Now You Can Tune into ‘Pages’ by Tom Kimmel and Jenny Yates

by Sister Julie Ann on August 1, 2009

tomkimmelheadshot1.jpg The Franciscanized World’s August song of the month is Pages performed by Tom Kimmel and written by Tom Kimmel and Jenny Yates, “a song responsible for changing people’s lives”.The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity applaud Tom Kimmel a sought after teacher and songwriter who has led workshops around the US and in Europe.

Captivating audiences by winning fans and garnering critical acclaim in the worlds of folk, rock and spiritual music, Tom is a soulful and unique singer and performer.

Tom’s award winning songs have been featured in film and television and recorded by the likes of Johnny Cash, Linda Ronstadt, Nanci Griffith, Randy Travis, Shawn Colvin, Dianne Reeves and many, many others.

tomkimmel2.jpgTom Kimmel is a poet and spoken word artist whose poems are featured in poetry and literary journals, and who is a frequent guest author at book festivals and book stores in the South and around the country.Tom is also a street minister and social activist, performing and teaching from coast to coast in traditional and New Thought churches, in therapy and healing  retreats, and for those in need, including hospital patients and prison inmates.   

 Tom’s Comments:

This song, by contrast, was a slow birthing. The first verse came all at once, as I recall? I loved it and sang it over and over? Then there were some more pieces? and a long pause. At some point there was a chorus with several variations. I felt like a blind man feeling my way alng trying this and that sure I was on the right track.                                   One day I showed what I had of it to Jenny Yates and she jumped in, had strong ideas about what was missing, what to keep and what to leave out, and we finished it together. Andrea Zonn did a beautiful job with this on her debut album ‘Love Goes On’.

Lyrics: Pages

Yesterday’s wars

Stack up like old papers on the floor

Pounded  like old knocks upon my door

Breaking like the ocean

Washing through my hands

Changing this ol’ mountain into sand

You know me

By the stories I have made

You know me looking out through boxes and cages

And it’s hard to clearly see what’s right

In ordinary light

Does the truth filter down

Through the ages

We can not see the end

So here we must begin

Tell me what will we write on these pages


Disciplined road

Showing only what it wants to show

Calling when it’s time for us to go

Driven by emotion

Pushing from the past

Running till the spirit’s free at last

You know me

By the stories I have made

You know me looking out through boxes and cages

And it’s hard to clearly see what’s right

In ordinary light

Does the truth filter down

Through the ages

We can not see the end

So here we must begin

Tell me what will we write on these pages


Down through history we race

Across borders and to empty space

We write a chapter, a fable, a line, a trace

Another heart may follow

You know me

By the stories I have made

You know me looking out through boxes and cages

And it’s hard to clearly see what’s right

In ordinary light

Does the truth filter down

Through the ages

We can not see the end

So here we must begin

Tell me what will we write on these pages


For more information see Tom Kimmel’s and Jenny Yates’ websites.


34 thoughts on “Now You Can Tune into ‘Pages’ by Tom Kimmel and Jenny Yates”

  1. Meghan says:

    What a neat song! As I’m discerning what my vocation should be, I am constantly wondering what God will want me to write on these pages of mine.

    What a wonderful discernment song!

  2. Meghan, God and you have already mapped out quite a story. Listen to your heart.

  3. I enjoyed listening to the song of the month. Both the music and the lyrics have a reflective mood to them. I found myself thinking of many of the issues that we are facing in today’s world.

  4. For any literalist listener, this song pleads for reflection on actual pages of a journal. Any good intentioned person after writing possibly a few unique inspirations may question ‘What will I (we) write on these pages’. Indeed, Sister Mariadele is right about the reflective nature of the song. Tom’s voice and the fingerwork on the guitar stir a sense of peace amidst the questioning.

  5. S. Nancy Kinate says:

    Thanks, Tom and Jenny!
    The stirring melody and significant message really moved me, but it is the refrain that “got me” and stayed with me. Keep up the GOoD work!

  6. Sister Kathleen Murphy says:

    The lyrics of this song are something to think about! I couldn’t help but think of the phrase, so common among the people of Hawai’i,”to talk story”. This means to share the ordinary stuff of yourself. The song repeats “…you know me by the stories I have made.” That’s so true of those who have talked story with us, our family, friends, our God. I also love the line, “And it’s hard to clearly see what’s right, in ordinary light…” How blessed are we to have Extraordinary Light, God’s own light to be our guide, should we choose to follow it’s lead!

  7. Sister Pamela Catherine says:

    This song speaks to me of times of transition which are always present among us and within us. Always calling us to let go and start anew on the journey ahead. New journeys can create fear, worries of the unknown, yet through prayer, discipline and perseverance, one can push oneself forth from the old way of life, “Running till the spirits free at last,” as stated by the songwriter. Even though the end cannot be seen and it may not always be easy, we trust in the truth that has lead us thus far keeping in mind that we are always beginners. As Thomas Merton once stated, “We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners all our life.” So may we begin and also remember that throughout our new journeys, we are never alone.

  8. Thanks for your comment, Sister Pamela Catherine. St. Francis of Assisi and Gerard Manley Hopkins were authors that assisted Thomas Merton in some of his ‘life’ transitions. As you implied, music (including this great song ‘Pages’)can also be a source of comfort and direction in discerning the will of God.

  9. Sister Sue Ann Hall says:

    For me Tom’s song expresses a life lived today, my life. I am in the midst of all that is going on around me and it affects me. Yet God is there in the ordinary everyday-ness of my life teaching, encouraging me to walk in His light. Am I open? Am I listening? How will I respond? – gently touching the people God places in my life RIGHT NOW. This is “what I will write on these pages”.

  10. Sister Cecilia and Kara reveal what they ‘have written on these pages’…touching stories of faith and love for others.

  11. Regan says:

    It says that every life has a story. You just have to create it.

  12. Jessica says:

    Very good song.

  13. Katrina says:

    That God will always be there when you fall and he will always be with you.

  14. Jessica says:

    What story am I going to write in my life?

  15. Angela says:

    You can’t go from the beginning to the end. Take it step by step.

  16. Jessica says:

    It tells me there are many pages in a chapter of my life. Live life to the fullest.

  17. Carissa says:

    A peaceful song, but yet uplifting. Like God is always with you no matter what you do…and he knows us better than anyone.

  18. Thanks for your ‘uplifting’ comments. It is good news that you found our website and were moved to hear this great song.

  19. Hannah says:

    Jesus made the world good and we have to make good choices to form our own history.

  20. Claire says:

    we should think about the future but still enjoy the present.

  21. Whitney says:

    God can fill your life with love but you have to let him in.

  22. Shawnna says:

    Keep going forward. Don’t look back.

  23. Sarah says:

    God makes music as a way to touch us in a way that words can’t.

  24. Stephanie says:

    God sends messages to me through music, and gives me things to consider.

  25. Gaby says:

    Thoughts that came to mind…good memories with my friends and family, how God made such a beautiful world.

  26. Kristin says:

    You need to choose what you want written on your pages.

  27. Father DePaul Sobotka, OFM, gave a homily today that reminded all of us to keep our memories alive and to gather at the Table of the Lord, a table of remembrance. ‘Pages’ is one of those memory in the making songs. It calls for being reflective and pro-active in choosing what we will remember in our lives.

    Thanks for all the comments.

  28. Payton says:

    Yes, sometimes I feel I am stuck in a cage.

  29. Lauren says:

    Never give up

  30. Taylor says:

    In life,you must listen to yourself, and what God whispers to ya. Trust what he is putting you through, and BELIEVE. He speaks through the vocals of other people, leaving you little reminders.

  31. Marie says:

    My life is a story, my own, and it is up to me to choose what I put down in it. It is sometimes hard to choose what you should write in it. God knows exactly what you are going to write and helps you edit your script when you are done.

  32. Christine says:

    Let God help you.

  33. The apostles (in particular St. Bartholomew on this day)help us to remember that being conformed to Christ is never accomplished once for all and look at the ‘pages’ of their lives in the Gospels, etc. that continue to impact ours!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  34. Nhut Ho says:

    I like to listen to the song of the month. It have the good lyrics and smooth tone. The song touch you someway in life. Every life have a story. Peaceful, never give up. God always be with you.

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