Clean Edge of Change…as the end of the semester approaches…

by Sister Julie Ann on May 1, 2009

carrie_woods_color1.jpgRecently ranked ‘a cool song’ in a Franciscanized World survey, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity present Carrie Newcomer’s The Clean Edge of Change. At an emotional time when the end of the semester calls for vocation, career or summer transitions, Newcomer’s Rounder release, The Geography of Light, is about navigating and exploring the appearance of light and shadow in our lives.

The Geography of Light

newcomer.jpgIt is a layered work. On one level, the listener experiences these types of connections through Newcomer’s lyrics, which explore life with a progressive spiritual sensibility. In a world that encourages us to move faster and think bigger, Newcomer invites the listener to slow down and reflect on the small things that make life worthwhile.

As Rolling Stone wrote, “Newcomer asks all the right questions and refuses to settle for easy answers.” On another level, the listener hears a skillfully arranged and performed collection of folk roots tracks, with Appalachian and classical influences. Newcomer’s style is straightforward and accessible. Overall, she is not afraid to take on serious subjects, and does so with a healthy measure of good humor and self-awareness.

carrie_portrait_th.jpgRecorded and produced by Newcomer and David Weber at Airtime Studios, The Geography of Light is Newcomer’s eleventh release on Rounder, with prior albums including The Age of Possibility, The Gathering of Spirits, the Betty’s Diner collection and her last album Regulars & Refugees. As her most intimate and lush work yet, The Geography of Light results from working closely with a core of exceptional musicians, including Gary Walters on piano, Chris Wagoner on violin, mandolin, dobro and ukulele, Mary Gaines on cello, Jeff Hedback on bass, Jim Brock on percussion, Keith Skooglund on guitar and Krista Detor on background vocals. At the center is Newcomer’s adept guitar work and resonant voice, the Austin Statesman called “as rich as Godiva chocolate.” From the haunting fiddle hook of “There is a Tree” to the string quartet accompaniment of “Lazarus” to the deep acoustic groove of “Where You Been”, this album is both timeless and contemporary. Also contributing to the project is Hugh Syme, whose artwork was designed with a sense of magical realism reinforcing the idea of expecting miracles in common places.

“I believe it is when we are in crisis that we are most open to change and positive growth.  Of course, no one welcomes crisis, but during those difficult times there is an opportunity for reassessment and transformation.  “The Clean Edge of Change” was written about what it feels like on the other side of a difficult time period.  The song acknowledges that sometimes there is no getting around a problem, you can’t get over it, or under it, or even around it — the only way out is through.  But, when we emerge on the other side of that difficult time period, it feels like the calm after a storm or the deep sigh after a good cry.  There is a clean edge to it. You don’t know exactly what life will look like from here on out, you just know that it will be different.”    -Carrie Newcomer


Lyrics: The Clean Edge of Change

First there is the folding in,
To gather light and dark to you.
The journey down so far that it,
Has nowhere else to go but through.
I thought if I tried hard enough,
With endless motion like a bribe,
As if by this the will of God,
Could be bent to my version of right.
What happens next is nearly weightless,
The opening where we stand breathless,
On the clean edge of change.
She cannot live beneath my wings,
No more with he see seventy.
How many mornings did I wake,
And wished that it’d be you I’d see.
Bridge: And who am I, who makes this sound,
Who rode the shadow all the way down?
To the Clean Edge of Change
In the clear space of knowing that
There’s as many names for dark as for light,
I am choosing mostly now to speak,
The ones that get me through the night.
But always,with humility,
With a worn now but a grateful heart.
Having sang so recently,
Full-throated In the dark.
First there is the folding in,
To gather light and dark to you,
The journey down so far that it,
Has nowhere else to go but through.

The Clean Edge of Change © 2008 Carrie Newcomer Music (BMI), Bug Music Publishing. Recording © 2008 Rounder Records Corp.

35 thoughts on “Clean Edge of Change…as the end of the semester approaches…”

  1. Rhonda says:

    Great Song..Sometimes there is nowhere else to go but through..

  2. Rhonda, you are right. We can only know the will of God THROUGH experience. Thomas Merten wrote: ‘If I find myself I find God, and if I find God then I will find myself.’ Thanks for letting us know you found meaning in the song.

  3. Sister Ruth Ann says:

    We go in the direction of our vision. If our vision is strong and compelling, we go in this direction. When we become more aware of the good things people are doing in the world today, our vision keeps expanding and more and more possibilities keep emerging. As Christians, the presence of God in our hearts gives a vision of unlimited possibilities for his Reign on Earth. Knowing that God is present deep within the hearts of all humanity and within all of nature gives us the needed energy to move forward with confidence.

  4. Karina says:

    the song really talks about how people need to give up things to devote their life to the church. and even though things have to be given up, the people still live a happy life

  5. Briana says:

    This song really shows what is needed to be a sister! I like the line “She cannot live beneath my wings” because it shows that we have to be the change we want to see in the world, and not rely on other people, just on Him!

  6. Nella says:

    Listening to this song reminded me of what my great aunt had told me when I asked her why she became a sister. She had told me that she needed to go through the experience to make hereself closer to God. I respect all those who have made that choice.

  7. Sarah says:

    The song of the month,The Clean Edge of Change, was a very inspirational song. I liked the part when it said “We have nowhere else to go but through”.

  8. Claire Krummel says:

    I found the song and its lyrics to be very inspiring, and i liked that the song was fast and powerful. My favorite lyric was the part that said”Nowhere to go but through”

  9. Tonya says:

    I loved this song!!!! it had a great message in it. i love music and i like how the sisters have that in their website.

  10. Emily says:

    I thought that this song was very inspirational. My favorite part of the song was “rode the shadow all the way down.” I thought that; that shows that you are able to make a choice to follow or lead.

  11. Emily says:

    “The Clean Edge of Change” is a very moving and emotional song for me. It tells how in order to move forward with your life, you must face the challenges that stand in your way. The Lord makes this “change” easier when we put total faith in His love.

  12. seo says:

    I liked the idea “There’s as many names for dark as for light” It reminded me that there’s just as much bad in this world as good, which is why it’s so important for us to stick together and push through.

  13. Mary Bettag says:

    The lyrics to this song that say, “Has nowhere else to go but through,” is very appropriate for a religious song. That is because we are Jesus’ hands, feet, mouth, ears. He lives through us.

  14. Jenny says:

    I thought this was a very inspirational song. I thought it was true when the song said there’s nowhere else to go but through.

  15. Molly says:

    Well, when we listened to the song, our backround was the random designs and I thought it was really cool that everytime a new picture came up there was always a circle of light that I noticed and it reminded me of the light or Christ and allthough it is hard to see you have to find it because like the song said, “there’s nowhere else to go but through.”

  16. Emily says:

    The song told me that no matter how bad everything is, you can start over. The song told me that I should be myself and face my problems, because God will help me get through them.

  17. April says:

    I think we all have a point in life where we want to change. This song makes me think about my relationship with God and that it needs to change.

  18. Emily says:

    I think this song is inspirational. The begining mentions a tough journey, and then how you can overcome the journey and become closer to God along the way.

  19. Michelle says:

    I feel as if this song is a good way to see in a new light. I think my favorite line in the song is “There’s as many names for dark as for light” That line shows us that we have to look for the good because bad things are everywhere, even if we don’t know it.

  20. Tiffany says:

    This song is extremely inspirational! I especially love how it emphasizes the fact that WE have to be the change in the world. We cannot sit around and wait for other people to make the change.

  21. Chrissy says:

    I felt this song was very inspiring. It showed me that we have to make changes for the better and be open to new life. I thought new life was symbolized through light and the light symbolized that we have to be open to God and his plan for us, as well as living up to our faith.

  22. Kristen says:

    I thought this song was very inspirational because of the lyrics that are saying that you just have to keep going. I personally liked the line “There’s as many names for dark as for light”

  23. Briana says:

    I found this song to be helpful with showing what things are the most important in our lives and how we can make sacrafices to make more room for God and our faith!! It helped to show that we need to push through the hard times in our lives.

  24. Jade says:

    the song’s message is definitely true about how during times of crisis we find ourselves turning to God more. i had a family crisis and during this i became more aware of God and that his will was what would be best.

  25. Impressive sharings after just one opportunity to listen to this powerful song! It is evident that your own personal encounters with the living person of Jesus Christ assist you in meeting the challenge of light and darkness in your own lives.

    May the Lord bless you as you confidently walk through new opportunities this summer, and each day for the rest of your lives!

  26. Jenny says:

    i really like the song. it shows the tough journey that you have to go through spiritually

  27. Kerri Eis says:

    The phrase ‘no where else to go but through’ I think everyone can relate to their life..i love the quote.

  28. Lauren says:

    The movie that played during the song was really cool because it followed the song and it showed “nowhere else to go but through.” I believe this song shows that we need to keep trying and not give up.

  29. Justine says:

    That your journey never ends. That you can learn from the journeys you take.

  30. Hannah says:

    This song motivates me to become a better person and stand on clean edge of change. Becoming closer to God is important to me and this song inspires me to push through all the hard times with God by my side.

  31. Molly says:

    Great peaceful song. Helped me relax.

  32. Macy says:

    This song is beautiful and well expressed.

  33. Rachel says:

    I really enjoyed this song. I felt that the song showed that you have go through God and have him in your life.

  34. Sam Kane says:

    This song is really meaningful and I think it is a great song talking about working hard and what is really important in life. I thought the presentation was very informational. I think TEC would be awesome to be apart of. Sister Jane is famous being on this website; she is the best Chemistry teacher ever.

  35. Sister Jane is blessed to share each of her school hours with all of you at Roncalli. May the Lord give you peace as you see the ‘edge’ of the academic year coming. And may your summer jobs and other experiences (e.g. softball, babysitting, working at Festival, fishing in Canada) open you to the wonder of God’s abiding presence.

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