The songs on his debut CD, I'M NOT LEAVING
are a real treat to listen to and absorb. Every song is unique,
with musical arangements that are interesting to listen to,
which support Harris's creative lyrics, that explore "various
life situations and life problems that we deal with day to day.
They show that there is hope."
While exploring these common human problems
and weaknesses Harris cleverly incorporates his personal beliefs
in the Gospel of Christ, and the teachings of the Bible, in
a way that reaches out to people, both believers and people
searching for faith without hitting them over the head with
"If you are going to be a Christian,
you're going to do the best you can at everything, you do for
the glory of God. I want to do that with my music too."
Here are a sample of the wonderful songs
that can be heard on this CD.
G.M.O.L - Reminds this reviewer of the
teaching in Mathew 5:13-16. Christians are to be the salt of
the earth, the light of the world. As with a lighted lamp in
a house, we are to let our light shine before people.
The song starts off with a strong acoustic
guitar, setting the beat and rhythm of this song, with very
light bongo rhythm in the background. Third stanza, electric
guitars and easy drums come in to support the guitar and vocals.
Nice use of dynamics. Harris has nice vocal range ability to
do some interesting singing using intervals.
"It is a song about God's love for us.
If we know our purpose, then we don't have to retreat into our
bubble of just being with other Christians. While we need to
strengthen and encourage one another, we should also go out
and share the Glorious Message of Love, so others can experience
it." - Derrick Harris
1) Where there is water there's life.
Where there is darkness there's light. Where there are ears
won't You let them hear. The glorious meaning of love?
2) So You tell me this infection is real.
It's the core of complication and all I feel. Well now we're
all justified let's all live, the Glorious Message of Love.
CHORUS: You always said that I could
be the one to hold Your hand. And every day You'd hold me in
Your arms and pray (show me the works of Your wonder).
* * * CUP OF LIFE - Based on John 4:13-14
(Woman at the well story): Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks
this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water
I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will
become in him a spring of water, welling up to eternal life."
Nice melody, easy drums, electrical keyboard
(Brian T. Murphy), light acoustical guitar, high lights and
support from electrical guitar (Brad Lyons), some harmony in
vocals (Harris does both parts).
It is a favorite of this reviewer. The
lyrics really spoke to me, about a very human problem. Walking
the Christian life isn't easy, especially since the secular
world is always tempting us with many types of "candy dreams,"
which offer instant gratification, but leave us spiritually
In this song, which so beautifully describes
our human struggle, Harris says that he is talking to himself.
"Even though I know better, so many times I think this world
is so great. I let it fill me up. I wake up empty every time."
Lyrical Sample: Look there's the world.
What a luscious sight, what a candy dream. I want my fill. Let
me have a piece, let me take a dive.
Hook: Every day is the same, I choose
life in the flames. And it seems that I can't escape. When I
eat of this world I'm left hungry again.
Chorus: You can take a sip, but you'll
be thirsty again. You can drink with your tongue, you can taste
with your lies. You can take a sip but you'll be thirsty again.
When you drink with your heart, when you see with your eyes,
All your casual talk, all your glorious lives. When you taste
it for real then He will quench it away.
"And Then There Were Three" - Based on
the Old Testament story found in Daniel 3:1-30, about Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego, three friends of Daniel who refused to
bow down to Nebuchadnezzer's golden statue. They were thrown
into a fiery furnace, but were protected by God who sent an
angel to stand with them. Harris writes this song from the perspective
of Nebuchadnezzer, recording his change in attitude and heart
This stirring ballad starts with a beautiful
acoustical guitar introduction which introduces the melody,
and sets the rhythm. At the transition, electrical guitar joins
in as support. Chorus brings in drums, more guitar work. 2nd
verse has full band, with easy drums. Nice instrument / drum
short introduction to the 2nd verse. Nice piano and guitar work
at the end.
Lyrical Sample: 2). When they heard the
sound, and the people revered, I looked out on the seas that
bowed there for me and then there were three. Heat the furnace
up and have their bias thrown in. And as I watched for their
burn...woe unto me...I thought there were three.
Transition (Hook): In my time I see an
openness. Though what I know isn't what I seem to know and what
I do isn't what I say. But I know and I love this openness and
now I see (The answers in front of me).
Chorus: Oh man, it's got to be real,
if you want to fell all of the grace that's sufficient for you.
But if you don't believe then you won't receive all the peace
and release of the hell in your heart.
FACING 2 - This song explores how hard
it is for human beings to experience change, loss in their lives.
The underlying message reminds the listener that although change
and loss are painful, we can take comfort in our faith that
God is with us, a source of strength, comfort, and empowerment
to continue to send us forward in ministry for Him, no matter
what our circumstances.
Derrick Harris says that he wrote this
song when he graduated from college, and was going to leave
his girlfriend behind, who still had two years to go, before
they could get married. Also, he would be leaving the ministry
that he had been involved in for four years as well.
Starts out with a solemn, sad mix of
electrical / acoustical guitar, single snare, with plaintive
melody in a minor key, lyrics sung expressively. Great use of
strings, and easy drum beat, in other parts of song. Ends with
a simple yet effective electrical guitar solo. Harris uses his
singing ability to reach hard musical intervals in the chorus,
capturing the sorrow of the moment, which is this reviewer's
favorite part of this song.
Lyrical Sample: 2) Soon everything will
change. All the things we've said and done will all just be
memories. But I know though I'll soon be gone, though I'm changing
venues, it won't change the song that I sing.
Chorus: But I'll hurt, and I'll bleed,
And I'll cry, and I'll need. My faith, I'll see, there's more
in this than just me. Please don't forget me when I'm gone.
I'M NOT LEAVING - This metaphorical song
explores sharing the Gospel with family members; people you
love most, which isn't always easy; its like trying to share
the cure for cancer with an afflicted patient who doesn't care.
Harris also relates a cold house to a life without belief in
the Gospel, and an inner warmth to acceptance of the Gospel,
a warmth that can take away pain and give comfort.
Harris says,"Paradoxically, sometimes
sharing the Gospel makes them feel that you don't love them
when it is actually the greatest act of love you can do."
It is a nice acoustical guitar piece,
with light drums and back up instrumentals scattered in various
parts of the song.
Lyrical Sample: I'm not leaving 'cause
I'm not cold yet. I'm not leaving 'cause I'm not cold yet. I'm
know you're cold, but I can't make you warm inside.....Its so
hard to watch you freeze to death, knowing if you weren't so
right you might just find some warmth ......Well I choose to
love you anyway, despite the fact that your house is cold....
Chorus: You keep pushing, but I'm not
leaving. And this is more than just a sordid game. The answers
you're seeking are kept in your statements. But I can't take
away, no I can't take away your pain.
IGNORANCE - This is Harris's favorite
song to perform. This song is a favorite with this reviewer
as well. It reminds me of the teachings of Jesus, found in Matthew
It points out that the busyness of our
lives can blind us to the real needs of others, whom God has
put in front of us. Christianity is an active faith. We should
follow the example of Jesus and take the time to stop and help
people who need it, because this is showing the love of God
to those who need to experience it, which will perhaps change
their lives, inspiring belief and closeness with God.
Derrick Harris was inspired to write
this song after seeing a "homeless guy on the exit to our church.
Everyone was in a hurry to drive past him so they could get
to church to learn how to serve the poor. We have been given
much. Why not stop and extend the hand of God, and say 'God
bless you. Here 's some food. Whether you believe in Him or
not, God is providing your needs right now.'" Nice electrical
textured guitar work, with easy drum beat.
Nice vocal harmony on the chorus.
Lyrical Sample: Take a walk with me;
tell me what you see.....2) Let's look across the road, another
woman with a heavy load. Well her burdens run too deep. Abandoned
at the age of ten, her father left and no one took her in. Well
she's walked a lonely road. She's had no place to call her home.
With four abortions she's scarred and unknown. Oh, if only we'd
taken her in. It could've changed; she could've changed.
Chorus: Oh, lonely this road that I wander,
but the pain I cannot know. Skilled at filling my life with
distractions, from the pain I cannot know. But the pain I want
no tears on my pillow. But the pain I can't ignore...it won't
go away (please go away).
PIGEON SONG - A peppy dance song with
a steady rock beat, with a full band. Electric guitars really
cook! This reviewer fully enjoyed the great lyrics and catchy,
When Derrick Harris worked at the bank,
he would go to the park during his lunch hour, there were always
lots of pigeons. One had a broken leg, and all the other pigeons
would take his food. "I would push the other pigeons away and
let him eat. During that time in my life I felt a lot like that
broken-legged pigeon. It seems God must break our legs in order
to make us dependent on Him. The reality is we are always dependent
on God for everything. But it is during those broken-legged
times that we realize it."
Lyrical Sample: Won't you say a prayer
for me? I've got envy on my back, I've got the demons on my
knees. The things I've planned for my life, they all end up
in tragedy. I like to walk my path, I like to do my thing, But
making time for You only comes with suffering. Although I running
free, I know You're holding me in Your hands.
Chorus: You take away my eyes so I can
see, the beauty of the love You gave to me. The answer to my
pain when it seems that I cannot find Your will. Take me away
KING OF HYPOCRISY - This is the song
most requested by an audience at a Derrick Harris concert. One
can readily see why. Catchy rhythm in percussion, wonderful
melody, and lyrics, nice electric piano, guitar work offers good
support to vocals, which carry the main tune.
Derrick Harris: "We all do the opposite
of what we say we want to do. We are all hypocrites. We'll never
live up to our own standards. That doesn't mean we are not forgiven."
In Romans 7:19-25, Paul gives a full
description of his own problems in this area, and an explanation
of why we all are hypocrites, and in need of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ, who died on a cross, a sacrificial lamb for our
sins, giving us a way to be forgiven through belief in Him.
Lyrical Sample: 2) In my heart there
grows a planted seed. I am weak I've got a need to feed on the
grace that You pour from Heaven's nectar streams. It's been
a long time since I have longed and craved in this way. For
you to lead me down the path of righteousness where the serpent's
blood is on my feet? Still I hear my name. You're calling me
...Follow me..I'll meet you where you are. Oh to live is Christ,
but to die is gain.
Chorus: I am the King of Hypocrisy and
I know my life can't hold a flame to the face of the One who
has covered me. And I know I've got a need to feed on the grace
that You pour from heaven's nectar streams.
Julie Carr - Reviewer for ChristianMusic.com
Read our interview with Derrick Harris.
To find out more about Derrick, hear his music, or order a CD,
Visit Derrick at DerrickHarris.com or SilentPlanetRecords.com.