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, February 23, 2011

FAWM #6 - Been There Done That

I'm going to just start with the lyrics, then tell the story:

Been There Done That
By Mark Hansen

I see myself again
Back where I started in
Looking out the window at the bright blue sky

I don’t like to see me there
With a dark and cloudy stare
I want to help but I don’t know what to try

The storm on the inside’s full of hopes and fears
The rain on the window’s dripping down like tears

Been there done that
Been there done that
Don’t know why
Keep going back

Out on the sidewalk here
The sun is shining clear
I wish I’d come out where it’s warm and dry

I smile and wave and say
Hey, Mark, come out and play
But something holds me in and I don’t know why

I know that I’ve been out on sunny days
But I always end up inside, back in the rain


I want to see me change
I watch me and it’s strange
I don’t know what else to do or what else to try

I hate to see the pain
To watch me in the rain
I want me to come out and see the sky

But soon I know that I’ll go up and step to the door
I’ll push it open, step inside and cross the floor, ‘cause I’ve..

...Been there done that
Been there done that
Don’t know why
Keep coming back

This one speaks to the cyclic nature of depression.  It's weird, and there are a lot of dichotomies.  When I get this down, I feel like I'm two people:  One who is happy and normal and wondering why I'm moping so much when it's obviously much better to be happy and normal.  And the other who is all mopey and whiney and wishing it would stop, but not doing anything to fix it.

And even though the happy person wins out for a while, it always seems that I end up back in the cloudy, rainy, stormy sadness.  And I don't know why I keep coming back, when there's so much to enjoy in life.


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.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

FAWM #5 - Messin' With the Recipe

Jodi and I went out tonight, and as a bit of our dinner conversation, I was telling her about some of my song ideas.  She's been following my FAWM-ing efforts, and it's been fun to share them with her.

I mentioned to her that it would be fun to write a song about my cooking experiences.  Many of you that follow me (well, some of you, anyway) might know that I love to cook, especially in my dutch ovens.  Until I blurted that idea out, it hadn't ever really occurred to me to blend my two interests: music and cooking.  Jodi smiled and shot out a title: "The Recipe of Life".

The only problem with this kind of situation is that when a great idea like that is handed to me so clearly, I immediately start running with it.  It struck me that some people really stick to the recipe and others are free-form chefs.  That set up the central metaphor for the entire song.

Messin’ With the Recipe

By Mark Hansen with Jodi Hansen

Some people I know
When they cook
Double checks 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 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?

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 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

Repeat Bridge

Seems I’m always
Messin’ with the recipe

The music for this one has a kind of peppy, jazz/folk feel.  Sam would certainly be proud.  I hope.  Anyways, for a first draft, I'm feeling like it's pretty good!


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.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FAWM #4: Oh Simeon

 As I posted up my first few FAWM songs, David left some suggestions for a song.  He suggested the story of Simeon, as told in Luke Chapter 2.  He suggested it, I think, because it's traditionally commemorated on February 2nd.  

I was really glad of the suggestion.  In this story, there's a lot of wonderful lessons, of ongoing faith, of enduring to the end, of rewarded patience.  I thought of his longsuffering, and willingness to submit to everything the Lord sent him, with the assurance of the prophecy that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah.

And he didn't just patiently wait.  He waited while serving.  He gave his whole life, and in the end, it was rewarded, as promised.

Oh, Simeon 
By Mark Hansen with David Lund

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


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, February 14, 2011

My LDS Music History - Part 1 - In the Beginning

I find myself at odds with much of the LDS Music world.  In a lot of ways, it’s the club that I always wanted to be in, full of all the cool kids in school, but for which I, myself, would never qualify.  On the other hand, it’s full of songs and albums that, while I may own them for their study and archival value, I hardly ever listen to for fun.  To that mix, add that many of the people in the LDS Music world are some of my closest and truest friends.

Yes, it’s complicated, innit?

In addition, it’s tough to say which moments in LDS music history were the most influential, because, frankly, most of it isn’t really history yet.  It’s all still too new.  The big picture is still too small.  Yes, there are core moments like “The Plan”, and “Saturday’s Warrior”, but their impact is still, being measured, I think.

But, I CAN talk about the moments that had a big impact on me, personally.  So, I think I’ll tell that story, in the context of as much of the big picture as possible.

The Seventies

In the summer of 76, I started to wake up to popular culture.  Prior to that I was in isolation as a geek.  I listened to classical music and read fantasy novels.  But that summer, a friend I grew up with introduced me to The Rolling Stones, Nazareth, and Kansas.  

I also went into ninth grade, and so I stared early morning Seminary.  That was when I had my first taste of LDS pop music.  In those years, the church did two things in the Seminary curriculum that struck me:  They had a series of films starring a group of Mormon teenagers (that we supposedly could relate to), and a soundtrack album of songs that went with it, that we would supposedly like better than the evil noise that was on the radio.  The first one I remember was called “Like Unto Us”, and I can still sing the hook line of the title track.  Back in the day, I didn’t really like it.  It wasn’t my sound, but it gave me some hope.  Each year, another soundtrack album came out, with new films.  Most were, in my ears, pretty forgettable. Others were bad enough to actually make me angry (like “I’ll Build You a Rainbow”).

There was another thing in the LDS pop world that was stirring up waves, a play called “Saturday’s Warrior”.  Since we lived in Indiana, however, it never was performed even close to us, so it’s impact wasn’t felt until many years later.

Another thing was happening to me, during those early high school years.  My musical focus began to shift.  I had grown up playing classical music on the ‘cello, and I got fascinated by the electric bass and, eventually, the guitar.  A friend of mine took me to my first rock concert:  Styx, on the Grand Illusion tour.  It was eye and ear opening to me in many ways.

Soon, other friends introduced me to other bands that would have an equally big impact on me:  The Resurrection Band (later known as the “Rez Band”, and even later as “Rez”), and Petra.  I discovered Christian Rock.  In my own mind and limited experience, I held the three up and compared them:  Like Unto Us, Mainstream rock, and Christian rock.  Even back then, I was forming a dream that someday, someone would do hard rock like the mainstreamers and the Christians were doing, but they’d do it for us Mormons.

Also unknown to me at the time, the Osmonds had put out their Mormon Concept Album “The Plan”, several years before, and I didn’t even get a copy or listen to it until just a few years ago, as of this writing.

I kept learning to play bass and guitar, and I also began writing songs.  If nobody else was going to do it, I would!


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.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

FAWM #3: That's Just How They Roll

This one was a blast to write.  It was based on a driving guitar riff that I’ve had in my head for a couple of years, now.  In fact, I recorded it as a short little one minute idea, and I found it the other day when I was reconnecting my studio.

I was just thinking about how much fun my two kids often have with each other, and how they used to ride together on Jake’s wheelchair.  They would spin around at top speed, doing donuts on the park grass.  Jake would be bouncing around and laughing his head off.

The FAWM challenge is really just about first drafts, right?  They don’t have to be perfect out of the gate, do they?  I can see a few spots where the lines need to be teaked a little bit, but then, that’s kind of like the kids themselves, innit?

That’s Just How They Roll
For Jacob and Brendon

He likes to play games with his brother, and
He likes it when the chocolate’s sweet, and
He wishes he could run like any other
But in his chair they go flying down the street

Don’t need to fight, don’t need to be told
Spinning left and right, that’s just how they roll
That’s just how they roll

He fights to play the game on his own, but
He likes it when his brother helps him win
He likes to spend time by himself, but
He loves it when they’re home again

His brother jumps on the chair and grabs a hold
They fire it up and like lightning - off they roll
That’s just how they roll

He’s like an angel without wings
Who fell out of heaven by no fault of his own
And though sometimes he can be a little devil
I’m still amazed at the ways he’s grown

Time goes on and I get feeling old
But I still feel like a kid when I watch them roll
That’s just how they roll


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.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

FAWM #2: Me and My Guitar

I've been going through a sort of weird mid-life crisis these days.  I've been wondering what life's all about and refocusing my priorities a lot.  The role my music is taking in my life is shifting and settling.

Yes, I'm getting old.  :-P

Anyway, I can still rock.  And here's a song about how I used to do it, and how I do it now.

Me and My Guitar

My old friend is made of metal and wood
He’s always hung with me like a good friend should
We used to run together, we used to get out
And when we did, we’d scream and shout

I used to imagine my guitar an I
Would blast out our music up to the sky
And everyone around would stop and hear
And when we were done the whole world would cheer
And then thew whole world would know...


Me and my guitar
Me and my guitar
Me and my guitar
Me and my guitar

So many things gettin’ in my way
Too many things filling up my day
I hustle every morning to punch a clock
playin’ house, cookin’ dinner no time to rock

But my old friend, he is always there
To let off some steam or to ease my cares
Or a minute with my family to sing a song
And there’s nobody better that could sing along
And nobody else even hears...


 ...Even if nobody's listening to...



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.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

My First FAWM Song

When Jacob (now 11 years old) was in the hospital last fall, the music therapist there at Primary Children’s Medical Center helped him write a couple of songs.  She had a notation program that she used to type out the notes and the words, then she printed them out and mounted them on colored paper.

They were really cool.  They weren’t really pop tunes, more like, through-composed, stream-of-consciousness art songs, if I had to give them a label.  What really excited me about them was their heart.  He really got inside himself and talked about what he felt.  One was about how being in a wheelchair didn’t make him different from other kids, and another was just about riding life’s roller coaster.

So, when FAWM came around, and I was hunting for song ideas, I thought of these. I immediately knew how much fun it would be to work with Jake and make them into pop songs.  This morning, before school, he and I did the first one, and here it is, below.  Most of the words and all of the ideas are his.  I did come up with a few lines, but my main role as a collaborator was to shape his words and thoughts into a verse-chorus pop song form.  It was thrilling for both of us!

The Roller Coaster of Life
By Jacob and Mark Hansen


Verse I

I know you’ve had some rough times
I know that it seems strange
I know it’s not going to be easy
But it’s OK for change

Climb & Chorus

Move on, it’s OK
For tomorrow is a new day

You don’t have to hide
Or spend your life inside
We all strap in for the ride
On the Roller Coaster of Life

Verse II

When I’m feeling down
That’s when people help the most
When I need some good friends
That’s when they hold me close

Climb & Chorus


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.

Ol’ McHansen and his FAWM... Ee ai ee ai oh.....

So, last year my good friend (also an LDS Musician) told me about FAWM, or February Album Writing Month.  It’s a lot like NaNoWriMo, which stands for the National Novel Writing Month, in November.  The idea is that musicians of all levels, stripes, and flavas join the group and commit to writing 14 songs (an entire album’s worth) in one month (28 days).  That works out to a song every two days.  

The rules are pretty simple.  In fact there are more non-rules than rules.

  • It has to be a new song, not written in another month (the rules are fuzzy on scraps and ideas, so I’m just going to count songs that I finish during February).
  • It only has to be written.  It doesn’t have to be recorded. (I'm going to try and cut scratch demos of as many as I can, and then post them here)
  • It doesn’t have to be great, it just has to be finished. (That's the way most of my tunes end up, anyway!)
  • It can even be rewritten afterward, in March
  • It can be in any style, genre, or instrumentation

Now, considering that, in the past, my output of new material has been on the order of three to four newly written songs in a YEAR, the thought of writing 14 of them in a month is pretty daunting.  I may not make it.  

But, hey, I can shoot for the stars and land on the moon, right?  Even if I end up with six or seven new tunes, that can’t be bad!  I’ll have material to go on recording for months, even years to come!

So, here’s the deal:  

  • First of all, I’ve singed up and made the commitment to do my best this month.  I’ll also post whatever I write here at
  • Second, I’ve encouraged all of my LDS musician friends to jump in and join with me. Post your tunes on your blogs/sites/whatever, then comment back here so we can all read/listen to them!
  • Third, if you’re not an LDS musician, or any other kind of musician, help me out by posting your song ideas in comments here.  Scripture stories, quirky things that happen in life, good quotes or observations are all great sources.  If I use your idea, I’ll credit you as a cowriter.  you can share in my wealth and fame (such as it is).


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.

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