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Music/Lyrics

Michael Tolf & Band
07/17/18
Michael Tolf

Story

"Where The Rivers Run" is dedicated to my wonderful brother in law, Max Dudley...who sadly left the earth too early, due to cancer.  I think of Max, daily, and look forward to seeing him, soon...where the rivers run :-)

Lyrics

When darkness covers me - and I can barely see

Three feet in front of me - You take my hand

I walk with you through fields - tulips and daffodils

My heart it stops and thrills - along the way

V2 - Rememb'ring  days gone by - that sparkle in your eye

Would always make me smile - would make me cry

And now that you are gone - these memories linger on

I'll find you in a song - and fly away

Chorus:

So I'll go...where the rivers run

I know you'll be waiting there for me 

And you and I - we'll stay right here forever

Yes I'll go...where my heart belongs

I  know I'm safe here in your arms

And you and I - we'll stay right here forever

V3 - So live your life out loud - go make your Father proud

His strength resides in you - his wisdom too

We have a choice to make - so please don't hesitate

Heaven and hell won't wait...another day

 

Michael Tolf & Band
07/17/18
Michael Tolf

Story

Written in 2012 - "Perhaps I Loved You by Default" was born from one lone conversation...with a man I'd never spoken with before, or since.  We were chatting about the many diverse ways we find love.  And, when he threw out the anecdote, "by default" - it really struck a chord with me.  That very day, I went home and was fortunate to start writing this song :-)

Lyrics

Perhaps I loved you by default - perhaps it's just your silly ways that caught my eye

Perhaps I saw you in the Fall - you wore that cotton dress, and stood out in the rain - I'll never be the same

Perhaps you took me by the hand - when she just up and walked away - broke my heart

Now I finally understand - by your side dear, I never want to part - I'll never be the same

Chorus:

Funny how life changes you - from who you were yesterday

As I gaze into the mirror now - does it seem so far away?  Does it seem so far away?

Solo

Chorus

Bridge: Why must my heart keep wond'ring - back to yesterday and all your silly ways, well

I'll just keep on pond'ring - the mysteries of this life...that lead me to your hand

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
07/17/18
Michael Tolf

Story

The greatest experience of love, in my opinion...is it's ability to both bless, and haunt our lives.  It's been difficult, drifting apart from old friends, band mates & loves of my life.

This tune, like many on this album...took me eight years to finish.  I took a "four year break" - from playing much music, after I lost my wife, my band & my church, in 2005/06.  Sounds like a country song, eh?  Thank God, I don't play country, haha...but, the mountains sure are pretty, round these parts ;-)  As are...the past loves of my life.

Lyrics

Here comes the chill - right down my spine - it's crystal clear that you're not mine

We had our days - we had our fun - but now the pain has just begun

Every time you stayed - I walked away - every one could see the crazy games we'd play

As I turned - glanced your way - every one said don't give your heart away

V2 - Love takes it's time - love weaves it's web - so many things are left unsaid

And still we're caught - in that sweet place - if only I could touch your face

Every time I stayed - you walked away - every one could see the crazy games we'd play

As you turned - glanced my way - every one said don't give your heart away

Chorus:

Still love lingers - this love will take you down - you better hold on tight they say

I'm still thankful - thankful you've graced my stage - you've helped me live out this play

Guitar solo

Chorus...

Michael Tolf & Band
07/17/18
Michael Tolf

Story

I fell in love with Jennifer Mecham - through the course of ballroom dancing with her, in 2010.

Our romance, was indeed...a whirlwind!  It only took nine months...for me to propose to Jen, at Happy Valley Dance/Sedro Woolley :-)

During this time of new Joy & Excitement - I wrote "Come Fly Away"

Lyrics

Sometimes I see your face so clearly - I long to hold you near me - is it our time?

Love is an ember slowly burning - and if our hearts are yearning - will we survive?

Like the ocean waves that roar - my heart wants you - let's cast off from this shore - make dreams come true

V2 - Dancing together soft and tender - I'll raise white flag surrender - I'm in a trance

Taking your hand I'll lead you slowly - my eyes are on you only - lost in romance

We move we strut we glide - the world is ours - so put your hand in mine - we'll touch the stars

Chorus:

Yes I'll go with you - across the moonlit sky - I want to fly away with you

Wanting more from life - than simple sacrifice - I want to fly away with you...away with you

V3 - Then when the storm turns dead against us - we feel that strong resistance - November Rain

We will hold on we'll find our shelter - with the Father's love forever...lighting our way

So come the tempest storm - come the dark night - I'll hold you safe and warm - til morning light

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
07/17/18
Michael Tolf

Story

This was the MOST difficult song...for me & the band - to figure out the "groove" we wanted!

Thankfully, I was "saved" one morning - when watching "Live at Daryl Hall's House", on MTV Live.  Daryl & his house band were playing "I Can't Go For That" - and, I thought, hmmm...why don't we try THAT groove, for this darn tune??

Thank God it worked!

Lyrics

Chorus: Love - love rain down (repeat 3x)

V1 - Love rain over me - like a river to the sea - You're the sweetest thing I'll ever need

Like an ocean breeze - I'm blowing in the wind - love is coming back again

Love rain over me - like a river to the sea - You're the sweetest thing I'll ever need

Like an ocean breeze - I'm blowing in the wind - love is coming back again - coming back to heal our land

Chorus

V2 - Love rain over me - wash away my tears - I did my time in those sad years

Now my heart is free - free to praise Your name - I'll never be the same

Love rain over me - wash away my tears - I did my time in those sad years

Now my heart is free - free to praise Your name - I'll never be the same - let Your Spirit ever reign

Bridge - I need Your love - Your sweet love...

Chorus

Solo

Chorus/improv

 

Michael Tolf & Band
07/17/18
Michael Tolf

Story

"Cover Me" - my gosh...it's been a long time since I started writing this tune.  Must have been around 2006.

When life suddenly changes, or gradually changes...we often lose our grip; our grip on reality...our grip on those we love.  "Poof" they are gone...in the wind.  This was the back drop for this tune - and, I'm very grateful for it.

Lyrics

Sunday morning came and you were gone - I sat down to write this song

How do I explain where we went wrong - cover me

I could tell you bout' the dreams we had - all the things that made us sad

The past is over now - I guess I'm glad...cover me

Wanting to let go - but you're the only one I know

Chorus:

Cover me - come set me free - cover me - come set me free

V2 - Another night falls down and I'm alone - just me and my guitar at home

Don't want the TV - I don't want the phone...cover me

Maybe I'll just go and lie in bed - take a walk and try to clear my head

Either way it's still the same - I'm dead...cover me

Trying to let go - but the heart of you lives in my soul

Chorus

Bridge - When I want you - when I need you...gotta let it go (repeat)

Solo

V3 - Guess it's time to lay this burden down - take a listen to that sweet soft sound

I'll go to the place Your grace is found...cover me

Learning to let go - cause You're the one who loves me so

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
07/17/18
Michael Tolf

Story

Loved writing this tune - which was born around 2004.  It's always a "mystery" how musical riffs are born...but, it sure is fun to work with them...once they are!  This tune, like many on the album/"Where The Rivers Run" - is a recovery song.  It's amazing how the touch of God, or the touch of a new love...can heal one's heart & soul.

Lyrics

When love grows cold - and you're feeling old...where do you turn?

When all your dreams and plans - slip through your hands...and you find yourself alone

There's an open door - waiting to explore...someone's waiting there

Chorus:

When you're with me - when you're with me - when you're with me...the skies are blue

When you're with me - when you're with me - when you're with me...all things are new

V2 - So you step outside - try to find the sun...while all this rain is falling down

Can you start again - believe once more...there's something worth living for

There's that open door - waiting to explore - she's waiting there

Chorus

Musical Riff

You make things new - that's what You do...can you heal my heart?

You make things new - that's what You do - I've known it from the start...can you heal my heart?

Michael Tolf & Band
07/17/18
Michael Tolf

Story

"This Suffering"  Wow - has it really been 27 years, since I first started writing this tune?  Time is so very strange...but, yes - it was 1991 when this song was born.  And, it was born, sadly, from hearing the story about a co-worker's younger brother, who had taken his own life.  The young man was a senior in HS...very popular & handsome.  But, depression/one's demons...has no mercy on what age we are - does it?  Then, two years ago/2016, when I began this "New Album Journey"...I had nine songs in mind, to record, but my sound engineer encouraged me to find a 10th song.  That very night, a long time friend shared with me the sad story...of how her boss' 14 yr old daughter, had recently taken her life.  During that conversation, the Holy Spirit began to remind me of this old song.  So, I dusted it off...re-wrote some of the lyrics & it became a very important song for this project.

Lyrics

Today I had to face the truth - that you were gone...though just a youth

You let life slip right through your hands...I don't understand

Still I have to bear the pain - through the driving wind - freezing rain

I must stay strong although you're gone...I must carry on

Chorus:

In my life I found - when you were around - you made my heart to sing

If it's true you're gone - Lord lead me on - for I can't take this suffering

V2 - Why did you have to go - the reasons I still don't know

Were your burdens just too much to bear - I was unaware

Over come with all your fears - the weight of all those broken years

You left me nothing here to read - oh how my heart bleeds

Chorus

Bridge: Why you had to go and leave me...I still don't know

Were you scared to open up & let your feelings show?

Did you not know that I was here...to be your friend?

Will I ever see you...again?

Solo

Chorus

Altro:  My heart can't take it!

"Ruach"

04:57
Dmitri Wagoner & Brian J. Pryor
07/17/18
Dmitri Wagoner

Story

"Ruach" was born...during a spontaneous rehearsal, when we were practicing "This Suffering" - which is a song about teen suicide.  Dmitri thought it would be a beautiful idea...to take the listener towards a place of peace.  So, in that very moment, he picked up my acoustic guitar & began writing what would become, 'Ruach" (my spirit returns to You).

This was quite the amazing moment for MY heart...and, I'm so very thankful this song is on our album :-)

Michael Tolf & Band
07/17/18
Michael Tolf

Story

Sometimes - we're gifted with a musical idea...from listening to other talented people.  And, the opening riff, of this tune - was a musical idea of an ole' band mate of mine...back in 2006.  I liked the riff, so much, I "stole it" and started improvising off of it.  It took a number of years & adventures...but, eventually I finished this sweet & haunting song.  That's what love is, to me.

Lyrics

My love - sweet love - you're here with me

But still - my heart...just can't see

For my love waits beside me - I wait for her

And I'm scared that this longing...will not endure

My love - sweet love - come to me

I know - your touch - is what I need

Deeper - deeper - deeper than the sea

Deeper - growing deeper...my lover and me (repeat)

For my love waits beside me - I wait for her

And I'm scared that this longing...will not endure

Oh gonna let you...fly away

Oh gonna watch you...fly away

Oh gonna let you...fly away

Oh gonna watch you...fly away

Michael Tolf & Band
07/17/18
Michael Tolf

Story

This song was quite the "doozy" to write!

It took me a number of years...to realize that the first half of this tune, is God speaking to the human race.  And, the second half, is the human response.  And, finally at the end - the two do a little vocal dance, together.  

The BIGGEST JOY I had, in recording this tune...was having my bass player, Mr. Brian J. Pryor & his daughter, Bria (my harmony girl) - be the "voices of God".  That was sure fun, watching them work, together!!

I also really enjoyed the guitar riffs of Mark Isenhour :-)  This was a VERY challenging tune for him - for this song GOES ON...for over seven minutes!  As always - Mark not only found a way to "make it work"...he made it ridiculously beautiful, as well.  And, Dmitri's drum work, as always, is equally Divine.  So - I guess I just LOVE my talented friends...and what they brought to this whole recording :-)

Lyrics

DON'T LET IT END...

When all the others fade away - I will hold your hand and say

I have always been the One - God's own very Son

So when you're lost and all alone - when you wish you had a home

I'll reach out my hand to you - there's nothing I won't do

Chorus:

Cause I love you, tonight - like I loved you back then

When I held you in my eyes - how I long to call you friend, don't let it end

There will be times you'll be afraid - will be times you'll lose your way

But like I've always said before - my heart's an open door

Chorus

...REACH OUT TO YOU

If I reach out to you...will you be there?

If I reach out to you...would you even care?

I have loved and lost before - don't think I can take much more

Will you be the bridge for me - set me free?

If I up and give my heart away - will you come to me and never stray?

Loneliness is all around - loneliness can bring you down

Still I'm longing to believe - to receive

Bridge:

Just one touch and I'll be free - from these chains that follow me

I've heard this story once before - how Your love came down

And offered so...much more

 

If I reach out to you...will you be there?

If I reach out to you...would you even care?

Would you even care? - 

Yes you know I will be there

Will you hold me day and night?

Yes I'll always treat you right

Then I'll give my heart away - and believe you when you say...

When you say...you love me

* Thus ends the album, "Where The Rivers Run" :-)

Michael Tolf & Band
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

This song was flat out a blast to write! The "haunting" intro came to me one night - and the main chords soon followed. Then God began to give me the words...and WOW - I loved them! It's awesome to think about Christ's 2nd Coming. No one knows when He'll return...but I can' wait. Come soon Lord Jesus!

Lyrics

* This is the first song, on the album..."The Season of Love"

Some day - when the Son of man shall appear He'll draw us near - we'll fly away.

Some day - even in the twinkling of an eye we'll be riding high - we'll fly away.

Some day - no body knows just when We'll be whole again - we'll fly away

Some day - it may be tomorrow or tonight - we'll be out of sight - we'll fly away

Chorus: Will be a bright and blessed morn - when once again we'll be reborn

All of our sadness fades away - I just can't wait another day

Some day - when the Son of God shines through - we'll know what to do - we'll fly away

Some day - leaving all the pain from the past - we'll be home at last - we'll fly away

Solo

Chorus

V1

Michael Tolf & Band
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

This is one of those songs that was a TOTAL GIFT from God. All songs are a gift - but this one I can take very little credit for. It was as if my hands were guided by a higher being. I was going through a huge loss in my life...and yet God was reminding me that He's the reason for love - the season of love.

Lyrics

If you're feeling low - no place to go...take my hand

If you've lost your way - and you can't stay...I'll understand

Chorus:

There is a reason - there is a season of love

Don't stop believing - there is a season of love

So just hold on today...no don't give up - don't run away

If you're in despair - no one is there to hold you close

Reach out your hand - I'll understand...I love you most

Chorus

Bridge: If your heart is breaking - you feel that your life won't be the same

There is someone who's waiting - He can heal your pain

There is a reason - there is a season of love

Don't stop believing...there is a season of love

January through December - I will be right here for you - I'll offer you my hand

If you heart is cold and lonely - if your life is in despair - I will understand...the reason

I am the reason...for love

I am the season...of love

Michael Tolf & Band
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

Well - this song is very special to me. It was an accident how I stumbled upon the opening chords - and the song just grew from there. When God wants to give a song...there's no stopping Him. And this was certainly one of those God moments. "Get To River" is so fun to play, especially with my band...and I love the imagery of jumping into the river & washing away my sins. God's river of life is there for the taking...every day!

Lyrics

Oh Lord I love You - I lay my life before You

To see You - just to be with You - just to have You...by my side

When I woke up this morning - I said come right in

When I read the Word this morning - I said come right in

Chorus

And I know I know - gotta get to the river...and jump right in

Yes I know I know - gotta get to the river...wash away my sin

When I walked with You this morning - You had so much to say

When I talked with You this morning - You taught me how to pray

Chorus

Bridge: You bring me love - You bring me joy...(repeat)

Chorus & improv

Michael Tolf & Band
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

This song was born while I was sitting on my school bus (my day job), in Marysville, WA. I often take my guitar with me when I go on a field trip, and I had it with me that day. I discovered a "new chord" - new to me anyhow...obviously, it's been around for years. I liked the chord - it's the opening chord to the song. It sounded haunting and meditative to me...so, I began to write and experiment with chord progressions.

The lyrical phrase that kept coming to my mind was...in this quiet place. That seemed to be the foundation for the song. It took about a month of writing and praying for the song to be complete. And now it's one of my personal favorites. So many times...I seek that quiet place, where God can speak to me - and I can hear His voice

Lyrics

In this quiet place I'm alone with You - In this quiet place I am at home with You

In this quiet place I have no need for anything  -You alone will satisfy

In this quiet place I surrender all - In this quiet place Lord I heed Your call

Come and take my heart - make it strong - make it true - I'm putting all my faith in You

Chorus:

I'm on my knees I'm crying out to You - Lord I just don't know what I should do

How I need Your touch - come carry me - carry me...Holy Father

Come reach down under -  rescue me

Cause I need You - I need You ever so deeply...to comfort me

In this quiet place - I lay down my fears

In this quiet place - I give you all my tears

In this quiet place - I know I'll find serenity - Holy Spirit cover me

I'm on my knees I'm crying out to You

And Lord I know what I must do

How I need Your touch - come carry me - carry me

Holy Father - come reach down under...rescue me

Cause I need You - I need You ever so deeply - to comfort me...

In this quiet place...I come to You

Michael Tolf & Band
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

God gave me this song to help me deal with my loneliness and depression - as I was going through a very tough valley in my life. He always has a way of giving us just what we need...when we need it most.

Lyrics

Every morning that opens up before me - reveals Your love in all of it's glory

I see the flowers - the leaves the trees adore Thee...proclaiming that You are God

I give my heart - I give it to You freely -  I know Your arms are reaching out to heal me

Though the road ahead I can't see clearly...I'll proclaim that You're my God

Chorus:

In the valley you will find me seated there... at Jesus' feet

In the valley you will find me...worshiping on bended knee

So many times I come to You when lonely - just to say that You're my one and only

I give my life for You will not disown me - I'll proclaim that You're my God

Chorus:

Bridge: When my hope is gone - still Your love will lead me on

I have given everything to You...

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

This song came to me early one morning. I was in my basement, strumming a couple new guitar chords I recently learned. As I "got into the grove" of the chord progression, the words began to come. The song was finished in about 1 hour - which is very rare for me. It usually takes me months/years to receive full inspiration for my songs.

Lyrics

Early in the morning - I'll raise my weary head

And I'll come before You - kneel beside my bed

How I long to praise You - lift Your name on high

Chorus:

You are more than life to me - You are the very air I breathe

You are living deep inside of me - Oh Lord sweet Jesus...won't you come and be my King

V2 - Coming to Your table - longing for some bread

Deserving condemnation - receiving grace instead

Oh You fill my cup Lord - and it overflows

Chorus: 

Ext Chorus: You are life and breathe and praise - You are with me throughout my days

You are everything I need - oh Lord sweet Jesus...won't You come and be my king

Bridge: How I need Your love - to lift me to that place

Where I can raise my hands - and feel Your warm embrace...

Chorus/Ext Chorus/Improv :-)

Michael Tolf & Band
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

Sometime around 1994, I received a phone call from a local pastor, who asked me if I'd ever written a song about losing a loved one. You see, there was this young couple in his church who just lost their baby at birth, and the church was having a special memorial service for this couple's child.

I told the pastor that I had not written such a song, but just then I remembered that I had scribbled down a lyric/chord idea that very morning - that might grow into such a song. I told the Pastor I'd call him back if I felt God was giving me this song specifically for this moment in time. I went back to the piano and looked at what I had written down....

"You left before we had the chance to say good-bye". Wow, I thought. As I sat down at the piano, I asked God to once again, give me the words He want me to share. The song was done in two days.  This is how God, works.

Lyrics

You left before we had the chance to say good-bye - and so we're telling you right now

It hasn't been easy living without you - for we never heard your new born cry

Your mother and I - well you know we had so much fun...preparing the nursery for you

But now it just haunts us whenever we walk by - for it's now a dark and lonely room

Chorus:

God never leaves us alone - His mercy always is true

Though you're not here with us - your memory is here to stay...Oh Lord please see us through

V3 - How does one wake up and face another day...knowing that a part of you is gone

And how do we make sense of all that's come our way - it's by our faith that we stay strong

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

This song was born out of a sadness in heart, as I look out into the world. Events like 9-11, and others, that make me think...what would life be like without love, and why do so many people go through the motions of life, without the knowledge that they are loved...by God.

I can only wonder why...

Lyrics

All the things I've heard - all the things I've seen...they make me buckle down and cry

Looking all around - looking at this world...who will keep our dreams alive

With the touch of heaven the baby came - sweet Hosanna we proclaim Rocking Him so gently - how could we know - how far His love would go

Chorus:

I wonder why - why so many people live their lives

Not knowing the truth that satisfies - not knowing that love will never die

V2- If I had one wish - if I had one plea - I'd pray please help me see Remove my mask - take all my greed - meet me here on bended knee

In this world of torment -world of pain - He bore my guilt He bore my shame

Giving himself freely - to save us all - will we hear His call?

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

This song was inspired by the sudden passing away of a beautiful man and friend to so many - Paul Monson. I was blessed to know him for 10 years. He was a great encourager and inspiration in my life. I can't wait to see him in the earth made new!

In the midst of all you're going through...God give you peace.

Lyrics

In the midst of all you're going through - God give you peace

When you're lost and all alone...may the memories never cease

You've lost your beloved one - we've lost a friend

Now it seems the pain will never end - looking in your eyes we can't pretend everything's all right

In the midst of all that we can't see - I still believe - one day soon we'll find the answers and the peace we need

Knowing you has changed my life - in countless ways - though it's sometimes hard for me to pray - I am truly thankful for the days you were here with us

Chorus:

Sometimes life closes in - and steals a love we had wished would never end

We say good-bye now - but just for awhile -we can't wait to see your smile - as we're going through this trial we will think of you

V3 - In the midst of all we're going through - we'll trust in You

You have promised to be faithful and make things new

When the loss of our dear friend takes us by surprise - we will look and fully recognize - we were blessed to have you in our lives - now you're free to fly

Chorus

We will look and fully recognize...

We were blessed to have you in our lives - now you're free...to fly

Michael Tolf & Band
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

I wrote this song around 1994, and was very excited about it because it was the first song I'd written on my guitar. I figured out the chords/rythmn while strolling through "Life Care Center" of Mt. Vernon. I was the activity assistant there, and often sang the popular songs of the 20's - 50's to the residents. The rythmn/chords were fun to play and God quickly gave me the lyrics. There's nothing like receiving inspiration from above!

Lyrics

So many times I've tried to figure it out - why I do what I do

I keep wanting still...to start anew

And though I may not like the way that I live - though I desire a change

It's the same old part of me...that still remains

Chorus:

I can reach out to You - it's the best thing that I can do - when I'm lost at sea Your love can carry me

I can reach out to You - when I'm in need of someone who can turn me around to see their point of view...I can reach out to You

V2 - Listening to the voice inside of my head - the one that wants me to fail - I try to push it out...but to no avail

And if I think that just by doing my best - I can get anywhere - it doesn't take long to learn...life's not fair

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

God began to give me this song in 1996. I remember working on the lyrics while delivering pizza for "Godfathers" (one of my many day/night jobs). As I drove from house to house, I would scribble down lyric ideas. It took a while to figure out the bridge ("All my sorrows are before you"...). The bridge is always the toughest, but so rewarding once you've crossed it.

Lyrics

I've been blessed all my - life God's given me so much joy

At times I must confess - I haven't done my best to thank the Lord for all He's done for me

Chorus

I'm gonna give You all of the praise - from now till the end of my days - all that I have is Yours...You have set my mind at ease

Need you to walk by my side - need you to take all my pride - oh won't You fill me up...with Your grace that flows from a heart of love

V2 - Looking back I can see - a the times You were there - watching over me - waiting patiently...I was so blind an unaware

Chorus

Bridge - All sorrows are before You - and my past I leave behind

For nor now that I can see - Your love sets me free - I want it constantly...for now and always 

"Mama"

03:02
Michael Tolf
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

This is another song that came to me while on was on my school bus. I was playing around with the groove & the chords...and then the words started to come. I had no idea what I was singing about, until the word's "Mama" came out of my mouth. By then, I figured it had something to do with Moms & their kids. I am not a big country fan, and definitely not a country artist...however, this song is as country as I get. I think it's a pretty cute song...and it has a good message. Way to go Moms!!

Lyrics

Growing up is hard to do - without love you just can't make it through

I was blessed to have someone - who knew my needs and still had time for fun

In my mind I can see her now - doing the best that she knew how

Chorus

Mama - please forgive me If I took your love for granted

Mama - come sit beside me - there are things I want to know

Mama - you always taught me by what you said and did

Mama - our lives have changed now...but I still need you so

V2 - Living life from day to day - time rushes on - I forget to say

How proud I am to be the one - that you can count on till your days are done

When I think about the times we've shared...

I'm so grateful you were there

Chorus

Michael Tolf
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

This is a very special song to me, because it's the first "real song" that God gave me. I was 18 years old, and just sat down at the piano one day and started pouring my heart out. I quickly jotted down some key words/phrases, so I wouldn't forget them. A few weeks later, the song was complete. This was the start of my songwriting journey...and a key moment in my life, as I once again declared "My Stand" for God.

Lyrics

This song's for you Lord - this song is true

I've spent all my life searching for something real

This song's for you dear Lord - for guiding my way

I'm never far from your love - no never too far away...never too far away

Chorus

Oh Lord I've come to make my stand

I'm asking You to come take my hand

I need your guidance throughout my days - come to me - come to me

V2 - Lord, sometimes I find it hard to know just what to do

For with the pressures of life how can I keep my eyes on You?

And oh there are times when I feel I really don't care

If I can't please myself - how can I ever please You...how can I please You?

Bridge - But when I get discouraged that's when I lean on You

And when I feel I can't go on you pull me through

For your love is oh so strong - and it keeps leading me on

Back to You - back to You...

Solo

Chorus

Michael Tolf
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

This is a song the Lord gave me in early 2006. It came in the wee hours of the morning - around 2:00 AM. I love the simple message & the "old fashion pattern" of the augmented chords...and boy did I need the comfort that only comes from our Lord. He is the God of all comfort.

Lyrics

Through the day - in the night

When my heart just isn't right - oh I know my Lord will rescue me

When the sun won't shine - gonna leave the hurt behind

For I know my Lord will rescue me

Chorus

Hold me close - take my hand

When I fail to understand...Your will

Through the day - in the night

When my heart just isn't right - oh I know my Lord will rescue me

Solo

Repeat Chorus & V1

Michael Tolf
03/15/07
Michael Tolf

Story

I have no recollection where I was when I began writing this prayer. Most likely, I was at home sitting at my piano - sometime around mid-night. This song only contains 3 chords...which proves that it doesn't take a genius to write a song - it simiply takes the Holy Spirit. This is my deepest heart's cry...Lord, I want to be with You.

Lyrics

Lord I want to be - I long to be...long to be with You

Yes I want to be - I long to be...long to be with

You You set my world on fire - my one desire...is to be with You

Come and take me now - take all of me...I long to be with You

*Thus ends the album..."The Season of Love" :-)

Michael Tolf
01-15-1997
Michael Tolf

Story

Well - here we are "at the beginning".  I don't remember where I was, when I started writing this tune - but, it was quite clear that "Dear Lord", would be the first track, on this, my first album :-)  As I sit here, now, in 2018...I'm amazed at how rocky/twisty turn'y - the journey has been.  

"Dear Lord - you know me...and You can understand"  Ain't that, the truth!

Lyrics

Sometimes it's hard for me to know - the way that I should go

Which way to turn - from the lessons that I learn

And yes it's hard - when my future is oh so unclear

When I'm down...I say this prayer

Chorus

Dear Lord - You know me - and You can understand

The way I feel inside - the confusion that I have

Dear Lord - You see me - and You are the One

So here I am again - asking that Your will be done

V2 - At times I feel - my life is so unreal

The face you see - it isn't really me

For though it seems - I'm living a life that's full of joy

Deep in my heart - is an empty void

Chorus

Michael Tolf
01-15-1997
Michael Tolf

Story

Written in the mid 90's...remember those days!?? (as I sit here, in 2018, reminiscing).  Originally, this tune was written & recorded in the key of "G".  When I perform it, live, it's more comfortable & FUN, in the key of "F" :-)

Lyrics

Thinking back on my younger years - I didn't have many doubts or fears - oh no

Listening to that old gospel beat - I'd snap my fingers and tap my feet - oh yeah

Now that I have lived awhile - I've learned that through life's trials you still can smile

I'm so glad my Lord doesn't change - His love for me will always remain the same

Chorus

I know I believe in the blood of the lamb

I know that I'm free - that's what I am

I know I believe in the blood of the lamb

I know that I'm free - that's what I am

V2 - Some people they just don't understand - what it means to follow the lamb of God

They try so hard just to get through their day - they don't realize there is a better way

For Christ said that to all who believe - into His kingdom He'd receive them all

I believe God's word is true - that's why I'm here to say to you

Chorus

Michael Tolf
01-15-1997
Michael Tolf

Story

Written in the mid 1990's - I reckon "When I Need A Friend" is my most beloved tune, for most people, from my first album.

It's written in the 'friendly song-writing key' of GM7...and, I must admit - I still love to play it :-)

Lyrics

Alone again - I face the world...not knowing just where to go

I thought my dreams were oh so near - but now they've broken down again

Still in you I know I have someone - who will listen to my cries...help heal my pain

When I need a friend - when I need to know that someone still cares

I can call on you - your love is true - and I know that you will somehow see me through...when I need a friend

V2 - I believe in love - because I believe in you...and love's exactly what you give

Through all the many changes in my life - you've shown me what a friendship is

In a world where compassion can sometimes be denied

It's good to know that you are standing by my side

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
01-15-1997
Michael Tolf

Story

"My Greatest Need" is the 2nd song, that I wrote.  I stumbled upon the opening riff, while attending Walla Walla College, in 1986.  During the summer of 1987, I worked more on this tune...while painting faculty houses @ Auburn Academy.  "Little did I know" that this little tune...would become the theme/album title, of my first album...recorded in 1997!  It's pretty crazy wonderful how God works, if we keep walking in our gifts :-)

Lyrics

Lord You know - it's not always clear to me

The path I choose - win or lose will You be with me

I've learned the hard way - what you reap in life...you will sow

Chorus

Lord you are my greatest need - in You I can finally see the man...that I know I need to be

As I walk on through this life - I know I must take Your hand...learn to depend on You Lord

V2 - Lord with You - all my plans lay at Your feet

Take and mold - change and make me...do what it takes

When I get discouraged - You're always there waiting on my call

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
01-15-1997
Michael Tolf

Story

Written in the early 1990's...I have no recollections of writing this tune.  But, I love the sentiment - "In this world I don't belong...I'm a long long way from home"  It's such a peace & a blessing, knowing that we are covered by God's grace - both, now & forever.

Lyrics

In this old world - I don't belong - oh no

I'm a long long way from home

In this old world - I'm just a stranger - oh yeah

I'm a long long way from home

Chorus

So take me now - show me the way

Take me where I need to be

Reveal Your love - so I can plainly see

I'm a long long way from home

V2 - In this old world - there's not much love - oh no

There's a lot of hurt going on

In this old world - there's too much sorrow - oh yeah

Why can't we get along? 

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
01-15-1997
Michael Tolf

Story

Ah yes - "You Are The One!!"  My first "up beat" tune :-)  Why I wrote it...in the key of Ab, I have no clue...it just felt good!  These days/2018, I don't play it, that often...but, when I do - it always brings me great memories!  "Songs are a lot like children...you give birth to them & watch them grow" :-)

Lyrics

Whenever storm clouds gather - when it seems like nothing matters at all

That's when I look to You for strength

For You alone must know the reasons - remind me - life has seasons

Looking back upon my life - I've learned - I can trust in You

Chorus

You are the One - Who's always there when I am down

You are the One - Who can turn my life around - You are the One

V2 - And now that I have come to see my life - looking through Your eyes

I know that I'm accepted as I am

And if I ever start to stumble - if the world around me crumbles

I can still find comfort in knowing You are near

Chorus

Bridge

Always reaching - always searching - looking to the One who can change my heart - and help me see...what life can really be

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
01-15-1997
Michael Tolf

Story

"I Will Honor You"...Mmmm, the best worship song I've ever written.  It's starts with an interesting chord (something like, B2/A), and I never tire of singing this sentiment, to the Lord :-)

Lyrics

I need You - I need to know that You are by my side

You are my king - You give me life and cause my heart to sing

And throughout my endless days - I will give You praise

Chorus

You are the light that shines - You are the passion of my life

And I will honor You - I will lift You up

You are the morning sun - You are a life that's just begun

And I will honor You

V2 - I want You - I want the power that only You can give

You are my strength - You've been the joy throughout my life at length

And throughout my endless days - I will give You praise

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
01-15-1997
Michael Tolf

Story

Feeling "apart" from someone we love...can take on many layers (physical, emotional, spiritual).  And, so - the best that any of us can do...is offer our hand & send out a prayer.

Lyrics

Morning without you - frost on my window - pain I feel inside

Should I call you - should I tell you all that's on my mind

We both know that it's not the past - that causes all the pain

And if I can't have you in my life - I'll never be the same

Chorus

So I'm sending out a prayer my love - trusting you're ok

Knowing that when you're gone - I always feel this way

For the pain I feel when you're not here - cuts into my heart - when we're apart

V2 - Sometimes I wonder - wonder if I could make it on my own

After a long day - walk inside and find that I'm alone

If you take one look at me - you'll surely understand

When you need someone to guide you - I'll extend my hand

Chorus

Michael Tolf & Band
01-15-1997
Michael Tolf

Story

"Restless Man"...probably, the theme of my life ;-)

But, seriously - I love this tune...and, one day hope to re-record it, one day, as an up-tempo/rockin praise tune!  It's wonderful when songs can be expressed as a ballad, or up tempo.  This tune works that way :-)

I wrote it around 1990, while attending WWU/Bellingham...plunking away on one of their "music/practice room pianos".  I probably wrote half of my tunes...on College music room pianos!

Lyrics

Lord I've wondered far away from You

I found myself doing things I thought I'd never do

And in my deep and dark despair

I found myself reaching out - hoping You're still there

Chorus:

For if You can raise the dead -  and calm the sea

I know that only You alone can rescue me

I'm tired of this life I call my own - my own

I've been a restless man...but now I want to come home

V2 - Lord You know my doubts - You know my fears

And You've been here with me through my troubles years

Through endless nights and lonely days

Your love has always blessed my life - in unseen ways

Chorus