The Discipline of Love

by Wilson Howard

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"The Discipline of Love" is a collection of songs written by Wilson Howard between May of 2014 and November of 2015, although they are not ordered chronologically.

Lead vocals and acoustic guitars for each song were tracked live, all in one evening, in Pepperdine University's Stauffer Chapel. Harmonies and violin were tracked separately in various spots. We're pretty proud of this one.


released December 7, 2015

Mixing & Production: Jacob Williams, Chapel Sessions
Music, Lyrics, Guitar, & Vox: Wilson Howard
Violin: Braden Olsen
Cover Art: Naomi Purnell



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Track Name: Phoenix
When you drive all night from ocean blue to the desert down the 10 / You'll see blinking lights taking energy from the SoCal mountain winds / And you'll see the stars spread out like they are holding up the sky / And from dusty hilltops you'll gaze down on cities passing by / And you'll feel like you're in flight

In the Phoenix summer sun, I learned how to miss someone as the desert dried my eyes
When the heat bleached through my skin, the world could see all of my sins, and there was nowhere left to hide

When you drive all day on the road alone with the one who gives you life / You'll find yourself speaking out loud to the seat that's on your right / And you'll see your words spaced out like they are floating through the sky / And your dusty heart will be remade as new words are passing by / And you'll need them to survive
As I'm searching through this land, I still fail to understand how one could let go of love so easily / I did everything I could; I thought that you did too, but look--you through it all away, and you call yourself free / So be honest--whom do you serve? Who has your heart? Is it his or yours?
Track Name: Ponte Vecchio
It's like you gazed into the Arno and, distracted by reflections, you lost your own / The lights and shadows all around you bathed your heart in endless color and became your home / As you walked to your apartment only half of you was present, and your fate was set / And although you claimed you loved me, you found the part of you that meant those words was laid to rest

Now your hair smell like caution on the wind
And your eyes are the safe-door for your sins
Your body made it safely to your state-side home
But you left your soul on the Ponte Vecchio
Track Name: Closer
How on Earth could a man feel so alone / Surrounded by such love that he could call his home / My head is spinning, my lips are quivering / They say you're there, but right now I don't feel a thing

I hate how you know exactly what I need

If you're gonna break my heart, then why won't you break my bones
And if you're gonna save my soul, then why won't you hold me close
If you're gonna break me down, then why can't I feel your arms
Oh God, I want you closer, closer, closer

How on Earth could a king feel so alone / Surrounded by the ones for which he left his throne / His head was spinning, his lips were quivering / As they shouted save yourself to the king they punished like a thief

I hate how you know exactly what I need
I love how you know exactly what we need


God, my God, Don't you forsake me--carry me home, carry me home...
Track Name: Break My Legs
Here am I, running away into the dark / I know you see me, but I'm gonna pretend like you're not here / And I'll lie to the quake in my knees and the ache in my heart / I'll whisper it's worth it / But in the back of my mind I'm gripped with fear

I hear the voices that you told me to ignore
But when I shut my ears and hum your hymns, they beckon even more

And they're drawing me in, so I need you to break my legs
I need you to carry me all the way home

Here am I, caught in the thorns and hurting like hell / I need to call out to you, but I'm gonna pretend like you can't hear / And I'll lie so close to the ground and wait for your help / But then I'd surrender the illusion of freedom I hold so dear

If I give that up you promised I'll have you
And I'd be no fool to give what I can't keep to gain what I can't lose

And yet they're drawing me in, so I need you to break my legs
I need you to carry me all the way home
And it scares me to death, but you're gonna have my heart
You're gonna have all of me, you're gonna call me your own

Would you comfort me in the discipline of love
And let your promises remind my hungry heart that you're enough
Track Name: Thirst
Old bone dry and thirsty as the barren trees
Dead I lie, here beneath the sun
It's been so long since I've felt the soothing cool
Of the promises I thought would never come

Yet there I was, the very life you gave me
Tossed beyond my reach, returning to the ground
I tugged my roots so they could match my wandering heart
Now I've fallen and your streams cannot be found

Among the red rocks I will greet you with a smile
Cracking lips and all but you will love me still
For you are holy and I am nothing without you
But a broken wineskin, never to be filled

You make me new, you wait until I've heaved my last
And then you breathe into my dusty lungs again
And as I wake and wipe the mud off of my face
You wrap me in your open arms and call me friend

It's true I thirst beyond the border I have set here for myself
Enslaved to craving more
Oh that your streams would not just quench my flaming tongue
But would ignite the one instead you have in store
Track Name: Good and Glorious
Your love is stronger than the ocean
A steady tide that turns my heart--It's sweeping me away
Inhale so I can try to cry to you for help
But by the time I cry I find that I
Have been changed into someone else, and I
No longer need to seek for safety
I journey out beyond the shore, at home in your embrace
And at the mercy of the breakers and the swells
I know that you are holding everything
So this shipwrecked heart sings it is well

You take my life, so that I might truly live
And as I die you have me breathing in again
So as I rise, I exhale a song of love for you, my God
For you are good and glorious

Your grace is grander than the mountains
Surrounding everything I see--My eyes are overwhelmed
As I look over every valley you have carved
It's like I'm watching all of life play out
And you're cradling our broken hearts, and I
No longer need to seek the shadows
My weary flesh has tasted sun--I know the golden rays
The very light that burns me back into the dust
Is wakening my sleeping spirit and
Reminding me that I can trust again


I sing of a love which I have seen
In your marvelous light, oh Jesus, my King
You look in my face when you open my eyes
And you call me a child of the Father of lights

Track Name: Abide
Dry and weary, whoa I found you
In the mountains by the sea
Blades like honey against deep blue
There's a fountain I can drink

The melodies you've sung for centuries
Are finally finding their way back to me

Dead dog thirsty, looking for truth
All worn out and wandering
Dry and weary, whoa I found you
When you're surrounding, I am free

Bread unleavened, bittersweet wine
We will feast here in the weeds
Wisdom living, Son the grapevine
Father, dresser, prunes the leaves

Instruction on the tablet of my heart
Abiding in the tidings you impart

So let your heaven enter space-time
Kill the hunger, love the thieves
Bread unleavened, bittersweet wine
Praise the Savior--we are free
Track Name: Whosoever
I wanna walk with you
I wanna walk with you like Enoch did
I wanna walk with you, O my Lord

I wanna dance for you
I wanna dance for you like David did
I wanna dance for you, O my Lord

I wanna die for you
I wanna die for you like you did me
I wanna die for you, O my Lord