The Stories Behind The Songs
1. “THIS IS MY CALLING” - music & lyrics by Earl Yamada © 2012
This song is my testimony put to music.
2. “I SING” - music & lyrics by Earl Yamada © 2012
During a television interview years ago, a professional baseball pitcher explained why, in the dugout between innings, he closed his eyes and appeared to be asleep. He explained that in order for him to relax between innings, he would close his eyes and sing hymns in his head.
I found that I have done that during times when I feel like the world is closing in on me; I have taken deep breaths, closed my eyes, and sang hymns like, “It Is Well With My Soul,” “How Great Thou Art,” and “Blessed Assurance” silently in my head. This has always provided me with the greatest assurance, peace, and comfort that only come from Jesus Christ.
3. “JESUS IN MY EYES” – music & lyrics by Earl Yamada © 2012
I once read that as believers in Christ, we should all be seen differently. If Jesus made a difference in our lives, it should show on our faces. So when you look in the mirror, you should be able to see Jesus in you.
Likewise, when you see other believers, can you see Jesus in their eyes?
4. “DREAMER” – music & lyrics by Earl Yamada © 2012
A number of years ago, I attended a Christian worship conference. During a session on developing worship, one of the speakers said, “God is more excited about your dreams than you are.” These words have stuck with me over the years and have made me more determined to record the songs He has given me.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” - Phil. 4:13 (NKJV)
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” - Matt. 19:26 (NIV)
5. “BRING ME BACK (to Hale’iwa)” – music & lyrics by Earl Yamada © 2012
I left my home in Hale’iwa on the North Shore of O’ahu a number of years ago. Even with all the changes in Hale’iwa over the years, there are still a few places that have not changed and still bring back fond memories.
In the bridge of the song, I sang about Yama’s Fountain. It was the restaurant my Dad, his father, and brothers built as a family business in the 1950’s. Even after my grandparents passed away, my parents, aunts, and uncles ran the restaurant until the 1970’s. I still have fond memories of Yama’s Fountain.
It’s difficult for me to go back to Hale’iwa and see all the changes. Some of it has been for the better, but still others make me long for the Hale’iwa I grew up with.
7. “HE PULE NO IA (I’ll Pray For You)” – music & lyrics by Earl Yamada © 2012
I wrote this song in 1989 for my sister’s wedding. The lyrics were originally translated into Hawaiian to accompany a hula. I wanted to combine Hawaiian instruments (ipu, ukulele) with contemporary instruments (drum set, electric guitars, etc.) and achieved a great blended sound from it.
8. “I AM YOURS” – music & lyrics by Earl Yamada © 2012
St. Francis of Assisi one said, “Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”
Often, our actions will say more than words ever could. It has always been my prayer that people would see Jesus in me, in my actions and how I handle myself through turbulent times. There are times when I fail miserably and lose my temper.
I have tried to make it my routine to pray every morning, before I even get out of bed, “Lord, please let everyone I see today see You in me.” Then, when I get home, my prayer is, “Lord, what have I done today to glorify You?”
I have not always lived up to this but, I find that when I do, I’m much more aware of my actions and my words. I’m much more conscientious of my temper and my focus through the day. I hope this will be your prayer, too.
9.“JESU MEKE KANAKA WAIWAI” © 1971 John K. & Pua Almeida
This song was my Mom’s favorite Hawaiian song. I dedicate this song to you, Mom.
10. “I THANK GOD FOR YOU” – music & lyrics by Earl Yamada © 2012
I wrote this song for Courtney to celebrate her high school graduation. I was blessed to have a great friend, Debi Blair, record the lead vocals.
11. “YOU KNOW ME” – music & lyrics by Earl Yamada © 2012
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” Jer. 1:5
“For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.” Ps. 139:13-14
“Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were written, the days that were ordained for me…” Ps. 139:16
“I love the 80s.” - Earl Yamada -
12 “WHERE THE MUSIC LASTS FOREVER” – music & lyrics by Earl Yamada © 2012
Years ago, as Pat, the kids and I were getting ready to move from the Seattle area back to Waco, TX, I realized that I may never see some of my brothers and sisters in Christ again. Since we left, a few have gone to be with the Lord.
A sister, that was prominent in our Christian ministry, whom Josh and Courtney knew as Aunty Ev, passed away a number of years ago. And while I know we will never sing another song on earth again, I know we’ll sing together again where the music lasts forever.
In our current society, as many of us move from place to place, across the country or around the world, we come across brothers and sisters in Christ that we may never see again. And while our time on earth is short, it is such a blessing to know that we have the promise of eternity in glory with our Savior at the right hand of the Father. Praise God!