Monday, January 9, 2012

the story of 'Have I Told You'

there are a few songwriters who have been able to make me cry.

Derek Webb, Justin McRoberts, Andrew Peterson, Sanctus Real, Ben Shive, and Andy Gullahorn.

if you have the time, you should definitely check out their music. Derek's song Lover is from Jesus' perspective to us, and it moves me every time. Justin's song Safe, and two of his songs for his father, resonate deeply with me. Andrew Peterson's The Good Confession hit me like a punch to the gut when i was in a period of doubt about my faith. Sanctus Real's Lead Me is a powerful reminder to husbands/fathers that caught me by surprise on their last album, before it was an overplayed radio single. Ben Shive, who tours often with Andrew and Andy, has a mastery of melancholy/reflection in song form, and his The Ill-tempered Klavier was moving as a whole.  I'm digging into his new album The Cymbal-Crashing Clouds and the accompanying book of poetry/essay.  Andy Gullahorn's songs are a mix of tongue-in-cheek humor with deeply insightful metaphor, and he has the most songs that have moved me to tears, i think - More of a Man, Give it Time, and I Haven't Either, just to name a few.

this is a necessary intro to the story of Have I Told You - a song i wrote for my wife over 2 years ago.

i am heavily influenced by whatever i'm listening to at the time, and these songs by Andy Gullahorn in particular had been weighing heavily on me when it came time to write a song for my wife for our 2nd year of marriage. Give it Time was the most fresh on my mind, and so i was seeking to capture the emotional weight of this song with the combination of the clever way Gullahorn uses personal illustration in the verses of his song...

I really do have a hard time (sometimes) telling my wife how much i love her, and i realized that i never want to go 24hrs without literally saying it to her while also (hopefully) showing her. from this thought process, i arrived at 'have a told you today that i love you,' which i felt like was a pretty strong chorus thought, so i then worked backward to the more 'personal' verse stuff.  we were still 'newly-weds,' and Sarah was still in school at CU... so there's some of the context.

i was very pleased with how Sarah responded to this song, and it's probably my favorite song on the album to play.

here's the lyrics:


strange voices greet me as i awake
you forgot to turn of your radio alarm today
a little late, i hear you moving for the door
3 unused outfits spread across the floor...

have i told you today.. that i love you?

piles of dishes greet me as i enter the room
whatever you cooked smells wonderful, and so do you
i don’t mention that the trash can overflows
but i have a habit of telling you things you already know

have i told you today that i love you?

no room to sit, for all your papers, books, and clothes
and you look up at me with a tear drop on your nose
you say you’re overwhelmed, 'sorry it’s a mess'
i say 'come here' and pull you to my chest

have i told you today that i love you? 

did i mention that i trust you?
did i mention that i cherish you?
did i mention today how beautiful you are?

have i told you today
have i told you today
have i told you today, i love you.