Woman, Wife, Mother—Introduction to Musical Presentation
this book of
songs and poems to
I am but
whom I want to
I would like to give special thanks to my family for the love they share with me, which continues to help shape my life. My sweet husband, David, and our eleven children: Ali, Jonathan, Andrew, Ben, Annie, Kat, Elizabeth, Rebekah, Angela, Matt, and Michelle, and all of our amazing sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren (26 so far!)
My faithful parents (now deceased), Robert DeRell and Birdell Gillespie Litster and all their posterity, which includes my seven siblings Laurie, Jaynie. Joe, Greg, Bill, David, and Robin and their spouses, 50 grandchildren and their spouses, and an ever-increasing number of great-grandchildren.
I give great gratitude to my husband’s parents, Heard and Alice Fales, who raised such a wonderful son in addition to his two siblings, Linda and Steve. I love and admire them and their spouses and posterity, too!
He is rich
I would also like to say thank-you to a few of my long-ago friends from Northridge, California for their encouragement along the way when I first started writing my songs and poetry:
Nancee Cope, who first suggested that I should compile all my poems into a book someday.
Becky Close, who taught me much about songwriting and wrote many of my original piano accompaniments.
Sandy Griffiths, who shared her musical talents with me and gave me confidence by singing my song “Love, Love, Love One Another,” to many audiences.
Christine Wickens, who sang in my original "Woman, Wife, Mother" trio and had four little children the same ages of my first four little children, whom we both cheerfully juggled during rehearsals.
Sally Smith, who was one of my role models for teaching me how to live by the Spirit and was the inspiration for my song, “A Song to Sing” and poem, “My Friend.”
And to my Londonderry, New Hampshire friend, Catherine Clark, who insisted that someday I must compile my Woman, Wife, Mother poems not just into any book, but into a very beautiful book, which I am working on right now!
Many years ago, in 1976, I was asked to present a lesson on "family unity" to a group of women in my church. Because I’ve always believed in the great power of music and its ability to touch lives in ways that words alone cannot do, I decided to write a song—and then a second song—during that month to use in my lesson about family unity! At the time, I was twenty-four years old and was married with three small children. With little musical training, but an intense desire to communicate my feelings, I wrote the lyrics and melodies for “Woman, Wife, Mother” and “Love, Love, Love One Another.” After writing and presenting these two songs at church, the idea came to me to someday write a complete musical presentation, combining my songs and poetry, on the theme of understanding and balancing the complex roles of being a woman, wife, and mother. I wanted something simple. I have never felt women needed to hear lectures on how to improve. Women simply need to be inspired to become their best selves.
I wrote most of these songs and poems from 1976 – 1986. Being neither a true songwriter nor a poet, I developed my own style along the way. My earliest songs were all extremely long and conveyed a musical message that was full of all the deep feelings of my heart, but not necessarily musically correct. Most of my poems had a “numerical” format, which I continue to follow, except when all the words to a poem happen to flow quickly into my mind, or if I want to create a certain shape with the words of the poem. After my first ten years of writing poetry and songs, I had the strong impression it was time to stop and compile my writings into this musical presentation. I completed this task while living in Caldwell, Idaho after my eighth child was born. Two years later, after moving to Londonderry, New Hampshire, I had this musical presentation performed for the first time.
Forty Years Later
I began re-typing this presentation in 2016, forty years after writing my first two songs. The ideas I believed to be true as a young woman, wife, and mother, I now knew to be true. My eleven children are all adults, many of whom are married with children of their own. I feel so blessed that I could realize my dream to have a big family. My husband and I are more in love now than the day we were married. We are grateful we have been able to work through all the difficult challenges we faced as a family. I am content with whom I have become as a woman. I'm grateful for the gifts and talents the Lord has blessed me to develop over the years—especially for the gift of unconditional love—not only for my own family, but for all people. I look forward to a future of more stretching, growing, and becoming. I truly love being a woman, wife, mother, and grandmother! Looking back over the years, I have gained a great appreciation for my own life and the lives of all women. This I know for sure—we are all much better than we think we are.
My two poems at the beginning of this book, “Woman Defined” and “Childhood Dreams,” were written after I finished the project of re-typing this presentation. It was then I realized how hard I had been on myself throughout my life. Instead of seeing all the good I had been doing, I often focused on my weaknesses, failings, and shortcomings as a woman, a wife, and a mother. Suddenly I saw myself as the Lord had been seeing me all along, and I realized I was doing okay. I then caught an eternal glimpse of all women as seen by the Lord and gained a spiritual witness that ALL women are “bright, beautiful, brave, bold, and benevolent.” The power is within each of us to be the best we can be as we hold onto our childhood dreams and work to bring them into reality one day at a time.
The poems in each section of this presentation are put in an order that moves from the idealistic to the realistic, which reflects my own feelings, personal growth, and changes in relationships that I have experienced as a woman, a wife, and a mother. It is my hope that when you read this collection of songs and poetry, or listen to this musical presentation, you may come to understand your own intrinsic uniqueness and have the courage to overcome all the obstacles that will arise in your life. Gladly I share them with you.
Bright. Beautiful. Brave. Bold. Benevolent.
Intelligent or quick-witted
Possessing qualities that give great pleasure to see, hear, or think about
Exhibiting courage or courageous endurance
Imaginative; beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action
Charitable; desiring to help other
excited about life
Suggestions for Performance
The minimum number of women needed for this musical presentation is seven— three poetry readers, three soloists, and one pianist.
My idea is to have three women represent the voices of the woman, the wife, and the mother as in a “Reader’s Theater” type setting. These women will take turns reading each poem from her section in its numerical order. The first reader (Woman) reads one poem, the second reader (Wife) reads one poem, and then the third reader (Mother) reads one poem. After each woman reads three poems, a song will be sung.
The songs call for a 1st Soprano, 2nd Soprano, and an Alto. Each woman will sing one solo plus participate in two trios. At the end of the program, during the last song (A Song to Sing/Born to be a Queen-Reprise) a women’s chorus or choir can be invited to sing with the soloists if you want to involve more women in the presentation. This can include the poetry readers if they like to sing.
While the women read the poems, background music can be used from the song that will be following that group of poems if desired. This can be played on the piano or other musical instruments. Individual creative dramatization is welcome, but remember to keep it simple. What is most important is to get this musical message of hope and enlightenment out to as many women as possible.
Please contact me for more information about the order of the musical presentation.