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Melanie Penn

“Before A Fall”

Since creation, God and the earth have seen a lot of stuff, gone through all of human history, and for a while I’ve wondered, “If the earth could talk to us, what would it say?”

This song, “Before a Fall,” was written just after Hurricane Sandy. In New York, a lot was destroyed in the rain and flood of the storm’s passage. It felt like the planet was against us, like the tides and the rain and the wind could not be stopped nor tamed in any way.

But things were not meant to be like this at all. Just like us humans, the earth too is falling apart and wreaking havoc everywhere—ruining things. But unlike us, the earth can remember a time before the fall, a time when it, and we, were not falling apart and nothing was ruined yet.

So this song is from the perspective of the world God made—our earthly home.

“Before a Fall”
from the album Hope Tonight
by Melanie Penn

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There used to be an angel choir that would sing in the evening with a band
There was a cool kind of fire, you would hold it in the center of your hand
But now the night is cold and the fire’s hot
And angels live above
The ground quakes from my heartache
I’m overcome and all my tears’ll form a flood
I am the one who saw it all
Nobody tells you everything you stand to lose before a fall

There used to be gold-covered clouds in a field of fog to walk across
And there were speaking trees, a forest full of poetry and talk
Now the clouds hang high and empty
And leaves wither up
The ground quakes from my heartache
I’m overcome and all my tears’ll form a flood
I am the one who saw it all
Nobody tells you everything you stand to lose before a fall

Tonight you’ll lie awake and think the world’s a cold and lonely place
Oh please, believe, I never meant to be this way
So I will spin around again, hoping when we wake we will be new
But my colors of mourning every day, another shade of blue
I am the one who saw it all
Nobody tells you everything you stand to lose before a fall

[Hope Tonight is available in the Rabbit Room store.]

New Release: Melanie Penn’s Hope Tonight

[Editor's note: Melanie Penn's album Wake Up Love was an instant hit for me, and it's also one of my very favorite of Ben Shive's productions. Ben and Melanie have been working on this second record for a long time, and I'm so glad the rest of you finally get to hear it.]

In 2000-something, I read an article in which Michael Card was asked, “Who is the greatest Christian songwriter alive today?” He said, “Andrew Peterson.” (I bet AP hates that, but it happened dude.)

Back then I’d never heard of Andrew Peterson. So I found his website and bought every CD that I could. I had a train trip coming up, and on that ride I listened to The Far Country on a . . . discman (good grief what year was this?). I just ate it—I mean, it’s like I ate all of the songs on that album while I sat on that Amtrak train. I gobbled them up. I just loved that record. I had a feeling then, This guy might be my people. I wonder if his people are my people? You see, I am always looking for my people.

Turns out, Andrew would become a friend. And so would Ben Shive, the producer of that record, The Far Country.

Turns out, Ben Shive would produce my two solo records. The first, Wake Up Love, and now this one Hope Tonight.

Turns out, many people are Andrew’s people—musicians, Rabbit Roomers, and lots of other incredible folks. And we have all found each other, and loved songs, and loved the way that songs can bring us together and create a tribe.

I wrote the title song for this record, “Hope Tonight,” when I felt like I had no tribe. I wasn’t making ends meet very well, and I wasn’t meeting demands very well. I started throwing a pity-party for myself in my New York City apartment—just my guitar and me—like I do. “Here’s the thing, it’ll chill ya to the bone …”

But no sooner did I get into the guts of this song than all the blessings, promise, and hope of life came pouring back in—back into my heart and back into the lyrics. “There must be more than I / See with my naked eye / Some underlying design / Will make things right.”

Turns out our tribe has a lot more in common than songs, and artists, and the Rabbit Room . . . we have hope. And not just hope tonight—but hope right now, today, tomorrow, the next day, until the very end of the end when time stops and there is no more end. I hope this record reminds you of that.

I guess what I mean to say is, Hello from Brooklyn. Ben and I made a new record. We hope you like it.

[Hope Tonight is now available in the Rabbit Room store.]

“Hope Tonight”
by Melanie Penn
from the record Hope Tonight

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


(click through for lyrics)

Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?

Rabbit Room favorite Melanie Penn wrote these kind, necessary words on her blog recently and let us re-post them here. Melanie’s album Wake Up Love (produced by Ben Shive) is available in the store, and we’re certain you’ll love it. –The Proprietor

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I’ve been thinking about words. I’ve heard that the two questions below [...]