WHEN I LOOK DOWN FROM LOFTY MOUNTAIN GRANDEUR
AND HEAR THE BROOK AND FEEL THE GENTLE BREEZE.

(CHORUS - 2x)



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