Firefly (with TL Moody)

Tammy Moody and I have been collaborating for quite some time. Much of our past work has been on hymns, but recently she has begun to stretch into new areas. Her newer texts are still inspired by scripture, but instead of paraphrasing them, she distills them into images and slice-of-life vignettes.

In this song, she turns Mark 10:14 (…“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these”) into a scene in which a girl experiences the uninhibited joy of catching fireflies at night. I especially like the way here-and-now light of fireflies in her mayonnaise jar connects to the countless stars in the night sky.

When Tammy sent me the lyrics, she referenced The Wailin’ Jennys as the music style she heard in her head–simple, honest, beautiful folk music. I hope I captured a little of their inspiration like our song’s protagonist scooped up fireflies in her jar.

1. in her hand, a firefly
at her wiggly toes, a jar
mayonnaise jar that mama washed
to hold sparklers from the sky
tiny holes poked in its lid
so her treasure wouldn’t die
so her treasure wouldn’t die

2. little hands twist loose the top
sliding lightning storm inside
held it high above her head
spinning with a giggly bop
summer’s sticky night litup
face as sweet as soda pop
face as sweet as soda pop

3. skipping, rhyming free and wild
let the children come to me
wonder, joy jump double dutch
twirling, twirling all the while
every twinkling firefly
lights the stars in heaven’s smile
lights the stars in heaven’s smile

firefly lights the stars in heaven’s sky

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4 Responses to Firefly (with TL Moody)

  1. Joni Jones says:

    I am not a music critic, but I know when I am touched by the Holy Spirit. You and Tammy hit the mark you were inspired to profess. It is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Kim Williams says:

    This is my favorite so far of your work together. Love it!!!

  3. Kara Wagner Sherer says:

    So beautiful – brings me back to summers at my grandmother’s yard in Wisconsin.

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