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"

Friday, March 31, 2017

National Poetry Month

A lot of people in the songwriting community, that I know, seem to think that songwriting is NOT poetry, and poetry is NOT songwriting.

I disagree.

And, based on the reasons they’ve told me, I think that they’re reached that conclusion based on a misunderstanding of both things. I’m told that modern poetry doesn’t translate well into pop songs. Songwriting requires certain forms and certain structures, whereas modern free verse poetry has cast off the limitations of rhyme, meter, and form. They cite that the teenager that says “Oh, I write poetry!” can’t make those poems into pop songs without doing significant work on either the poem or the song.

The poets also point out that there is too much repetition in song, with repetitive hooks and choruses. They also point out that poems are made of the words themselves, whereas a song is intended to be sung, married to the music. If you were to remove the music from most pop tunes, the remaining words would be a pretty bad poem.

I agree.

With all of that.

However, I believe that both of these groups are talking about apples and oranges, and I prefer a good fruit salad.

I think that song lyrics are poems that adhere to certain rules. This is the same as sonnets, or haiku, or much of traditional western poetry. In a sonnet, you have to have so many lines, of a certain meter, with a certain rhyme scheme. In haiku, you have to have three lines, with very strict syllable counts, and a purpose for each line. In a song, you have a definite structure of verses, choruses, and bridges. There generally has to be a rhyme scheme that matches from verse to verse.

In both poetry and songwriting you deal with issues of quality as well. There are good songs and bad songs, as well as good poems and bad ones. The best songs have vivid imagery, and emotional connection, just like the best poems do. There are many song lyrics that don’t rise up to the level of good poem, but that doesn’t mean they are not poems, just that they are bad ones. Conversely, there are many poems that should not be set as pop tunes.

However, they could be set in other styles. There’s the “art song”, once made popular by Schubert and other romantic composers, now expanded with more modern sensibilities, where non-strophic poetry or even prose can be set to music.

It is true that song lyrics are meant to be sung, whereas a pure poem is just the words. But then, there are many art forms that combine and draw from other art forms. What would a dance be without music or a drumbeat? Or a movie without music? Can you imagine a movie or a play without a story or the words of dialog? Arts combine often, to the enhancement of all.

So, while this month is National Poetry Month, I’ll be posting up some of my current and past song lyrics in celebration of poetry!


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, March 25, 2017

NEW SONG! "Been There, Done That"

In this song, I took a subconcious clue from Supertramp. They had a string of big hits in the 70s and 80s. Slicing, bitter, cynical lyrics happily sung to boppy and happy melodies. They did "The Logical Song", and "Take the Long Way Home" for example.

So, this tune is all about the cyclical nature of depression. It kind of splits me in two. It's set in a time when I'm feeling good, and life is going well. Metaphorically, I'm outside, playing in the sun. I look at my metaphoric house, and I see myself moping in the window. There's a storm raging inside the house. I want myself to come out into the sunlight, but deep down, I know that I'll eventually go back inside where the storm is.

I was personally very encouraged by Elder Holland's conference address:

Anyway, here's the song and the lyrics::

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

Arranged and produced by Mark Hansen
Vocals by Serenity Seely
Other instruments performed by Mark Hansen

To hear 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.

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.
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