by Carolyn Arends

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lakewolf5 This fresh collection of Carolyn’s tunes are soothing, deep rooted, thoughtful, fun and full of great hooks! As always, she stretches us as well as calms us. The roots sound, caramel rich voice and storytelling prowess makes this an album I like leaving on repeat. I’m sure I’ll be loving this collection and playing along with them like so many other of her albums. Thank you for this gift of sound and heart. ❤️ Favorite track: Almost Didn't Recognize You.
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Becoming Human Carolyn Arends You know Pinocchio had a nose for deception And I think it’s understood That you’re doomed from the start if you’re following a heart That is only made of wood And it’s the trickiest thing in the whole wide world To be a real live boy or a real live girl Becoming human is hard It’s near impossible Becoming human is hard It takes a miracle You know that old King Lear had a fear of rejection And I guess it’s pretty clear That you’re not a good king if you’re only listening To the things you want to hear And you can rant and you can rave and you can fret and fuss But you’ll just grow older without growing up Chorus It seems we all arrive with a drive for protection And we learn to wear these masks Till it’s hard to believe that we ever can be free To become ourselves at last But it’s the most important thing in the whole wide world To be a real live boy or a real live girl Becoming human is hard But not impossible Becoming human is hard It takes a miracle Becoming human is hard The work is deep and slow Becoming human is hard It takes a miracle I need a miracle Send me my miracle © Running Arends Music/ASCAP
Without Music Carolyn Arends This was meant to be a melancholic song A litany of all that’s gone wrong But the melody took over, and it started to soar Till it wasn’t melancholic anymore I was going to write a cynical verse ‘Cause the bad just seems to keep getting worse But the notes found their own rhythm, and they started to dance Till my cynicism didn’t stand a chance “Without music life would not be fair” I heard someone say Well God knows there’s injustice everywhere But the music will not go away Instrumental verse Chorus So I guess this is my song for all the ones Who keep singing as the world comes undone Like a broken hallelujah, their melodies soar Till the world’s not quite so broken anymore Yeah like a rumour of glory, our melodies soar And the world’s not quite as hopeless anymore © Running Arends Music/ASCAP
Memento Mori 04:13
Memento Mori Carolyn Arends Last night I dreamt that I was dead And when the eulogy was read All my friends and family said “She really tried her best. We guess it was how she was wired To work so hard and be so tired Maybe now that she’s expired She’ll finally get some rest.” And then a monk entered my dream and started laughing And that’s when the whole thing turned into Latin Memento Mori Remember you will die So live the story You want to tell Memento Mori You only get one life So don’t be sorry Just live it well Well then I woke up with a start Relieved to feel my beating heart I lay there breathing in the dark So glad to be alive And I looked at the world anew A bit like Ebenezer Scrooge And all my lists of my To Dos Just seemed to vaporize ‘Cause when it’s really time to enter the Here After Love will be the only thing that matters Chorus Well if you have a dream like mine please don’t be wary ‘Cause you can learn to live from your obituary Chorus © Running Arends Music/ASCAP
Pool of Tears Carolyn Arends There’s a man in my town Who can tell some tall tales Works a job roofing houses He’s tougher than nails But his voice trails away When he’s had a few beers Because he’s got some secrets that nobody hears Everyone sits by their own pool of tears There’s a woman I know Who gets angry sometimes Treats her friends just like foes And she doesn’t know why Says she can’t understand When she looks in the mirror Who it is she’s become or just how she got here Everyone sits by their own pool of tears We try denial It helps for a while And we try a million distractions But when nothing will work And everything hurts What if we tried some compassion? I’ve been looking around In my own neighbourhood We all smile and we wave And we say that we’re good But I can’t help but think Underneath our veneers We are so close to drowning in sorrows and fears Everyone sits by their own pool of tears Chorus Well I’m not even sure Why I’m writing this song Guess it’s just to confess What we’ve known all along Pain is part of the deal For as long as we’re here But we’re not all alone in this, that much is clear All of us sit by our own pool of tears So let’s take a deep breath And let’s pull up some chairs Cause our wounds only heal When we give them some air There’s a remedy found In the lending of ears So whatever goes down through the miles and the years Let’s promise each other to come and draw near Where everyone sits by their own pool of tears Everyone sits by their own pool of tears © Running Arends Music/ASCAP
To Cry for You Carolyn Arends There’s a lump in my throat There’s a knot in my chest I am tired to the bone But I cannot rest Still it’s only right to feel like I do ‘Cause it is my honour to cry for you All the memories come back Like the tide rolling in And the current is strong I go under again So I hold my breath, what else can I do? It is my honour to cry for you Blessed are the ones who weep ‘Cause every tear is proof Of ties that bind so strong and deep That death cannot undo So it is my honour to cry for you I’ve got more than a hunch That you’re somewhere so good It’d be wrong to come back Even if you could I will see you again, but until I do It is my honour to cry for you Chorus There’s a lump in my throat There’s a knot in my chest But the ache in my soul Tells me I am blessed ‘Cause when the sorrow is great, the love is too And it is my honour to cry for you I guess grief is the work that love must do So it is my honour to cry for you © Running Arends Music/ASCAP
Gather Me 03:51
Gather Me Carolyn Arends Darling, it’s late, and my body is aching I’ve been up racing these ghosts round and round I’ll come to bed and I’ll ask you to hold me ‘Cause when you enfold me my mind settles down I get so scattered by worries and plans But when I fall to pieces then you are the only man who can Gather me, gather me, gather me Oh you gather me up in your arms Darling, you know I can get so distracted I’m chasing rabbits, and then I lose track. But when I get lost in the thoughts I am thinking You are the beacon who helps me get back Sometimes I’m scattered by so much to do But when I fall to pieces then baby the only glue is you Chorus If I am a kite, baby, you are the string I can fly without coming untethered And if you are a riverbed, I am a stream I can flow while you hold me together Chorus © Running Arends Music/ASCAP
God’s Speed Carolyn Arends Inspired by God Walk by Mark Buchanan What’s your hurry Little pilgrim Always running So behind Why the worry When God’s children All got world enough and time We’ve got to slow down To catch up Grow young To grow up No more chasing the wind Let the Spirit lead Till we slow down To God’s Speed May we slow down To God’s speed Why so frantic Little human You’ve been racing Long enough It’s time for planting Time for blooming Growing at the Speed of love Chorus Anything worth anything Takes a while, it’s true But God has all the time He needs To see the changes through He’s making us brand new And all we’ve got to do is … Chorus © Running Arends Music/ASCAP
Maladjusted 04:39
Maladjusted Carolyn Arends I aimed to stayed within the normal range I did not go against the flow I tried to never be too loud or strange I was at home with status quo Then cracks were forming in the plaster And all the structures came undone What we call normal’s a disaster So now I just want to become Maladjusted Maladjusted ‘Cause everything we trusted has gone bad This dysfunction Needs disruption So let’s all get maladjusted to a world gone mad I know in Michigan in ‘63 A preacher made this message clear And ringing in those words from Dr. King There is another voice to hear ‘Cause Jesus said the first would be the last In every place His kingdom comes And if we give our lives we get ‘em back And that is why we must become Chorus © Running Arends Music/ASCAP
All Flame Carolyn Arends I am a vapour with a value beyond measure What shall I do then with the wild and fleeting treasure Of my life, my life You are the fire at the center of existence What shall I do then with my fear and my resistance To Your love, Your love I know to heal me You must burn me And yet You tell me You can turn me Into someone who can become All flame All flame Drawn into Yourself Until nothing else remains All flame I am for now only the tiniest of embers I can but offer You an incomplete surrender Still I do, I do So won’t You kindle my desire Lord lead me on into the fire And hold my hand until I am Chorus I am a vapour in a never-ending story I’ll live forever in the fire and the glory Of Your love, Your love © Running Arends Music/ASCAP
Let Love Lead You Home Words by Laura Funk and Carolyn Arends Music by Carolyn Arends Based on the poem “When It Comes” by Laura Funk Every day the chaplain comes To sit beside the dying She listens when there are no words And helps with the goodbye-ing And when they ask her how to die She says she’s never tried it But then she takes them by the hand And whispers in the quiet When it’s time for you to leave Gather all the love you’ve known The love you gave, the love received And let it lead you home Oh, let love lead you home Sometimes there are photographs They look at them together A wedding dress, a bassinet A tree every December And if the family can come They tell so many stories And with their laughter and their tears, They make that room so holy Chorus Well sometimes all the memories Have faded past retrieving And sometimes there’s no loved ones left To come and do the grieving But the chaplain knows their song plays on Though only God can hear it And so she takes them by the hand And whispers for the Spirit Chorus © Running Arends Music/ASCAP and LauraFunk/SOCAN
Almost Didn’t Recognize You Carolyn Arends Woke up early to my consternation I had planned on sleeping long Wasn’t looking for an invitation To the breaking of the dawn But the sky became a burning ember And I could not look away With the moon I made a slow surrender To the glory of the day That was when I realized I almost didn’t recognize You Always such a sweet surprise Every time I recognize You I was standing at the intersection Waiting for the light to change There were passersby in each direction All just faces without names Suddenly it seemed my vision shifted Until right before my eyes It was just as if a curtain lifted And every stranger seemed to shine Chorus Well I thought You were mostly incognito I could not have been more wrong The whole universe is Your cathedral And every heartbeat is Your song I can’t count how many times I almost didn’t recognize You Always such a sweet surprise Every time I recognize You © Running Arends Music/ASCAP
After This (Bonus Track)
Spencer Capier and Carolyn Arends We have never in our lifetime Known a shadow like this one Still, however long this nighttime Rest assured the dawn will come And after this, the sun will be shining And all we missed, will come to us in a whole new light And then may we never waste The sweet gift of a warm embrace When at last we are face to face After this May we never lose these lessons Till we take our final breath And when we finally reach the ending May we know there’s something next ‘Cause after this, the sun will be shining And all we missed, will come to us in a whole new light And there we will never waste The sweet gift of a warm embrace When at last we are face to face After this © Running Arends Music/ASCAP and Charles Spencer Capier/SOCAN


RECOGNITION is a fresh collection of 12 rootsy and melodic originals from Carolyn Arends, the Canadian artist often called “a songwriter’s songwriter.” Sometimes witty, sometimes gut-wrenching – often both simultaneously – this is a record for both the head and the heart.

While singles from RECOGNITION will be released to digital music platforms one by one throughout the year, you can get the entire project as a digital download here on Bandcamp, or visit to get the CD and related items ~ it’s a great way to get an early scoop on the music and support Carolyn’s artistry at the same time.

"Only a seasoned and beloved artist committed to a “long obedience in the same direction” can marshal what it takes to pull something like this off." - Steve Bell, recording artist

"Carolyn Arends' new album Recognition is a masterfully crafted stunner! I hear grief, clear-eyed vulnerability and steady devotion to seeing life for the mystery that it is while holding fast to the eternal beauty that calls us by name. A broken hallelujah, indeed!" - Jeremy Casella, recording artist

"If you have ever known a place where you could go to soak in unconditional acceptance of who you are - where wisdom meets humanity ... this record is like that place." - Jaylene Johnson, recording artist

"It’s so good! The sonics. The arrangements. Everything just sounds so easy and natural. 'Becoming human is hard.' Whoof! That floored me." - Keith Kitchen, recording artist

***** Carolyn's Best Yet: It's difficult for me to find the right words to express how I feel about this album. Every song seems alive and life-giving. Poetic, as all of her songs are. Light-hearted, but deep and profound. I hear and understand something new every time I listen. The combination of the lyrics and what each musician contributes makes each song rich, layered and nuanced. The duet with Amy Grant is so beautiful. Their voices blend so well and I think it says a lot about who Carolyn is that Amy contributed to this project. I particularly love the exquisite strings in "To Cry For You". If instruments have voices, this is how they weep. "Memento Mori" makes me laugh and I appreciate the unexpected rhyme scheme in the chorus. This is such an amazing album. I have the songs in my head and heart after listening every day. - Karen Looby, listener


released January 22, 2021

Produced by Carolyn Arends and Roy Salmond
Engineered by Roy Salmond
Mixed by Richie Biggs
Mastered by Greg Reely
Special guests include Amy Grant, The McCrary Sisters, and The Lovesponge Strings.


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Carolyn Arends Vancouver, British Columbia

"One of the most affecting communicators in any genre." - Billboard Magazine

Carolyn Arends has released 12 albums and is the author of 3 critically-acclaimed books. 15 of Arends’ songs have become top 10 radio singles on the Canadian pop and US Christian charts. Arends has earned 2 Dove Awards, 3 Juno Nominations, and was recognized as the West Coast Music Awards’ Songwriter of the Year. ... more

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