Unification Sermons and Talks
Dan's Greatest Hits: The Inside Story
by Dan Fefferman-Washington, DC
Several people have asked me to write a history of the songs I've recorded on "Dan Fefferman's Greatest Hits." So here it is. But first a word about how the album was produced.
In the basement of the DC Church, our church musical director, Otmar Weinmann, maintains an impressive if cramped little studio. Pipes run along the ceiling, and the scurrying footsteps of Japanese sisters can be heard on the floor above, busily preparing to head out to bless people.
While things quiet down, Otmar and I concentrate on synthesizers and arrangements, saving the vocals until we can use the mikes without fear of footsteps. Through Otmar's wizardry and my voice and guitars, Dan's Greatest Hits was born.
All the songs were written and sung by yours truly. Otmar did the engineering, played the keyboards, and provided the synthesized effects such as trumpets, strings, woodwinds, and angelic choirs in the background. The arrangements were done by me and tweaked by Otmar, with help from the Band In a Box computer program. How they get all those drums inside that little box is still a mystery to me.
Now, about the songs:
Come on in the Kitchen. I wrote this just after I joined, in late 1968, during my first three-day fast. That's why it's about vitality elements. The title is taken from an old song by Mississippi bluesman Robert Johnson: "You better come on in my kitchen, it's going to be raining outside."
Generation of Righteousness. This one came as a revelation. It was in Berkeley, in 1971. I was upstairs in our attic office, and I prayed to God to give me a song that "our whole Family" could sing. Fifteen minutes later, Generation of Righteousness, probably my most complex composition, was complete. I've always thought of trumpets with this song. Now, at last, I have them.
The Kingdom of Heaven's at Hand. This version captures the way I originally conceived it--Cajun style with accordions and fiddles in the background--to the tune of an old Louisiana dance song. The "Ahhh-Aeee's" use the two-note melody that Jewish priests play on their ram's horns during the high holidays, which ties in to the theme of clarion calls, Joshua, and walls of illusion coming tumbling down.
I've Got a Right to Be Happy. This one memorializes a very hopeful moment. I was leading a CARP IOWC team in Los Angeles, when the news came that my wife-- who had returned from four years as a missionary in Iran--and I would soon be getting together to start our family. It's one of those love songs that doesn't know whether it's addressed to one's spouse or to God.
The Day of Hope. I wrote this in Baltimore during preparations for Father's talks during the first Day of Hope tour in 1973. We were doing street theater to publicize the talks, and I decided to write a theme song. In the chorus, there's a touch of a Korean folk song from a record Dr. Young Oon Kim gave me.
Shout About It! The first song I ever sang for True Father, when he came to the Bay Area in 1969. He closed his eyes in prayer the whole time I was singing. I still wonder where his spirit went during those minutes. I've always wanted to give this song to a powerful gospel group like the Mighty Clouds of Joy. Oh yes, believe it or not, the three female singers in the background are all me!
The Lord Is One. Also known as "All My Brethren," this song is based on the Jewish prayer, the Shema Israel--"Hear O Israel the Lord Your God, the Lord is One." The song came to me in the car while I was driving to my grandmother's house in 1970 and remembering the tunes my grandparents use to hum when they'd take me for rides. The chorus is borrowed from an Appalachian folk hymn called "Talk About Suffering."
The King's Highway. This is an upbeat song, written when I was regional coordinator in the Chicago Area in 1977. It was inspired by the spirit of our local MFT sisters: "There's all those people just waiting for to hear the news, and you're bound to make it quickly in your serving shoes."
Life At Barrytown. Picture me huddled with my guitar in the guard booth at UTS at 3 a.m., in 1984. That's where this song was written, while a little space heater struggled noisily against the chill. It was almost accepted as the school's alma mater (too wistful and nostalgic, not majestic enough, I think). But I do think it captures the spirit of the Seminary experience. UTS grads tell me it brings a tear to the eye.
Dedicate Your Love. This one's very recent, written in the Spring of 1997. I experienced a spiritual renewal during that time, from which this song comes. It also expresses the ideal of the RFK Blessing. Kind of a Latin theme, inspired by a Peruvian musical group I ran into one day at the Capitol.
The Marriage Has Come. Speaking of the Blessing, this one was written back in 1970, while I was in Korea observing the preparations for the 777 Blessing (too young myself, I had been attending a VOC conference). It's full of biblical references to messianic visions of peace, and union between heaven and earth.
Absolute Sex. I got out my old electric guitar and let loose on this one. God's answer to Heavy Metal. Warning: this song is rated PG-13. But if you've been reading Father's speeches with your family each morning, it should pose no problem whatsoever!
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