Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads

Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads
Get the new CD, "The Third Time" HERE

WARNING: Listening to this music doesn't require parental approval. It's a bit of clean rebellion. It keeps your outlook up and your hope alive. It's got strong drums and screaming guitars. It pumps you up and drives your life. It's a hunger for exploration. It chooses the right and returns with honor. It's music you don't have to confess to your bishop.

It's not your parents' "Saturday’s Warrior".

It's "A Joyful Noise"

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Oh, Simeon

So, as I was growing up, at each Christmastime, before we would open up the presents, we would read the scripture story from Luke 2. Then we would continue, and my father would read about when the new parents brought Jesus to the temple and met old Simeon.  Here’s the story, starting in verse 21:

“21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

 22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

 23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)

 24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

 25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

 28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

 33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

 35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Well, that story stuck with me. It seemed to me that Simeon had a lot of faith, and a lot of perserverance. So many others didn’t believe Jesus when he spoke or did miracles, many others marveled, but didn’t understand. Still, many others saw, heard, and believed.  Simeon believed before Jesus was there, was led to the temple by the spirit, saw the baby Messiah and knew who he was. He understood what would happen, even as Jesus was just a baby.

And, then, that was all he needed. “OK, Heavenly Father. You can take me now. I’m done!”

When nobody else knew what was going on, Simeon was already a faithful believer.

So, here’s his song:

Oh, Simeon

By Mark Hansen - 2/15/2011

Each morning you woke up
Lifted your weary head
Placed your aching feet
And rose up out of bed

The robe you wore was heavy
Each year slower than the last
A meager bowl of meal and
A prayer to break the fast

Oh, Simeon
Oh, Simeon
How long you have waited
Oh, Simeon
Oh, Simeon
With a faith that never faded

And at the temple door
Each day you watched them come
As they brought in their sacrifices
And then left one by one

A father brought his new son
And his wife, both new and clean
This family brought the spirit
Like none other you had seen


I’d sure like to know how you felt as you held the child
That all those years of waiting had finally been fulfilled
The holy promise you’d been given: that you would see the one
That you’d been serving all these years
At last it was all done


One morning when the sun shone
Across your weary head
Your eyes no longer opened
Resting in your bed

Vocals: Ashton Ripley
Drums: Jason Jones


Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including his Dutch Oven blog: Mark's Black Pot and his LDS pop culture blog: MoBoy blog.
Mark's Other Blog Posts: name post, name post, name post,

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Catch Your Rainbow

I wrote this one a long time ago as a Christmas present for my father-in-law. He was going though some real struggles, and I think it helped him to feel loved. We brought the whole family to the studio to sing the final chorus. It was great.

He passed away yesterday. I had long since lost the recordings and the lyrics. My wife, Jodi, his daughter, asked me to sing it at his funeral. I pieced together what I could from memory, and then wrote more to fill in the gaps. in the end, I think this is a better song!

I'll post a scratch of the guitar and vocals later.

Catch Your Rainbow
For Don

The rains fall hard and stormy
With lightning and thunderous roars
The winds are harsh and gusty
No reprieve from the constant downpour

But wait, there’s a moment of sunshine
That splits through the clouds of gloom
The bright rays break into colors
So you chase it to find where it blooms

When will you catch your rainbow
And find your pot of gold
It’s hard to build a future
For a man who won’t sell his soul

When will you catch your rainbow
And find your lucky star
Look in the eyes of your children to find
How lucky you really are

The stars are starting to glimmer
And the salt air chills to the core
The stars at your feet are many
And the waves wash them past the shore

You struggle to shake off the sadness
As you stare down the lonely beach
Trying to find the peace of mind
That always seems out of reach

In life’s tough school you’ve studied
And earned your highest degree
And built in the hearts of your children
An incredible legacy


Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including his Dutch Oven blog: Mark's Black Pot and his LDS pop culture blog: MoBoy blog.
Mark's Other Blog Posts: name post, name post, name post,

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A New Song Written! Tiny Hill -or- Thus Spake...

I’m very excited!

The last song I wrote was for February Album Writing Month ( back in 2011. Many of those songs were never fully demo’ed. After that, I went into a long, dark funk where I wasn’t sure what I was doing with life, much less with music.

So, after learning the new percussive style of guitar this last fall, I decided that I was going to do FAWM again this year, and I got a bit of a head start.

So, this is the first song I’ve “finished” in 4 years. I say “finished” because I realize that it’s still in draft form and may well go through many changes yet.  But I have been able to play and sing it all the way through, so it counts as “done”. It’s not just a snippet of a verse or two, or maybe a chorus.

This one is about the inadequacies of the philosophies of men to deal with life. We think a lot, but without faith, without prayer, without guidance from Heavenly Father, I think it’s easy to become self-important or to get lost in the noise. Now, granted, even with spiritual clarity, there are still a lot of questions. But in my life, I’ve felt more secure when I’ve been tuned into His signal.

I’ll be posting some demo vids later on, when I’ve gotten it more practiced

Tiny Hill  or Thus Spake..
By Mark Hansen

Well, he woke up that morning with the sunlight in his eyes
With the daily sounds of fighting in apartment 35
All day long his boss was griping, nothing’s getting done
In the break room was a tv with a game show being won.

Later by the bus stop was a man with a sign
Who shouted that the end was near and we would all be fryin’
How many days, he tried to ask, as if the man was countin’
Far away he saw a tiny hill
And thought it was a mountain

Where is he, the man of wisdom and tranquility
Whose eyes are closed, whose thoughts are deep in his philosophy
Who’s left the world far behind, his destiny fulfilled
To sit there all alone up on the hill
To sit there all alone up on the hill

On the TV news that night were bombs and blood and wars
Economic crisises and ads for all the stores
There were scenes of people marching there were riots in the streets
The tyrants were oppressing or a team had lost a meet

The pundits all debated to the left and to the right
He thought there had to be a way to get out of the fight
He said there's gotta be a place away from all the shoutin’
So he climbed up on the tiny hill
That he thought was a mountain

There he sits, the man of wisdom and tranquility
His eyes are closed, his thoughts are deep in his philosophy
He's left the world far behind his destiny fulfilled
But it sure gets lonely up there on the hill
But it sure gets lonely up there on the hill

The internets are grumbling, asking what are we to do
Now that God is dead and Superman flew
away, away

Now he wakes up each morning with the sunlight in his eyes
He smiles a tranquil smile and he thinks it's no surprise
That everyone would come to hear the words he has to say
Because he has all the answers to the questions of the day
But the couple keeps on fighting in apartment 35
And the prophet at the bus stop is somehow still alive
His boss is looking at the empty cube in accountin’
While he waits on his tiny hill
Thinking it's a mountain

There he sits, the man of wisdom and tranquility
His eyes are closed, his thoughts are deep in his philosophy
He's left the world far behind his destiny fulfilled
But it sure gets lonely up there on the hill
But it sure gets lonely up there on the hill

Update (7/5/2015)  Here's a home vid of me playing the song:


Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including his Dutch Oven blog: Mark's Black Pot and his LDS pop culture blog: MoBoy blog.
Mark's Other Blog Posts: name post, name post, name post,

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A "New" Song! Sort of...

So, I haven’t really been doing much music lately.

Actually, it’s been a few years since I did any significant writing, recording, or performing, for that matter.  I participated in FAWM (February Album Writing Month) a few years back, and got a bunch of great new tunes out of it.

It was a lot of fun, and I got really creative for a bit.  But, the Dutch oven cookbooks kinda took over much of my creative focus, so I never demo’ed those tunes. In addition, I had some struggles with my computers and my music software.

I’ve had a few chances to perform in the meantime.  In fact, Brendon and I worked up some tunes for a house concert at my friend Andy’s house. It was really fun performing with my son, and a few of those tunes were premiered that day, from that FAWM batch.

Then, another friend of mine got a monthly open mic going out here in Eagle Mountain, at this fun sandwich/coffee shop called the Little Corner Cafe. I managed to get a couple of good performance videos out of it.

This first one is from the FAWM songs, and it’s called “Messin’ With The Recipe”.  Here’s the video:

Here are the lyrics:

Messin’ With the Recipe

By Mark Hansen with Jodi Hansen - 2/19/11

Some people I know when they cook
Double check the recipe and follow the book
They measure every spice They sift and pour
Doing to perfection What’s been done before

No reason to question No reason to doubt
Somebody else already figured it out
So why go
Messin’ with the recipe

Some people I know When they’re in the kitchen
Work fast and free With their imagination
A little of this and A Pinch of that
What should we add? Well, what’ve we got?

No time to wonder No time to waste
Just throw it in And see how it’ll taste
So why bother
Messin’ with a recipe

Is it savory or is it sweet?
Is it dessert or is it meat?
Do you like the smell?
Do you like the flavor?
Do you chomp it down
Or is it a dish to savor?

Now I’m not a chef But when I’m cooking
I’ll have the book open And I’m always looking
But I can’t ever leave Well enough alone
I’m dashing, splashing flavors Stirring all on my own

Sometimes I hit Sometimes I botch
But I always try  To kick it up a notch
Seems I’m always
Messin’ with the recipe

Is your life savory or is it sweet?
Is your life dessert or is it meat?
Do you like the smell?
Do you like the flavor?
Do you chomp it down
Or is it a dish to savor?

Seems I’m always
Messin’ with the recipe


Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including his Dutch Oven blog: Mark's Black Pot and his LDS pop culture blog: MoBoy blog.

Monday, January 13, 2014

An Essay on Style

Originally written:  Aug 2, 2001  As a part of an ongoing thread in a discussion at

Todd recently sent me a tape of two of his songs, and he wanted me to critique and comment on them in the "Refiner's Fire" list. While that's a great idea, I feel strongly that I need to talk about them in the main list
because for me, listening to the songs, particularly the song about the temple took me back to my feelings when we had some discussions about musical appropriateness a few months ago. Listening to these songs, even in their unfinished demo form, has inspired me to put these thoughts onto "paper" so that we all can understand them and discuss them further.

I know that it's a very emotionally charged issue, and I know that many of us have strong beliefs in what we're saying. I also know that these things that I'm expressing are MY opinions and as such are NOT necessarily revealed truth! :-) Others in the group have divergent opinions that can be just as valid as mine, and my opinions are subject to change as I learn from you all.

But before I get into the "issues", I do want to comment on the songs themselves, very briefly. I like them both very much as songs. I love the riff in the temple song. It has a cool sort of "Offspring-y" feel to it,
just on the verge of being punk, but not hard-core. The melody and the guitar work in the second song is very tasty!

So, the big question is: Can a song about the temple be done in a hard rock style? What about in a hard-core twangy country sound? What about by a rapper? A fiddle jig by a bluegrass band? A bombastic symphony or opera?

Ultimately, what we're asking is this: What is the role of style in conveying meaning?

I believe that music is emotion and thought communicated by sounds. As composers and producers, there are a lot of sounds available to us in our palette to paint with. As Julia D A pointed out in a quote by Lex DeA, a sound is not, in and of itself, evil or good. Ecclesiastes points out that there is a time and season for everything (turn, turn, turn... :-) ). The thing that we need to remember is that sounds, by association, communicate emotion to listeners. They hear a sound, and associate it with an experience in their past and that creates an emotional response. Part of the problem is that many people have had many different experiences with many different sounds, so it's difficult to match them up in everyone.

Still, there are certain emotions that seem to be generally associated with certain styles of music. Because of my own long-term association with the rock sound and genre, I can speak quite clearly for it. I'd welcome people with experiences in other genres to do a similar thing for country and bluegrass, and folk, and... etc...

Rock music, particularly harder rock, in my mind, communicates the following emotions really well (in no particular order of importance):

  • Power
  • Strength
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Exhilaration
  • Excitement
  • Sadness, loss
  • Fear
  • Fun and enjoyment
  • Indignation (righteous or not)
  • Some ways of expressing love's power and exhilaration
  • Thoughtfulness

And unfortunately, many have used it to convey spiritually destructive emotions like quick thrills and lust.

This is, by no means, a comprehensive list. I'll probably think of more before I close up this essay.

Some things that Rock, particularly hard rock doesn't handle as well are:

  • Peace
  • Tranquility
  • Other ways of expressing love's calm beauty
  • Relaxation
  • Contemplation

This is not to say that some hard rock bands don't on occasion do songs that are peaceful, tranquil, even gentle love songs. But those songs usually are not hard rock in sound.

So, let's get back to my original question: Can a song about the temple be done in a hard rock style? (or any of those other styles I mentioned).

The answer, in my mind is: Yes, with a very big IF.

That should probably be spelled, "IIIIFFFF".

And that if is: IF the treatment of the emotion is correct. Let me draw from two opposite examples of my own life.

ONE: Before I married, I wrote a song about temple marriage called, "Promises, Promises". It dealt with the fact that we make strong promises to each other binding ourselves together in the sealing covenant. It was
written with a rock, even a bit of a hard, rock beat.

The song didn't work. Why? I think a lot of it was that when I wrote it, I had never been through a sealing ceremony, and I had no idea what it was like or about. Yes, the ceremony is powerful, which if you check my list, is there in the rock list, but it's a more contemplative kind of power. Every time I participate in a sealing, either by proxy, or as a watcher, or even in my own wedding, I have come away with a beautiful, uplifting sort of calm, and an expanded mind. The song was kind of up-tempo and energetic. It doesn't fit the emotional treatment of the experience. The result? That song has been permanently mothballed.

TWO: Many times when I do a session in the temple, I come away with the feeling that I have been "quickened by the Spirit." To me, that's an excitement, an exhilaration that grabs me and makes me want to go out and DO something GREAT! It moves my feet and my soul at the same time. For a brief moment in time, the Lord gives me a glimpse of the total awe of the universe.

I can remember once at the MTC, as we came out of our usual P-Day temple session, I was feeling this way, possibly for the fist time. The song in my head as I walked the clouds back to our dorm at the MTC and immersed myself in the work was the ending of "Supper's Ready" by Genesis/Peter Gabriel. It's a huge, slow sound, full of guitars and keyboards and drums in a loud climax of volume. The words, excerpted:

"Can't you feel our souls ignite
Sparking ever changing colors
In the darkness of the fading night...

"...There's an angel standing in the sun
And he's crying in a loud voice,
'This is the supper of the mighty one
Lord of Lords
King of Kings
Has returned to lead His children home
To take them to their New Jerusalem'"

And it matched perfectly the emotion I was feeling. That song helped carry me through the day, and still inspires me even now.

So, my point is, that IF the subject treatment matches the music's emotional message, then the song works. And that's regardless of the style, and regardless of the topic.

For example: A hard rock song about the peace of the temple doesn't work. But-A hard rock song about the frustrating struggle to get one's life cleaned up to be temple worthy DOES work, and they're both about the temple.

Another example: A bluegrass jig about a temple wedding and the deep covenants made there, doesn't work. BUT-A bluegrass jig about the family joy and celebration that comes when a family member is worthily sealed to another, joining two families together, starting a third, in an eternal connection, WORKS.

I could go on and on about all this. Prayer, Faith, Enduring, Priesthood, all are topics that can be treated in any style, IF the emotional treatment matches the style chosen.

I should add another "IF". The song has to be written from a perspective of respect. If I were to write a song mocking the temple, it wouldn't matter what style the song were, it wouldn't work, and ultimately would lead to my condemnation.

It has sure helped me to clarify my thoughts on the subject as I've written this, and I hope it helps many others understand the possibilities that lay open to us in artistic expression.


Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including his Dutch Oven blog: Mark's Black Pot and his LDS pop culture blog: MoBoy blog.

LDS Musicians - Shop here!