Annie Sander
music

after, single release

after

by Annie Sander and Tom Vitacco

Verse 1:
Six months to a year
Was all he could bare to hear
Before he faced his children and his wife
No more baseball games
Or working 24/7 days
With someday dreams of living the easy life

Pre-Chorus:
And in a moment, things turn white to gray
And in a moment his whole world was never quite the same

Chorus:
How do we deal with after?
How do we carry on?
If joy comes in the morning
Why does all our hope seem gone?

And what do we do tomorrow,
When today has changed our lives?
How do we face the sorrow?
How do we make it right?
How do we deal with after?

Verse 2:
A mother waits up for her boy
With open arms and tender joy
But greets a man with badge at the door tonight
Johnny never made it home
He took his life feeling all alone
Thinking a gun would make everything alright.

Pre-Chorus:
And in a moment, things turn white to gray
And in a moment her whole world was never quite the same

 

 

Chorus:
How do we deal with after?
How do we carry on?
If joy comes in the morning
Why does all our hope seem gone?

And what do we do tomorrow?
When today has changed our lives?
How do we face the sorrow?
How do we make it right?
How do we deal with after?

Bridge:
You have told us take heart
And You know that it’s hard
In this world we will have troubles

You have told us these things
So that we may find peace
‘Cause You have overcome
You have overcome
You have overcome
The world!

Final Chorus:
He’s our strength to carry on
Joy comes in the morning
When all our hope seems gone

And we can face tomorrow
When today has changed our lives
We can face the sorrow
He will make it right
This is how we deal with after

brighter day album

 

brighter day

by Annie Sander and Paul Langford

I’m leaving the past behind me
I’m chasing the clouds away
Good-bye to the pain and sorrow, hello to a brighter day

I’m breaking the chains that bind me
I’m living a brand new way
So long to a gray tomorrow, hello to a brighter day

You freed me from the darkness
I’m seeing clearly now
You’re here, seeing me through and
You come and lift me up somehow

I’m leaving the past behind me
I’m chasing the clouds away
Good-bye to the pain and sorrow, hello to a brighter day

I’m breaking the chains that bind me
I’m living a brand new way
So long to a gray tomorrow, hello to a brighter day

Letting go of all the old ways
Holding on to something more
You’re reaching out a hand to lead me
I’m walking through that open door

Sunshine, blue skies today
Sunshine, blue skies today
Sunshine, blue skies today
Every day, it’s on my face, brighter day

I’m leaving the past behind me
I’m chasing the clouds away
Good-bye to the pain and sorrow, hello to a brighter day

I’m breaking the chains that bind me
I’m living a brand new way
So long to a gray tomorrow, hello to a brighter day

Brighter day
Brighter day
Brighter day…..

This song is for anyone who is human and faces the day to day pull of falling into old destructive habits that lead us nowhere good.  The idea of a strong hand reaching us out of the depths and bringing us into a good and bright place is so comforting.  I liken it to the feeling you have when your face feels the warmth of the sun after consecutive days of cold.  Like on a bright day; I personally feel more joy, more hope, healthier and happy.

you go ahead of me

by Ruben Estevez and Don Mukala

Sometimes I see the storm clouds in the distance
It makes me want to turn around and run
Sometimes I smell the rain that rides the North Wind
Before it ever comes

You go ahead of me
To fight my daily battles
You know my every need
Before I ever pray
Your love will take the lead
And I’ll follow in the shadows
It’s clear to see, You go ahead of me

Some say that you must brave the bite of winter
Set aside your fears and learn to fight
But I am much too frail to face another
Cold and lonely night

You go ahead of me
To fight my daily battles
You know my every need
Before I ever pray
Your love will take the lead
And I’ll follow in the shadows
It’s clear to see, You go ahead of me

And as I travel down this road of faith
And face the unknown
I have come to believe that I’m not alone

You go ahead of me
To fight my daily battles
You know my every need
Before I ever pray
Your love will take the lead
And I’ll follow in the shadows
It’s clear to see
It’s clear to see
It’s clear to see, You go ahead of me

Go ahead of me
Huh, yeah – go ahead of me
You go ahead of me

Several years ago, I heard a scratch recording of this song by a good friend and one of the best male singers I know, Marshall Hall.  As I was thinking about what songs I’d like to have on my album project, this one was a top contender, but I always knew I could never replicate Marshall’s soulful/ballad arrangement.  He’s a gospel machine! So, my friend Paul and I took a stab at a new arrangement that would suit my voice.  “You Go Ahead of Me” is one of my favorite songs on the album.  It’s artfully written with great imagery of what a life of faith can look like when we lean into the truth that God goes before us in all things. When we live out this truth; life is so much more “do-able.”

october

by Annie Sander, Paul Langford, John Aiello

You left so suddenly
I could barely catch my breath
Didn’t get to say goodbye, how was I to understand
The years have come and gone, but your memory remains
How could I ever forget you? You are life within my veins
And the days that hurt the most, yeah the days that hurt the most are the cold October days.

I wish you could’ve seen my babies’ eyes
Or the days when I just laughed until I cried
If only you could be here now, you’d know the truth
That this life is so worth living
And there’s love that’s worth receiving
And there’s a God whose arms are waiting, waiting open for you

There’s been so many nights you have met me in my dreams
We pick up where we left off as if you didn’t leave
But the dreams quickly fade and the morning sun breaks through
And its rays re-break my heart, when I wake to missing you
And no mornings hurt me more, oh no mornings hurt me more, than October mornings do.

I wish I could’ve seen your life unfold
To see who you’ve become, whose hand you’d hold
If only you could be here now, you’d know the truth
That this life is so worth living
And there’s love that’s worth receiving
And there’s a God whose arms are waiting, waiting open for you

I was enjoying a peaceful, sunny morning outside my father’s patio in Scottsdale Arizona when I was aware of an empty chair positioned next to me as if it were pulled up by a family member ready for a deep chat.  I instantly thought of my late brother Michael and all the things I wish I could say to him if he were sitting in that chair next to me.  “October” is the month Michael passed away, and it is always a painful memory of his loss.  This song is truly a conversation between my brother and I – a song that lay dormant in my heart for many years but I knew would eventually need to be spoken.

my jesus i love thee/you’re love is deep (medley)

by Suzanne Bussey-Kirksey, Dan Collins, Jami Smith

My Jesus I Love Thee I Know Though Art Mine
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign
My precious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus tis now

 Your love is deep, Your love is high
Your love is long, Your love is wide
Your love is deep, Your love is high
Your love is long, Your love is wide

 Your love is deeper than my view of grace
Higher than this worldly place
Longer than this road I’ve traveled
Wider than the gap You filled
Deeper than my view of grace
Higher than this worldly place
Longer than this road I’ve traveled
Wider than the gap You filled

My Jesus, I love Thee
I know Thou art mine
For Thee, all the follies of sin I resign, yeah
My precious Redeemer
My Savior art Thou
If ever I loved Thee my Jesus tis now

Who shall separate us
Who shall separate us from Your love
Nothing can separate us
Nothing can separate us from Your love

One Sunday at church, I was asked to sing a simple children’s song called, “Your Love is Deep.”  I sang it with about 100 children on stage and an auditorium filled with families and extended families.  I remember thinking to myself, though this is a children’s song, the truth of it is so good for my soul- and I’m an adult! Paul and I had so much fun thinking about tying in the classic hymn, “My Jesus I Love Thee” as a natural response to the unfathomable love of God.  The result is this medley!

stay

by Annie Sander and Paul Langford

I’m prone to wander and lose my way
You say You’ll guide me
Your hand will lead me home

When the storm winds blow and I’m losin’ faith
You say You’re with me
Be still and know

I choose to stay and be open
And not run away from You
Though I want to keep hiding
The darkness I have inside
Need Your light to come shining
Pouring in on me
I choose to stay

When I’m all alone, this world seems cold
You walk beside me
I’ll find warmth in Your arms

When the frenzy of fear consumes my mind
Your voice it stills me
You restore my soul

I choose to stay and be open
And not run away from You
Though I want to keep hiding
The darkness I have inside
Need Your light to come shining
Pouring in on me
I choose to stay

Under Your wing is where I want to be
The cleft of Your rock, I will find peace
Close to You, Lord is where You shelter me
And so today
I choose to stay

I have been a Christian for a long time.  And, I’m still stunned at my own aptitude to sin.  The only difference in me is that I’m now fully aware Christ died for my sin.  Despite my feeble attempts to live a life worthy of the call, I’ve got nothin’!  I worry, I live with fear, I lack faith, and I disappoint God.  But, it doesn’t stop me from trying to stay near Him.  I wrote this song almost as a reminder to me to stay the course.  To stay near the One who can direct my path better than anyone/or any loud voice in my ear. 

 

take me low

by Annie Sander and Paul Langford

You came as a lowly babe when you could have declared Your splendor
And You gave a perfect love, even though You received far less
And You bled on a cross Holy and King to save the life of man,
Save the likes of me
So take me down, down to the depths of my soul
And wash me clean, of all this depravity
Come meet me here, show me the power of Your way
Lord, take me low today
You lived as a mortal man, forsaking Your heavenly glory
And You, reached out with loving hands to the ones who received no love
And You bowed on your knees to wash our feet,
And showed Your love to man
Showed Your love for me, for me

So take me down, down to the depths of my soul
And wash me clean, of all this depravity
Come meet me here, show me the power of Your way
Lord, take me low today
Take me down take me low down to where You go
Take me down take me low down to where You go
Take me down take me low down to where You go

Take me down take me low down to where You go

So take me down, down to the depths of my soul
And wash me clean, of all this depravity
Come meet me here, show me the power of Your way
Lord, take me low
Take me low
Take me low…….today

This is a song I wrote in the wee hours of the morning after an argument with my husband.  I’m not proud to admit it, but the truth is…I didn’t want to forgive him. I wanted to hold onto my need to be right; at least for a little while.  I tossed in bed trying to ignore the small whisper in my ear…I was holding onto my pride.  I couldn’t sleep that night and I realized the Holy Spirit had some work to do in me.  I sat at my computer…and proceeded to write about how Christ had every reason to be proud; He is the King of Kings, sinless, blameless, and pure.  But, instead, He took the posture of a humble servant.  Throughout Christ’s life he served others, loved others and died a brutal death for others.  He is the most excellent example of how to live and love perfectly.

you are there (psalm 139)

by Annie Sander and Paul Langford

Lord You search me and You know me
You’re familiar with all my ways
You go behind me and before me
And Your hand will guide my days
Where can I run from Your Spirit?
Where can I run from Your hand?
If I climb to the heavens or the depths become my bed

You are there
You are there
And Your mighty hand will hold me
You are there
You are there
And the darkness cannot bind me
You are my God through all my days, and I’ll praise Your name forever
Thank you Lord, thank You Lord, You are there

You knit me together
In Your secret and holy place
I praise You and thank You
I’m fearfully wonderfully made
Precious are Your thoughts Oh God
They outnumber the grains of sand
You created the heavens and you know the hearts of man
You are there
You are there
And Your mighty hand will hold me
You are there
You are there
And the darkness cannot bind me
You are my God through all my days, and I’ll praise Your name forever
Thank you Lord, thank You Lord, You are there

Comforter and Shelter, Father
Lover of my soul
Alpha and Omega, Father
You’re faithful and true and my hope is found in You

You are there
You are there
And Your mighty hand will hold me
You are there
You are there
And the darkness cannot bind me
You are my God through all my days, and I’ll praise Your name forever
Thank you Lord, thank You Lord, You are there
Thank you Lord, thank You Lord, You are there

This song rolled right off my pen as I was spending some quiet time with God.  I was reading Psalm 139 and the words, “You are there” jumped right off the page. I had never noticed the repetition of these words before.  But this particular day, they were “screaming” at me.  So, I took this opportunity to start writing….and I never stopped.  This song was written in a single 30 minute sitting and it is my belief one completely inspired by the word of God…. 

this offering

by Annie Sander and Paul Langford

Oh let the world see this hunger inside of me
Want to serve You with all of me, all of me
Now you brought me to this humble place
All I want to do is seek your face
You deserve the best of me, best of me

And I, want to give you my heart
And I, want to give you my dreams
‘Cause You, You want this offering
The best that I can bring
So I’m giving, I’m giving You all of me

Lord I surrender, my hands are open to Your plans
I’ll give you everything I can, everything
When I’m taking in my final breath
I want to hear You say, “well done” my friend
My friend

And I, want to give you my heart
And I, want to give you my dreams
‘Cause You, You want this offering
The best that I can bring
So I’m giving, I’m giving You all of me

All of me, I’ll spare nothing for You
All of me, Lord here’s my life
All of me, I’m laying down before You
Hear this song I sing, to You my King!

And I, want to give you my heart
And I, want to give you my dreams
‘Cause You, You want this offering
The best that I can bring
So I’m giving, I’m giving You all of me

When God gives us good gifts, sometimes He tests us to see if we love Him more than the good things He gives us.  Abraham was tested by God to sacrifice his only son, whom he loved.  And, by faith, Abraham trusted God in this impossible request.  God has tested me, at times in my ministry, to put my voice on the altar.  I’ve had to wrestle with tough questions like, “Do I find my identity more in Christ or in my vocal abilities?” I concluded, God wants my devoted heart more than any gift I can bring Him. This song was my way of responding to God’s “test.” 

reason

by Annie Sander and Paul Langford

Baby, you’re the reason why I sing
You touch the deepest part of me, every day
And maybe, you’re the reason for reason
Your shining face, it lights my day, in every way

You’re in my heart now
I’m never letting go
My days have new meaning to me
I never knew just how good it could be
Until I found you (and you found me)
My love is yours now
Forever and evermore
With you is where I’m longing to be
The joy you bring you’re a blessing to me
I’m gonna love you – eternally

Baby, I’m a fool for your love
I’m wrapped around you and
You fit like a glove
And maybe, you’re an angel in my sky
You saved this heart from breaking apart
And your sweet love is why

 I’m so grateful to be a mom!  I couldn’t imagine what life would be like without the gift of my daughter and son.  They are God’s greatest gifts and my greatest accomplishments.  I simply had to write how happy my heart is for these precious ones…

you’re the best thing that ever happened to me

by Jim Weatherly

I’ve had my share of life’s ups and downs
But fate’s been kind, the downs have been few
Oh I guess you could say, I’ve been lucky
I guess you could say, that’s it’s all because of You

If anyone should ever write my life story
For whatever, for whatever reason there might be
You’ll be there, between each line of pain and glory
‘Cause You’re the best thing, that ever happened to me
You’re the best thing, that ever happened to me

Oh there have been times, when times were hard
But always somehow I made it, I made it through
‘Cause for every moment, I’ve spent hurting
There was a moment, that I spent, oh, just loving You

If anyone, should ever write my life story
For whatever, for whatever reason there might be
Oh, you’ll be there between each line of pain and glory
‘Cause You’re the best thing that ever happened to me
Oh, You’re the best thing that ever happened to me
I know, You’re the best thing, oh that ever happened
To me

My precious dad passed away this year after a valiant fight with cancer.  Growing up, he loved to dance the Jitter-Bug with his two daughters, particularly to this Gladys Knight and The Pips tune.  It was his favorite song.  Before he passed away, I recorded this song to honor him, but also to honor my heavenly Father.  The more and more I listened to this song, the more I realized this song could easily be a conversation I would have with God.  And, you’ll hear in this arrangement a special prelude and outro that give credence to this idea.  I love you dad! I will see you again someday in our Father’s company. 

serenity

by Amy Sky Music, Stephan Maccio

And when the shadows descend again
Give me the eyes to see
And when the silence stills my lips
Give me the words to speak

Accept the things I can’t change
And change the things I still can
Give me the wisdom to know the difference
Grant me serenity, grant me serenity

And when the river is a wall of water
Give me the strength to receive
And when the twilight hides the horizon
Give me the faith to believe

Accept the things I can’t change
And change the things I still can
Give me the wisdom to know the difference
Grant me serenity, grant me serenity

Accept the things I can’t change
And change the things I still can
Give me the wisdom to know the difference
Grant me serenity, and I’ll see eternity

Grant me serenity

I’ll never forget it.  I was 6 years old when my dad brought home my first-ever vinyl record titled, “Have You Never Been Mellow” by Olivia Newton-John.  I listened to it until there were so many scratches on it, it wouldn’t play anymore.  After many subsequent Olivia albums, it’s safe to say, she will always be a vocal influence in my life. While my music preferences have changed over the years, I’ve always remained a fan of Olivia’s.  Recently, I picked up her CD titled, “Grace and Gratitude” –a meditative CD.  The last song titled, “Serenity”, caught my attention. Growing up, the Serenity Prayer was significant in my home as it was on a plaque hanging in our hallway. I remember reading it knowing this prayer brought my mother great solitude during many turbulent times in our home.  I was in my car when I heard this song for the first time, and immediately pulled over. This song took me right back to my childhood and instantly brought peace to my heart. At that moment, I knew I needed to record this song.