In Those Days: From first impressions to falling in love, new beginnings and peaceful endings, to being deeply moved by children with little to no future, to celebrating a life lived and lives filled with adventure and family secrets, to finding hope among the ruins of an earthquake, “In Those Days” by Chris Taylor captures the many sides of life both exhilarating, tragic and yet, still hopeful.
The 8 vocal songs feature music genres from adult contemporary, country/rock, folk/pop, gospel and inspirational. Under the masterful guidance and talent of producer/engineer/musician and arranger Bart Hafeman, “In Those Days” is deeply personal and honest.
SONG NOTES AND LINERS:
Absorbed With You is about my first impression of meeting my wife and what took place over the course of our courtship. The ebb and flow that eventually lead us to fall in love.
My Neighborhood I love to sit on my front porch with my six-string during the summer months. I enjoy the diversity of urban living and the conversations that take place due to the “live” music being played on a porch. Music just seems to relax people and draw them into quality dialog. I have good neighbors and they get mentioned (though not by name). This song reflects not only upon my own neighborhood but also the global community too.
Ricochet This is a fantasy I have about my wife. We had been married about 10 years at the time and I was in our backyard watching our youngest who was still in diapers. While my two year old son played on the swing set the idea for this song started when I came up with acoustic guitar chords at the beginning. I also wanted to challenge myself lyrically with words that were descriptive in a manner very different from my other songs.
Angels In Waiting Written for the children and staff at Portland Providence Hospital’s Child Center for Medically Fragile Children, Portland Oregon. To learn more about the important work of the Child Center, please visit here.
Fingerprints My younger brother Todd stood in the pulpit at Westminster Presbyterian Church that early December afternoon in 2006, to pay homage to our mother who had died less than a week earlier at 79. He was the first of us siblings to share his memories and perspective about our mother Lenore. He truly set the plate beautifully by offering up mom’s life metaphorically, like fingerprints on a window pane that are hard to remove, yet are seen in the brilliant sun reflecting through. A month later I found myself with my guitar in hand contemplating those words. Soon I was surrounding my brother’s prose with words of my own. The simple music bed and feel of this song is decidedly understated, much like mom. Mom was one of the strongest women I’ve known. Along with dad, they chose to cherish us kids. They considered us precious, and mom loved being a mom. She handled the diverse personality swings of us siblings with gentle humor and grace. I don’t think any of us ever recall mom raising her voice to us. And even when she could have cursed like a sailor, she just couldn’t bring herself to do so. Choosing to say instead, “Oh, naughty word, naughty word, naughty word!” The last picture we took of mom was Thanksgiving Day 2006 just days before her death. We were at my brother’s house. In the foreground my father is holding a camera capturing the moment. In the background, my mother, a big smile on her face, hand raised in celebration of the moment. She so loved family gatherings. I miss you mom…every single day.
Give A Damn My dad has a bumper sticker on his car that reads “Give A Damn.” Instant inspiration to write a song about him.
In Those Days When my dad was around 21 years of age, he learned that the man he thought was his biological grandfather was, in fact, not. Throughout my years growing up this would be the source of many family discussions and speculations. The story goes, my great-grandmother who was living in Denmark, around the age of 19, had gotten pregnant possibly by a well known respected businessman in the small north central town of Ravnkilde. Because of the times, a single pregnant women caused scandal for a family in a small town, so my great-grandmother came to America where some of her family had settled. It was there, in Tyler Minnesota, that my grandfather was born in 1891. About a year and half after the birth of my grandfather, his mom took him back to Denmark. It was there she would eventually marry and have other children. However the man she married would not raise my grandfather as his own. Grandfather was sent to live with other family members. In June of 2007, my father, brother, sister, sister-in-law and myself visited Denmark. Eventually we ended up in Ravnkilde’s cemetery reading some of the names on the grave sites of our ancestors. With us was 95 year old Harriet. A sharp and witty woman, who without speaking a word of English, could tell a story and bring the house down. At one point and with help from our family interpreter, my older sister finally asked the big question. My sister noted to Harriet that we knew all these connections with other family members here in Denmark, but what we don’t know is “who is our grandfathers, father?” Harriet courageously revealed the name. Since it was hard to understand her, our interpreter grabbed my sisters note pad and wrote down the name of our biological great-grandfather. I had not planned on writing the song “In Those Days.” But as our family began to try and piece together this new family information, I began to understand my grandfather from a different perspective. The title track to my album “In Those Days,” tackles my grandfather’s early years and how that would shape the rest of his life. My grandfather eventually settled in Clinton, Iowa after coming to the states. I was 9 when he died. I really didn’t know him because we lived so far away. The song “In Those Days” was a way for me to give honor and dignity to my grandfather, a man who wrestled with (sometimes painfully) but eventually overcame a family secret. My dad has since come to his own resolve about his dad. “In Those Days,” is my own resolve.
Oh Lord On Jan 12, 2010 a devastating earthquake hit Haiti. I’m not sure why this particular natural disaster affected me differently than others, but it did. It eventually led to me writing this song as a way of dealing with what I was seeing and reading. Haiti Foundation of Hope now uses this song in their power point presentation. I am deeply honored by this. Please honor them by taking a few minutes to see the work they are doing in Haiti.