Rabbit Room Listening Party – Andy Gullahorn

Andy Gullahorn's Beyond the Frame

There’s a listening party going on over at The Rabbit Room today for Andy Gullahorn’s new album, Beyond the Frame. I heard the song that inspired the title almost a year ago – “Grand Canyon,” the first thing I ever heard from Andy – and it has remained with me since. If the rest of the album is half as good as the reviews I’ve been reading say it is, I’m in.

Each hour, a new song will be posted with some notes and comments from Andy. I’m going to come back to this post and note my initial reactions throughout the day as I listen. If you want to listen as well, be sure to do so today; the music will only be live until midnight.

So go check out the listening party yourself, and keep dropping by here to see my thoughts on the matter. (Update: All of Andy Gullahorn’s comments from the listening party day have been combined into a single wrap-up post over at the Rabbit Room! Check it out.)

Track by Track

Track 1: “I Will”

A lovely, heartbreaking-in-the-best-way song. If I could be this kind of friend…

Lyrics that struck me:

“If you’re looking for something broken
I am.”

“If you need a friend to do some dying with you
I will.”

Track 2: “The Surface of Things”

There are so many hurting marriages around me. My heart breaks for my friends who are going through these hard times, knowing this is not the way it is supposed to be. My prayer is that this song will speak to those who are there – and point them to seek the River underneath, in which they are rooted and from which they grow.

Lyrics that struck me:

“When’s the last time we forfeited the last word
Last time we didn’t care who won?”

Track 3: “Any Less True”

Just this morning a friend posted on Facebook, “Ponder anew/ What the Almighty can do” and commented that she likes the “Ponder anew” because she so often forgets. There is a truth outside of me. I am a believer in that Truth. But sometimes I have to remind myself, because sometimes the whispering of the world gets so loud.

Lyrics that struck me:

“Say it back to me
‘Cause it’s hard to believe.”

“They say God listens to our prayers
When you’re suffering, He holds you
I don’t feel Him anywhere
But that doesn’t make it any less true.”

Track 4: “Line in the Sand”

I am so often saddened by the gracelessness I see in myself and in other believers. I have been hurt by it. I’m certain I have hurt others without thinking when I drew my lines in the sand. A beautiful companion to “Any Less True”: truth doesn’t change, but perspective can.

Lyrics that struck me:

“What I thought was right
Sure looks a little different after all this time
No the truth won’t change
But perspective can
So much for the line in the sand”

Track 5: “The Same Song”

C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone.” May we also show each other that as we go about our daily lives.

Lyrics that struck me:

Maybe you came with a sad melody ringing in your heart – Ooh
Maybe your notes are like flickers of hope trying to light the dark – Ooh
Oh and I bring stories of my own from a broken life
But if we dare to open up to each other I think we’ll find
We’re all singing, We’re all singing, We’re all singing
The same song

Track 6: “Favor is a Foreign Tongue

Grace and mercy are mysterious things. We are dead beings – the very spark of life is such a strange thing to us that we often don’t know what to do with it. May we be messengers of grace to those in need of grace. May we learn of the mercy of God through the mercy of our fellow man.

Lyrics that struck me:

“You can’t help the world you were born into
Where you learned to walk with a limp that you didn’t even know was there”

Track 7: “Flash in the Pan”

I love that in his intro for this one on the RR site, Andy uses Britney Spears’ flame out of fame as “good news” for those in the middle of something that seems like it will last for ever – even though we don’t want it to.

Lyrics that struck me:

“Well, hindsight’s got some kind of power
Makes years feel like half an hour
And troubles melt away as quickly as they came”

Track 8: “My Language”

Andy wrote this song for his wife Jill Phillips – just one more off this album that celebrate the beauty of long-term love, of deep relationship, of commitment.

Lyrics that struck me:

“And every person on those streets
Is walking with their head turned down
They scurry past cathedral bones
Born in the thirteenth century”

“But I heard a song there in the deep
Rise from your paper and your pen
A song that I’d heard others sing
Oh but this time I could understand”

Track 9: “The Other Side”

I love that Andy juxtaposes the good with the bad here – no, you can’t take your things or your pride or your fame with you. But you also can’t take your errors, your shame, your sin. On the other side, we will all be changed. We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Lyrics that struck me:

“All your worst mistakes, you can’t take them with you
All your secret shame, you can’t take it with you”

Track 10: “Skinny Jeans”

I’ve been hearing about this one for a while from friends who had this album before me. And I laughed out loud while I listened. I’ll give ya the lines that made me do so, but you really need to hear it to get the humor.

Lyrics that made me lol:

“I don’t wanna wear those skinny jeans
How can they even breathe?
<in a falsetto>I guess that’s why they sing up here
<à la James Blunt>You’re beautiful”

Track 11: “Sleeping Sound”

A word of encouragement for a worried father.

Lyrics that struck me:

“Well, even if turning back the clock was a choice you had
You couldn’t give him any more love than you already have
And that’s all he needs from his dad”

Track 12: “Nowhere To Be Found”

An achingly honest look at the pain of loss. And the lostness of we who are left looking for God after we fall with no safety net.

Lyrics that struck me:

“When the long line of dinners came to an end
We made a meal of our own
Out of cold habit we both bowed our heads
And felt the silence of our home
Where you were nowhere to be found”

“Now I look at the world like a crystal ball
Usually from the outside in
I see people I love get the life that I lost”

Track 13: “Grand Canyon”

I’ve been waiting almost a year to hear this song again, and I’m now lying flat on my floor with tears streaming down my temples. I had never heard of Andy Gullahorn before the night I heard this song. I’ve had it in my head ever since. The refrain, “the story isn’t over yet” has been the theme of my song for the past year; it has weighed on decisions I’ve made and influenced conversations I’ve held. If for no other reason, this song is the reason to buy this album.

Lyrics that struck me:

But there’s a bird out there
Still singing in the dead of night
Like it knows there’s a season
When the sun’s gonna set
But the story isn’t over yet”

We’re done folks. The songs will be streaming until midnight tonight. But the album will continue to be for sale at The Rabbit Room (I recommend getting it there!) and other places like iTunes and Amazon.