Reflection for Father’s Day

P1340673 copyby Jennifer Harper

I’m pretty sentimental and romantic like my dad.   I’m a dreamer like he was too.  I always wanted to write songs that would touch people’s hearts in a simple way, inspire them to sing with a smile, hug their friend, believe in the good of this earth.  Break down barriers.  Growing up in Washington DC, I was profoundly influenced by music that was used as a catalyst for change.  “We Are The World” was the most awe inspiring song for me when it came out.  I am reminded of the power of intention as I found myself mystically working in the same studio where it was written and recorded.

Writing music is something that was passed down to me from my father.  He wrote songs for all of us kids and was always improvising at the piano. He used to sing “The Impossible Dream” with such joy it was contagious.  The sweet sound of his free heart just made me happy.  My mother played Pete Seeger songs on the guitar, soothing me with her genuine unpolished alto voice.  They sang to us all the time and brought a wide variety of music into the house.   I didn’t realize what a profound influence it had on me at the time.  But I’m so grateful.  It taught me so much about experiencing music with my children now.  Music is healing.  It speaks in ways that are sometimes difficult to express in words.When I wrote the song “All the Love (In the World),” I was in a place in my life where I seemed to be surrounded by friends who were looking for love but having such a hard time finding it.  I noticed they sought me out for guidance, as somehow I seemed to have made it as a wife and mother.  How could I encourage them?  What kind of advice could I give?  Most days I feel like I’m just keeping my head above water looking after my three kids.  Like anything in life, what you don’t have seems so appealing.   Should I warn them how much work it takes?  This song sort of rolled out instinctively from that place.  I just wanted to tell them they deserved love.  So simple.  Don’t we all need to be reminded?

As I was playing and singing this song, I discovered my kids would gather around me and join in.  It was clear they were attracted to my joy, just as I had been to my dad’s.  I began to look at them in the chorus emphasizing the word YOU deserve all the love in the world.  As I played, I could see their hearts swell with joy, confidence and security.  And Love.  I realized then that this is a song with a powerful message for all ages.  And on those days when I’m feeling overwhelmed from taking care of everyone else all the time, I sing it to remind myself that I deserve all the love in the world too!

When my father died in the middle of production I promised myself I would get my music out into the world.  This would make him so incredibly happy and proud.  Singing with my heart filled with love was always his favorite gift.  I can’t say Happy Fathers Day to my dad this year in the same way as the past.  But I can share this song with the world for Father’s Day.  I hope I can reach some awesome dads out there, and the moms and kids who want to sing them a song.

Show your dad how much you love and appreciate him just as he is.  You won’t regret it.

Thank you, Dad.  For always believing in me.

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