“Don’t Cry For Me” – The Story Behind The Song: A Gift From God!
I wrote “Don’t Cry for Me” in January of 2009 after hearing about the loss of one of my parents’ friends. I had met Fred and Duane Clark at church. I really didn’t know the Clarks very well, and only had the opportunity to speak to them on a few occasions. It was apparent that attending church was a struggle for Fred, as his leg had been amputated and I had been told that he suffered many other physical problems. Sadly, Fred passed away in December of 2008 around Christmas. My mother told me about his passing, and I immediately felt spiritually directed to relay a message to Fred’s widow, Duane. The message I was supposed to relay, “Don’t Cry for Me”, started as a poem. In writing the words, I thought of how Fred’s wife must feel to have lost her soul mate of 57 years. I pondered over what words of comfort I might be able to relay to her. When I completed the poem, I delivered it to Duane as God had guided me to do. Duane shared that she was very touched by the message and later relayed to my mother that she read the words to the poem every night before she went to bed. In hearing that my poem apparently gave her comfort, I felt led to do something more…. It became inherently clear to me that I was supposed to write a song using the poem’s lyrics, the first song I would come to write after a 15 year cessation from songwriting. I have to tell you that God obviously has a sense of humor, however, because I was awakened at 2:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m., and many other strange hours in the morning, with ideas for my song’s melody. When the music came to me in the wee hours of the morning, I would tip-toe out to the piano in our living room to capture the tune, playing gently in an effort not to wake up my sleeping husband! After a week or so, I married the lyrics to my music, and reconnected with a talented musician and vocalist, Bobby Kennedy. In singing the song, it was clear that Bobby really put his heart into it. When I first heard the finished product, I cried and cried, thanking God for the gift of allowing me to write something so beautiful. I had lost both my brother, Mark, and best friend, Mitzi, to cancer a few years ago and personally know the disparaging feeling of loss. I have since found comfort in the words of my own song…. When I delivered the finalized CD to Duane, we listened to it together at her home and she told me that it was her “most treasured possession”. (The song “Don’t Cry for Me” is written using 3/4 timing in its verses and 4/4 timing in its chorus, which makes it a little different – in a good way though! I took the photo that appears on the CD cover in Destin, Florida, at one of my favorite vacation spots. Ironically, Duane told me that she and Fred also enjoyed the beach in Destin) I’ve been inspired by this song to write other Christian music to relay messages to people, messages from God. I have purchased studio equipment to enable me to write and create more efficiently. I truly believe the message in “Don’t Cry for Me” was meant for me to share with others who have similarly suffered a loss. I recognize that every song that I write is a gift, a gift from God. I want to share God’s messages of hope and assurance with the world! May you be blessed and find comfort in the words and music.
VOCALIST: BOBBY KENNEDY
Share the Love Before Goodbye
“SHARE THE LOVE BEFORE GOODBYE” is a story-song that I feel gives a message that everyone needs to hear. I wrote this song for myself from the viewpoint of how I would probably feel if I were to lose someone close to me WITHOUT making the effort to spend time with them while they are here on earth, specifically, my parents. Its a gentle reminder to the listener that we all need to spend time with those we love while we can. We all get so busy with our own lives that we often don’t make the time we should to visit with our parents, friends, or relatives who yearn for our affection. My hope is that this message will touch lives and encourage us all to act now, while we can, to share the love before goodbye…..
I’m the vocalist on this song but don’t proclaim to be a singer (just a songwriter!)… so just remember, it really is about the message in the song, not the vocal performance! The lyrics are certainly heartfelt.
May you be blessed by the words and music.
VOCALIST: LIBBY ALLEN
What Christmas Means to Me
I got the inspiration to write a Christmas song using the story of the birth of Christ. After asking a 9 year old girl “What does baby Jesus mean to you?”, re-reading the Christmas story in the bible (Luke), and looking at photos in some books I have at the house, God gave me the gift of this song and I want to share it with you. The lyrics were written late Monday night, December 21st, and the melody was written the following morning. The song is written from the perspective of a child and in fact, children are singing, two sisters, 9 and 14 years old. If you listen carefully, the voices alternate throughout the song and are blended together in portions of the chorus. I share my mother with many extended families – she is “Grandma”, “Grandmother”, and “Mema” to many. One of the children she keeps occasionally is in fact the 9 year old girl I mentioned above, who wrote down about 15 items on a piece of paper telling me just what Jesus meant to her – it’s adorable! One of the statements was “born in a barn” – truly heartwarming from the mouth of babes. I think God gave me this song to give these two children the thrill of recording the song and of having a really special gift to give their parents for Christmas, the gift of their voice. It reminds me of the child’s story about the Angel who had nothing to give but his voice. I can only imagine the thrill of being that parent opening up that gift! I’m just glad God allowed me to be a part of it.
My mother was a proud “MEMA” when she heard the finished product!
May you be blessed by the words and music of this simplistic but timeless treasured story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
VOCALIST: SHANNON MCGARRY AND HER SISTER, KAITLYN PRICE.
Green Side of the Grass
THIS STORY IS ALSO SHARED ON MY 5/22/11 BLOG…..
If you’re over 50, you may actually see bits and pieces of yourself in the song/video, or it may make you think of someone else that you know. For the record, it is my belief that we experience aches, pains, and other ailments so that we will appreciate our “heavenly” body when we are called home. This lighthearted comical song is about aging and you may be surprised by what you will hear! As you know, I’m not a professional singer, but I decided to perform this one myself. The storyline is really no different than hearing a comedian joke about the “intricacies” of getting older. Please DO NOT take the lyrics personally! The first time you experience this song, you REALLY should watch the video with it. Feel free to post the YouTube Link into your facebook account and/or send the link to any of your friends. I’ve spent over 25 hours in creating the video (for a song that’s less than 4 minutes long) and I’ve come to have a great appreciation for those who do video editing. This video has about 50 photographs in it and it follows the story at a very quick pace.
So that you’ll have a better appreciation for it, I just want to take a minute to tell you how I came about writing the song. I have a dear friend that I had recently sold some property for, and in our many communications, when we would initially greet each other on the phone, we’d say, Hi, how are you? The other would say ,“fine”, like everyone does, but I’d always get to the bottom of how my friend was feeling because I could tell when he WASN’T doing fine by the tone of his voice. As a private joke, when either of us would ask the other how we were doing, we turned our greeting response into, “I’m on the green side of the grass”, followed by a laugh. Since I’m turning the big “50” this year, I got the idea to write a comical song about all of the many ailments we gain over 50 (since I’m already experiencing some of them), so I created the words to my song “Green Side of the Grass”. The majority of my friends are over 50 and they’ve shared a lot of stories! Nonetheless, the day I finished the lyrics, I started to call my friend to read the words to him, but I got side-tracked and didn’t get to make the call. Come to find out, my friend had been in a car accident and had passed away. So in memory of my dear friend, Lee R. “Butch” Callahan, Jr., I hope you enjoy my song and video, “Green Side of the Grass”.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my friends and family who continuously contribute photographs for my ongoing projects.
Be Blessed, Libby
Here’s the link to the song:
VOCALIST: LIBBY ALLEN
He Heard Our Prayer
This song is dedicated to all who were affected by the recent catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Several of my friends suggested that I write an oil spill song so I took it as a personal challenge to write a song with a message. “He Heard Our Prayer” is a story song. It has an accompanying video that you’ll find on the MORE VIDEOS page of this site. My hope is that everyone who views the video and who hears my song will give God the credit for answering our prayers by giving us the knowledge of how to resolve the leaking oil. Hope you enjoy the video!
VOCALIST: BOBBY KENNEDY
You Are My Everything
I sell Real Estate and had the had the opportunity to meet a nice couple while showing a home. As we got to know each other, the young man verbalized his feelings for his fiance’ to me and I was VERY moved by his expressions of love. The young man’s sentiment was so deep and true – I told his fiance’ she’d better hold on to him! She was holding her heart with tears in her eyes as he spoke in front of her. I told the young man that he didn’t realize it, but that he had just written his wedding vows! After we parted, I wrote down tidbits of his sentiment and knew there was a new song on the horizon that I was obviously meant to write. To no surprise, the next morning, unfortunately, at 6:00 a.m. (I say that because I’m not a morning person), the lyrics to my new song “You Are My Everything” popped into my head and within 4 hours, I had completed the song’s lyrics and melody which is incredible – songs usually don’t come that quickly for me! I’ve been working on the orchestration and mix for a few weeks and have to say, this song is absolutely beautiful in lyric and melody! The young couple was very surprised to hear I had written their wedding song – they loved it and he plans on singing it to her at their wedding. Having recently celebrated my own 6th wedding anniversary, if I could go back in time, I honestly would have played this song at my own wedding….. Stewart Fleming, who sings in one of the praise groups at my church, did an awesome job on the vocal. I believe You are My Everything is a song that every Christian couple can probably relate to.
VOCALIST: STEWART FLEMING
Live Like There’s No Tomorrow
“Live Like There’s No Tomorrow” is a more upbeat contemporary song with a motivational message that was inspired by a book I had read that was written by Joel Osteen. I hope that you will find encouragement from this song and be inspired by the uplifting words and music to be all that you can be!
VOCALIST: STEWART FLEMING
For those of you who have lost a cat, dog, or a special pet in your life, this is an incredibly special song I’ve written that will not only speak to your heart (with its a melodic tune of harp-blended music), but to your mind. It’s a story song…..
Several years ago, my beloved cat “Cheddar” died from a form of thyroid cancer. (I had rescued Cheddar from an abandoned house on acreage out in Monticello many years ago, as someone had left him behind. And yes, you guessed it – “Cheddar” was a yellow tabby!) He was part of our family. We had many happy years together – he was a special friend….. I was extremely distraught over his death and a friend gave me a copy of the Rainbow Bridge story. For whatever purpose, God gave me a message to write a song using the old Rainbow Bridge story. After reading the story, I recaptured the sentiment using my own words and married those lyrics to a beautiful melody with angelic overtones to create an incredibly sweet and sensitive tune. I’m a true animal lover so writing this song came easy for me –
I once wrecked my car trying to avoid hitting a turtle in the road – the good news …. the turtle survived! So for anyone who has lost a special furry friend in your life, I think this song’s worth a listen! I wish I had created it years ago to help me through the loss of my beloved cat. I have produced a video that accompanies the song that can be viewed on the home page or the MORE VIDEOS page. Please be sure to tell your friends about it! I hope this song will give comfort to those who may be mourning the loss of a pet.
You might need a tissue, but your heart will burst with love after hearing this one – I promise!
VOCALIST: LIBBY ALLEN
I Leave It Up To You
I was inspired to write this song after speaking with a young lady who shared with me in one conversation that she had had a plumbing pipe burst in her home, that she was having physical problems with the nerves on one side of her face, and that she had just found out that her brother had cancer. I had subsequently conversed with two different people that were going through a divorce. The culmination of the difficulties that were shared with me led me to write a song of comfort and confirmation that would remind people that no matter what our trials, that we should not try to handle things on our own (like we do!), but rather leave it up to the Lord to guide us down the paths that he chooses for us. I feel that we all can relate to the words in the verses of this song. The song has a melodic groove with an uplifting chorus blended with vocal harmony to add interest in the 2nd and 3rd choruses and bridge of the song. Kiera Hanselman performed the angelic vocal that you hear on this song – she did a wonderful job!
VOCALIST: KIERA HANSELMAN
He Died for Me
This was one of my earlier songs, written just before Easter 2010. The original version was comprised of simple piano and I have subsequently created a 2nd version with more orchestration accompanied by an on-screen lyrics video to allow the viewer to sing along! My song is a heartfelt tribute to resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The message in the song is a reminder of the gift we have all been given. My hope is that the listener will be able to reflect on this message, no matter the time of year! I was honored to have Roger Purselly perform a solo of my song at the 2010 Eater Service for Fellowship Baptist Church here in Tallahassee. His performance brought tears to my eyes. I hope you be blessed by the words and music of my song.
VOCALIST: LIBBY ALLEN
I Win Either Way
I recently had lunch with a good friend, Vic Hanna, who shared with me that he had attended a funeral at Fellowship Baptist Church here in Tallahassee a few years back and that the eulogy was extremely moving. Vic told me that the preacher had explained to the congregation that while visiting the gentleman during his final days of illness in the hospital, that just before he died he indicated to the preacher that he had made peace with his own death because he won either way, if he got to go home to see God; or if he got to stay here with his family and friends. I was inspired by that message and tucked the idea away for a future song. I subsequently suffered an illness myself (I was out of work for about 5 days) and while I lay in bed plagued with sickness, the message came to me………. “I Win Either Way”. I grabbed a note pad and wrote the lyrics to the song in less than an hour. The idea for the melody came that very day and my song, “I Win Either Way” was born. The emotion heard in the vocal is truly heartfelt. I thank God for giving me this song and hope it can give comfort, peace, and a new perspective on life to those currently suffering from an illness. May you be blessed by the words and music. Libby
VOCALIST: LIBBY ALLEN Be Blessed!
Rain On Me
“RAIN ON ME” is a fully orchestrated upbeat feel good song! I had alot of fun with this one. 🙂 With all of the wet weather we’ve had, I recently got soaked in a rain shower running to the car without an umbrella. At the time it wasn’t very pleasant but it gave me the idea to write about a different kind of shower…..a feel-good shower…..a shower of God’s love that would allow us to blossom and grow in our faith. The song is effectively an uplifting prayer requesting God’s shower of love. So, next time you feel a sprinkle from the beginning of a rain shower, may you be reminded of God’s shower of love for blessings upon your life.
VOCALIST: LIBBY ALLEN
Lift Me Up In Your Sheltering Arms
This song was written for Steve Cousins, in memory of his wife who passed away about 6 years ago. The song allows the listener to speak to both their loved one and to God in prayer. For those of you who have suffered the loss of a spouse, I hope this song will have special meaning for you.
VOCALIST: BOBBY KENNEDY
I have fond memories of the 1970’s, particularly of the music from that era. I remember watching “Soul Train” on television as a child. For whatever reason, the concept of a song referencing an actual train of salvation that people could travel on, popped in my head. Like the song on the t.v. show, my song allows the words “S-O-U-L T-R-A-I-N” to be stretched out in the vocal. I’ve got some pretty funky instrumentation implemented in this mix, but it’s a fun song with a GROOVY beat! I hope you will be blessed by the words and music.
VOCALIST: BOBBY KENNEDY
Be A Light In The Darkness
I attended a funeral of a fellow Real Estate agent about a year ago. The gentleman’s son, an accomplished singer in Nashville, sang at his father’s funeral service. I later looked the singer up on the internet and read the blog on his website. He referenced going into prisons to sing, and that by doing this, God was allowing him to be a light in the darkness in the lives of the prisoners. That statement gave me the idea to write a song that would encourage people to share the light of love wherever they go, to keep shining through the darkness as a beacon of light, and to be an example for others to follow. I had originally performed the vocal on this one, but decided to have a more polished vocalist perform it. Lindsey did a beautiful job! I hope you will be blessed by the words and music.
VOCALIST: LINDSEY BENEDICT
All I Want For Christmas
In the quest to write a Christmas song, one of my friends and a fellow songwriter, Alvin Farrar, sent me an MP3 of a melody he had composed. He said in reminded him of “a Libby song”. I really liked the tune and was inspired to write words to the song. I used the melody of Alvin’s verse and chorus to create the initial version of this song using 4/4 timing. I then added a bridge and created the orchestration bed for the vocal track – a slow and melodic version that sounds very much like Alvin’s original melody. After I’d finished the song, I realized that it might flow better and sould like a more traditional Christmas song being orchestrated as a Waltz, so I created the 2nd version of the song using basically the same melody. Being undecided as to which song to add to the website, I decided to share both of them with you! This song embraces the concept that it’s really not all about the presents that we receive at Christmas time – It’s all above love. I hope the song will find a special place in your heart and help you to honor someone that you love. The young lady singing the song is Maisie Wilson, a college student here in Tallahassee. This is Maisie’s first time singing a demo for me and I think she did a beautiful job on both versions! So now the real test is, which version do you like best? I’d love to hear your opinion on that so take a listen and please send me an email at libbyallensongs@gmail. com with your vote! I hope you will be blessed by the words and music.
VOCALIST: MAISIE WILSON
Co-written by Alvin Farrar
He’s Gotta Love Dogs
See my December 17, 2010 entry on my Blog page for the story behind the song!
VOCALIST: LIBBY ALLEN
I woke up Thursday morning, September 29th, with a God Inspired message to write a song for Jamie Brown with A Woman’s Pregnancy Center here in Tallahassee. This sweet song relays a message of encouragement for those experiencing pregnancy. I don’t personally have any children so this was truly a divine download! A song with a message…..
I contacted Jamie to let her know about my new song, and she kindly shared many of the photographs that appear in my video. It is my hope that someone out there who might be considering termination of her pregnancy, might hear my song and come to know (as the song says) that God will see them through!
I hope you will be blessed by the words and music of this sensitive song.
VOCALIST: LIBBY ALLEN
Green Side of the Grass (On Screen Lyrics Version)
This on-screen lyrics version was created to assist the hearing impaired. I’ve received numerous emails from listeners asking for an on-screen lyrics version of my song/video because they were having difficulty hearing the words to the song because of the busy background mix in the original video. I’ve listened! Hope everyone enjoys the new sing-along version!
THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG:
For those of you who don’t know, I wrote the song, “Green Side of the Grass” about a year ago as a spoof on aging since I was turning 50 myself. (Birthday #51 is just around the corner – October 16th) It seemed like at 50, I started experiencing some arthritis in my right hand, some vision loss (I now wear bifocal glasses now) and a few other other ailments discussed in the video that I don’t care to mention! I got the idea for the title of the song from a good friend who, when asked how he was doing, would always use the saying, “I’m on the Green Side of the Grass”. With that clever little saying, a little bell went off in my songwriting mind and I knew a song would evolve from it.
I actually give God the glory for giving me the words and music to all of my songs, this one included! I feel that God uses me as his instrument to relay important messages to people.
As with the majority of my songs, there is in fact an important message in the song “Green Side of the Grass”. The blessing comes from the lyrics found in the prayer at the end of the song/video. Listen carefully!
ABOUT THE PHOTOS IN THE VIDEO:
If you don’t see yourself in my video, perhaps you will be reminded of someone you know! It took me weeks running around taking photos for my video. First, I’d like to thank my good friend Vic, for posing for “the hearing fails” photo, and my dad for participating in the video clip of “you can’t be in a hurry. Both men were great sports about helping me with my project!
I shot the video footage of chickens that appear in the video with my Iphone. (The chickens belong to a neighbor down the street – the video features “Henry”, the rooster!)
The gold “50” at the beginning of the video is a close-up of a cake topper saved as a memorial from my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary on my dad’s side.
The cane shown in my family room with the red wall was my husband’s grandfather’s cane.
In case you are wondering, that is in fact a picture of my toilet bowl!
The photo of the little handheld mirror was taken in my guest bathroom.
I diligently searched for the perfect wrinkled dog photograph, but ultimately purchased the photo of the wrinkled dog shown in the video from an on-line internet source.
That is my refrigerator and those are my keys – I lose them all the time! (A little embarrassed about the shelves not being clean!) Being from the south, I’m a big boiled peanut fan!!! – note items on refrigerator shelf #2)
I enjoyed creating the Arthritis and Gravity clips using a word program and adding some special effects in my editing program.
Dug through the medicine cabinet and found some old pill bottles – and no I don’t take all of those medicines now! (just bad about not throwing away expired medication…)
That is my hand with the red ribbon tied around my finger.
The photo of the Gerber daisy in the dirt pile is a story in itself – I had this kind of photo in mind, so I bought the plant at Lowes, needed a dirt pile, so I rode to a local nursery where I found the perfect pile of dirt (they were selling sand and sod) I climbed on top the dirt pile (being careful not to be spotted), and posed my yellow daisy plant and took the photo – unfortunately, once home, the daisy in the pot only lasted a few weeks – my pretty plant is no longer on the green side of the grass L .
The beach sunset photo was taken in Destin, Florida. The clock in the video hangs on my wall in the kitchen.
Those are my slippers on the scale in my bathroom but I may have altered the scale a little……
The snail photo was publisher clip art.
I took the mailbox photo on my street – my own mailbox just wouldn’t do….
The man checking the mail is no relation – it was a free publisher clip art photo.
I had a hard time finding an early- bird menu – after about 5 trips to different establishments – success!
Lets just say the snoring devices live in our household.
The graveyard shot was taken at a cemetery here in Tallahassee.
The stained glass chapel is located at Callaway Gardens in Georgia – we vacationed there a few years ago.
I took the cross photo featured near the end of the video where it says “You’ll one day be with Jesus” in Italy a few years ago.
I would like to thank my friend Jim Peters for contributing the lighthouse photo and the nighttime photo of the moon over the bay.
Thank you also to Sarah Schauer for use of the beautiful green grass photo taken in Switzerland, her photo of the cluster of yellow daisies in the green grass, her sunflower photo, the photo of the sun fading over the large rock , and the photo of the sunset in the clouds, taken in Hawaii.
Last but not least, thank you to Kristi Boniella for use of her her photo of the wooden fence with the yellow flowers, and for the inspirational photo of the white daisy facing the sky that appears at the end of the video.
As Paul Harvey would say, now you know “the rest of the story”.
Please know, I wrote this song to inspire the listener to live each day to be the best you can be. It was in no way written to offend any one. It is my hope that you will be blessed by the important message found in my song.
In Christian Love,
VOCALIST: LIBBY ALLEN
All Songs are Copyright protected – Unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or digital transmission prohibited by federal law.