In 1979 Amy Grant released her second album MY FATHER’S EYES (Reunion Records). It was produced by Brown Bannister and nominated for a Grammy for Best Gospel Performance-Contemporary. In the liner notes Amy writes: “Just as each day of our lives should be offered as glory and honor to Him, so I share these songs with you-to be heard. To Him be all the glory”.
‘Father’s Eyes’, penned by Gary Chapman, is the album’s longest track at 4:03 and was Amy’s first No. 1 Christian hit. It is an adult contemporary ballad that conveys deep godly desires: “When people look inside my life, I want to hear them say/’She’s got her Father’s eyes, her Father’s eyes/Eyes that find the good in things/When good is not around/Eyes that find the source of help/When help just can’t be found/Eyes full of compassion, seeing every pain/Knowin’ what you’re going through and feelin’ it the same’/Just like my Father’s eyes”. ‘Faith Walkin’ People’ is one of three songs here penned by Amy and Brown Bannister. It became a Top Ten Christian hit. It is an adult pop song that uses horns and reminds us that as Christians we are to walk differently through life: “Say goodbye to the feelings cause the feelings go away/Say goodbye to the people cause the people never stay/Say goodbye to the future if it blinds you to today/And say goodbye to the reasoning that’s standing in the way/Oh, we’ve got to make a way/Make a way to be/Faith walkin’ people, can’t rely on everything we feel/Faith talkin’ people/We must discern what’s really real/Faith walkin’ people, can’t believe in everything we see/Faith talkin’ people, seems like such a mystery”. ‘Always the Winner’ is one of four songs Amy wrote alone. It is nicely orchestrated with strings and seems to address one who is in a backslidden state: “There was a time when you cared for their hearts and the need to show them love was tearing you apart/But you changed and you know, become the star of the show/Now you’ve got nothing to give/Where is the truth you once knew?/You’re just lonely/Don’t you feel lonely?”
On the pretty song ‘Never Give You Up’ Amy declares her dedication to Jesus Christ: “Sometimes friends don’t understand the love I have for You/But everywhere I go I know/I just want more of You/I will never give You up Lord/Not in a million years/I will never give You up, never give You up/For as long as I live.../Cause You have put this love inside my heart”. ‘Bridegroom’ was written by Martin McCall and Megan Moorhead. It is a happy song performed as a march: “I will give to Him my impatience/I will give Him all of my fear/I will make my heart very quiet/I will wait for Him here/In bright color and joyous line/In morning light and lamp fire/I’ll make fine my home here and trust in my home to come”.
‘Lay Down’ is a simple, yet beautiful, song of invitation: “You know it’s love that He offers you/Lay down the burden of your heart/Lay down the burden of your heart/I know you’ll never miss it/Oh, show your Daddy where it hurts/And let your Daddy lift it”. ‘You Were There’ is a love song to God with a disco vibe to it: “No one else could ever offer me more/Than Your love and Your understanding/A love I’d never known before/You were there when I needed someone to talk to/You were there when I could not find my way/Ooh/You know You could’ve given up on me/When it seemed like nobody cared/You were there (4X)”.
Next up is ‘O Sacred Head’, a Passion hymn that dates way back. It begins with thunder and rain sounds and these moving words: “O sacred Head now wounded/With grief and shame weighed down/Now scornfully surrounded/With thorns Thine only crown/How art Thou pale with anguish/With sore, abuse, and scorn/How does that visage languish, which once was bright as morn”. ‘All That I Need is You’ finds Amy admitting her real need for God: “Lord You know that I really need our time together/Only Your strength can see me through/So talk with me now as You walk with me now in this quiet time/I’m waiting on You/Cause all of a sudden I knew that I’d never be wanting/As long as I’m leaning on You/Oh Lord, all that I need is You”.
‘Fairytale’ portrays Christ as ultimate Victor: “There’s a world out there that human eyes can never see/But it’s just within the reach of the heart/Two princes wage the battle for eternity/But the victor has been known from the start/Now I can see the truth can seem so much like a fantasy/But make-believe was never as real to me/I know this time the story’s true/Just like Sleeping Beauty in another land/I was dying under a spell/But then a Prince who comes from a forever land/Awakened me from my fairytale”. Just as Amy’s debut album had one song that could be classified as children’s music, so does this, her second album. ‘Giggle’ is fun and quirky and has a carnival-like feel to it. It is a song about being a witness: “Giggle, giggle if you want to/But I know it’s still true that He’s always gonna love me/So just laugh out/If you think I’m uncool/Playin’ the part of the fool/Cause I love Him/Don’t you know how I love Him?/Oh, well I do”.
‘There Will Never Be Another’ is a beautiful duet with Brown Bannister. It is a song of awe and wonderment: “And I know I’ll never understand this mystery/If I live to be 103/How You died to live, the love You give to me/There will never be another who will love me like You/There will never be another who could hold me, mold me/There will never be another who could love me purely/No, there will never be another who has loved me like You”. The album’s shortest song (1:06) is up last. ‘Keep it on Going’ is lively and cheerful and is about the need to witness: “Someone’s got to keep it on going/Just as long as they’re folks who haven’t heard/So you can count on me cause He’s showin’/That there’s so many ways to spread His Word”.
MY FATHER’S EYES is mainly an album of adult contemporary songs. Instruments that are used include: banjo, spoons, xylophone, organ, flute, piccolo, oboe, and fiddle. The background vocalists include: Marty McCall, Steve Chapman, Lenny LeBlanc, Carol Grant, Kathy Harrell, and Marie Tomlinson. Like her debut record in 1977, the songs describe Amy’s relationship with a loving, caring, and faithful God. There is a bit more maturity to the lyrics though. As the years would move on, Amy would face both personal hardships, and criticism from believers for some of her choices, but this album here is one of innocence and joy. I’m rating MY FATHER’S EYES 85%. For more info visit: www.amygrant.com.