Find Out from Chuck E. Costa ‘Where the Songs Come From’

by Sister Julie Ann on July 1, 2009

chuckthumb1.jpgThe Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity’s July-featured songwriter is modern day troubadour, Charles E. Costa in Where the Songs Come From.

 About Chuck…

Chuck was raised in New York City, part of an Italian family with a mother from Norway, which may be partly responsible for the creative breadth of Chuck’s musical expression.

After receiving a degree in philosophy from the University of Colorado and studying with poet Lorna Dee Cervantes, Chuck left Colorado to play music in the Northeast.

With his dulcet voice and emotive lyrics, Chuck has grown into a singer/songwriter with a unique and honest voice without any pretentious static. He is recognized as the 2009 Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcaser, 2008 Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Winner; 2007 Kerrville NewFolk Finalist (TX); 2007 Telluride Troubadour 3rd place (CO); and 2007 Solarfest Winner (VT).

He has shared the stage with such diverse nationally touring acts as: Rosanne Cash, The Weepies, Pete Seeger, Josh Ritter, Dar Williams, Peter Case, The Samples, Andrew Bird to name a few.

chuckthumb4.jpgOffering songwriting workshops for kids, Chuck taps into the incredible creative minds of kids and co-writes songs with all of their help and some quite amazing results.

Chuck has released three albums to date. Where the Songs Come From was recorded at Signature Sounds Studio and released in 2008. His latest ‘At the Drawing Board’ was released May 25, 2009.


Where the Song Comes From

I’m gliding through a tunnel of sycamore trees.

Somehow they seem more alive with no leaves.

The street was named Rose.

It’s off to Grandma’s house I go.

I’ve got a book of paperbacks

a suitcase of photographs

Get me from there to here

They’re the train

I’m the engineer.

I swallowed a red lego when I was 5.

I prayed. “Please God don’t let me die.”

At least not ’till they come home I don’t want to go alone.

I survived. Learned to play the saxaphone,

the piano and the baritone

and after Grandpa died,

I searched the basement for his old baseball cards

Instead I found this great big red guitar

And learned how to play

I’ve got a bookcase of paperbacks

a suitcase of photographs

Get me from there to here

They’re the train. I’m the engineer.

Gonna suck the marrow from the bone

Squeeze the blood from a stone

Be patient & I won’t run to find where the songs come from

7 thoughts on “Find Out from Chuck E. Costa ‘Where the Songs Come From’”

  1. Sister Kathleen says:

    At first glance the lyrics of this song remind me of how some of my little students write when they first begin. They just put down the “big thoughts” and leave out all the little pieces in between. Somehow we teachers can get stuck on that little in between stuff and fail to focus on the big thoughts. That’s how life goes–some big happenings surrounded by little inconsequential blips. I guess that’s how the song of our life gets composed. God plants the big elements, we and our fellow travelers provide the little stuff and the song begins to be sung!

  2. Spoken like a true kindergarten teacher, Sister Kathleen. The song reminded me of the simple phrasing of St. Francis’ The Praises of God– ‘You are the holy Lord God Who does wonderful things…You are Great and Wonderful Lord, Almighty God, Merciful Savior.’

  3. Maggie McConnaha says:

    This is song reminded me of connecting our daily lives with our spirtual growth in Christ. The line “I searched the basement for baseball cards, but instead I found a big red guitar”, for me means when we go looking for something we end up finding God along the way. It comes as a surprise, and sometimes a shock. I’m very glad I took the time to listen to it.

  4. My heart found a ‘home’ in this verse of the song, too, Maggie. After visiting one of our Sister’s parents’ home recently, I was reminded of how much photographs, unique items passed on through the generations, etc. are all part of family identity. Chuck’s lyrics (and that read between the lines) proclaims some profound truth. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Sister Angela says:

    I found this a very delightful song. It flowed easily and had a message that appealed to me. Chuck really revealed a lot about himself as he sang about where his songs were coming from. I could sense the strong and positive ties he had with his Grandparents. He drew me right into his memories and I found myself reflecting back on my owm memories. The melody even had a dreamy reminiscence to it.

  6. Awesome song! Chuck is so smart and talented! God Bless him.

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