The Story Of "Easter Song"

April 23, 2017


When we talk about the stories behind songs that we love, they usually involve the inspiration behind the lyrics.  Especially when it's music about faith.


I think sometimes we expect this clean process of writing, arranging, recording, etc.  Why would there be any disagreement, especially about a song like "Easter Song" by 2nd Chapter of Acts?


Usually, when it comes to music from a Christian perspective there is agreement from most people regarding the lyrics.  But making music is a creative process and that is always a little bit messy.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all.


"Easter Song" was first presented to the world on the album "With Footnotes" in 1974.  A producer named Buck Herring had been in the studio preparing to record some songs, mostly written by his wife Annie and sung by her with her two younger siblings Nelly and Matthew Ward who were living with the couple after losing both their parents.


Annie said that she never really thought of "Easter Song" as something they would record.  She thought it was more of a choral piece sung by lots of voices.  But with some persuasion from friends, they added it to the recordings they were working on in the studio.


The story goes that Buck Herring noticed the drummer not playing along during the session.  The drummer informed him that he didn't "hear" any drums in that song.  Buck, annoyed, insisted that he play some anyway.  When they started to play again, the drummer, David Kemper, played an exaggerated rhythm.  Perhaps a little sarcastically.


That helped changed the song from what Annie Herring initially pictured it as to what we know today.  That is after Michael Omartian added his ideas on keyboard.  More than 40 years later we're still singing a rollicking celebration of Easter at least partially because of a disagreement over how to play the drums.

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