Six or so years ago now, my dear dear friend, Billy Somerville, had a side project going of the music he was writing that wasn't "corporate worship" related. The moniker that he went by was Cannonwill. Aside from the fact that he was (and is still) one of my very good friends, I loved his music. Just absolutely loved it. He wrote the song "Whither Thou Goest" at the end of 2005, perhaps the beginning of 2006. My iTunes file of the song shows a "Date Modified" of January 19, 2006 at 2:41 a.m.
Through a series of circumstances that perhaps one day I'll go into more detail about, Billy ended up living in Brooklyn, New York and is now well on his way to a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology. The smarty pants. Watching him go from a bright-eyed bushy tailed brilliant worship pastor/leader who basically started this church to an almost-in-a-couple-of-years Dr. Somerville in six years has been interesting and wonderful to say the least.
The last time I was in New York, back in February, he and I met up for breakfast before my flight home. We talked about a lot stuff. Some good things. Some painful things. You know, like you do when you talk with a good friend. We're both in such dramatically different places in our lives; so much has happened to both us. I don't know if I can speak for Billy, but I know that I find it so comforting to have a friend whom I've known for...14 years now? that has watched me walk through all kinds of wonderful moments and horrible moments and everything in between. I say all that to say that listening to Billy talk about the very different place that he is in his life brought back memories of the beautiful music he used to make. I don't know that he ever really plays like he used to. It's something that makes me profoundly sad on a lot of different levels.
I got on my plane that day with his song Whither Thou Goest looping through my head.
Here is Billy's original version of the song:
It stayed with me for a couple of weeks, sashaying it's way around my brain, before I finally couldn't take it anymore and I messaged him, and asked if I could record it.
"Messing around with Whither Thou Goest for my album. Are you cool with that? Also, I've added more chords in the verses. Is that okay"
It's was somewhere around 1 a.m so I was surprised when he wrote back a few minutes later,
"Yes, of course! Do it to it."
So I sat down and banged this out at 1:30 a.m.
I'm seriously considering putting this on my new record. (Yes, my new record. I can't believe it either but I've got some song babies that need to be born. They've been gestating for WAY TOO LONG.)
Here is my version of Whither Thou Goest:
Whither thou goest, I will go. Where you lead, I will follow.
You're a pillar of cloud by day, A pillar of fire by night, My eyes are trained to see you. I am listening for your voice. I've come too far now To be led astray. My ears long to hear you.
Lead on, lead on, I am right behind.
So, the question is...what do you guys think? I know, I know it's rough. And badly recorded, just try to listen past that if you don't mind.
Thanks for listening. And reading. Also, do me a favour, if you ever meet, or happen to know Billy already, tell him to get back to the guitar; back to the piano, and to not stop writing. I'd appreciate it.
"It is not only one person's work, it's really a partnership and collaboration during all these years." - Christo