When I originally posted the poem You Are the Dance, I invited musicians to record their renditions of it if they felt so inspired.
Artist Tim Coons took me up on it – the week his daughter was born!
I was stunned by the results, a three-part harmonic ode of joy and celebration.
It was recently released as part of Tim’s retrospective collection, Haystacks: A Collection of Favorite Songs.
Here’s the track:
Tim sat down with me (virtually speaking) to chat about the song. Here’s our conversation:
Tim: How was it for you to have a poem you had written (that came not just from your head, but from your heart and guts as well) be taken and turned into a song? Especially since it wasn’t in a style you imagined? Was it difficult collaborating on something that was close to you?
Mike: It was flipping awesome! As a non-musician and even (I’d say) a non-poet (I’m pretty prosaic), I’d written this piece after being on a major “Trinity kick,” reflecting on the relational nature of God and what God’s Three-in-Oneness means for human community. Having you email me out of the blue, having already recorded a rough cut, underscores some of the Trinitarian energy I’m beginning to notice more and more in the universe – among friends, and even strangers. It’s a pattern recognition thing.
Tim: In what way can art express aspects of the Trinity, perhaps where prose doesn’t?
Mike: Well, the idea of ‘One God in three persons’ is a logical contradiction. It doesn’t work as math, and it doesn’t usually work as prose without spilling a ton of overwrought ink. But a story? A poem? A song? These can truly ‘eff the ineffable,’ and bring to life a reality more sublime and nourishing than prose alone can.
Tim: Were there any moments in the song that brought out a line or nuance of your poem in a way that was surprising to you (bringing enrichment to your own work)?
Mike: Yes indeed – when it broke out into three-part harmony. : ) That was great. And having one of these be a feminine voice a fitting touch.
Tim: Where does the song best embody your heart behind the poem?
Mike: The entire song reflects my heart, which is to marvel as this kinetic, dancing community we call “God” – but I have to say, when you break out in falsetto & the three-part harmony explodes on the scene…that about sums it up. : )
Tim: Thanks, Mike! And let me know if you ever want to workshop a song together/ write something together again! I had a blast.
Tim Coons’ wordsmithing genius and musical power shine through in unique solo albums, work with his wife Betony in Giants and Pilgrims, and even a classic Enter the Worship Circle album. You should check him out!
And of course, if you don’t yet have my book with Fr. Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Transformation – what are you waiting for? Ask for it at your local bookstore or library, or find it online through one of these sellers. I hope you’ve already availed yourself of the exclusive bonus chapter + exercise I’m offering right here.