(I) Got Vaccinated

I was so excited when I head that vaccines had been created for Covid-19. I was able to get my first shot today and wrote this song to celebrate. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

There you are thanks to scientists and Dolly Parton 

Here I am hoping that immunity is starting 

Will you help me stay protected from this disease 

I don’t want to be infected so I’m so pleased 

I got vaccinated

Got that shot right in my arm

But I’m going to do my part to make sure others don’t come to harm 

I got vaccinated 

And I hope that you will too

It’s the right thing to do 

And I’m so glad that I got vaccinated.

The Sugar is Free

I originally wrote this song in 2000 while completing high school in Steinbach, Manitoba. I have performed it several times since then, most notably with David Graham and his upright bass.

Sugar is Free
On a grey December night I was walking down the street
There was snow on the ground and it was chillin’ my feet
The wind was frigid as I heard it moan
Stabbin’ at and chillin’ me to the bone
I thought that I could use a little something hot
To warm me up and hit the spot
I look down the street and my jaw does drop
To see an open sign at a coffee shop.

Business must have been slow; not another soul in sight,
But the waitress who was waiting there for me all night
In her soft creamy hand she held a coffee pot
I knew that everything I needed was just what she got.
I asked for coffee with sugar and cream
Something bitter something sweet and something nicely in-between
And a smile came to her lips as I inquired of the fee,
She said, “The coffee’ll cost you; but the sugar is free.”

We took our drinks, sat down together
Talked about the world, and ourselves, and the weather.
After my second cup and some good conversation
I could feel my heart racing and feel the stimulation.
And then I realized I wasn’t cold anymore
In fact, I felt hotter than I ever felt before.
And then I realized it started happening to me
When she said
“The coffee’ll cost you but the sugar is free.”

Now if I’m caught in the cold or stuck in a storm
I’ve got a hot little thought that’ll keep me warm
And it goes without saying that thought would have to be
When she said, “The coffee’ll cost you… but the sugar is free.”

Longest Night

Each Winter Solstice, our church holds a service for those who might be struggling with the holidays. This year it feels like something all of us can relate to in some way or another. This song is for all of us, this year.

Longest Night 12/21/2017

Folks are singing joy to the world,

But I just can’t seem to sing along.

Each time I try to see the light, each silent night seems, oh so long.

The cold of the bleak midwinter enters into my body and soul.

Everyone is holding on to candy canes, but it feels like I’ve got a fistful of coal. 

I’ve listened to the angels we have heard on high, but I still feel so low.

Why can’t I feel that same peace on Earth everybody else seems to know.

I’m so far down, I can hardly find the energy to pray

For a little less darkness with each passing day.

But maybe with the sun, some hope will arise with a little more levity and light

If I can make it through the longest night.

Little Slice of Heaven

I first started writing this song in Austin, Texas while attending a friend’s wedding. It was an incredible wedding complete with a dance off during the reception (I think I came in second).

This song pulls in a lot of pieces from all over my life. And while American🇺🇸 Thanksgiving and Canadian🇨🇦 (real) Thanksgiving happen in different months, they are both wonderful celebrations of all that we share. I hope you enjoy this, and if you do, please feel free to share. After all, today is a day for sharing.

Happy Thanksgiving

I can still remember grandma’s house at thanksgiving
With all the folks who made our lives worth living
We had Turkey, potatoes, gravy, and dressing
And all dug in soon as grandpa gave the blessing

With our plates piled high and our friends held tight
Our family knew how to do the holidays right
It felt even better as every single second went by
It’s almost like a little slice of heaven snuck away from the sky

And when I met my girl my life got even better
And I thank The Good Lord for the moment that I met her
And when she took me home on that night in November
I knew that it would be a thanksgiving to remember

We arrived to the scene of a new mother and a child
We both looked at them and simultaneously smiled
And I knew that I was blind to a blessing if I
Couldn’t see that
It’s almost like a little slice of heaven snuck away from the sky

It’s almost like a little slice of heaven snuck away
Showing us what life is gonna be like on the day
When we finally see that place where the angels fly
It’s almost like a little slice of heaven snuck away from the sky

And that got me thinking of that thanksgiving day
When we couldn’t go home so we decided to stay
And celebrate the life that we were making together
And went for a walk in the warm fall weather

We could still hear the birds as they sang in the trees
And river laughed with us as it waited for the freeze
And the two of us strolled along and let out a sigh
It’s almost like a little slice of heaven snuck away from the sky

I can almost imagine God looking around
And wondering what his kingdom is doing on the ground
With the grateful sinners and and the people they love
Who decide to take a moment to thank The Lord above

For the food on the table and the clothes on their back
And the people who always keep them on the right track
Even when grace and patience is in short supply
It’s almost like a little slice of heaven snuck away from the sky

It’s been a hard year with a lot of close calls
But a daddy picks his boy up whenever he falls
And I’ve ten tears of joy for every one of sadness I cry
It’s almost like a little slice of heaven snuck away from the sky

Think in Black and White

Black and White
James Bergman 
Back in 1937 when we got that black and white TV
We stayed up all night in its crackling light
Wondering what it is we were going to see.

And then again in 1941 when that new Technicolor came around
The pictures on the screen were like what we had seen
But the our mind wasn’t blind to the colors that we finally found.

We realized what we’d been missing when it finally came to light
That we might see the world in color, but we think in black and white.

We might have heard it said when we were younger that certain people didn’t belong
And we might have believed because the facts we received 
Were biased or racist or wrong.

But then when were shook or woke we could look at the truth as it finally arrives
That the real sin isn’t letting love win
It’s letting hate dictate our lives.

And the new ideas we’re left with make us realize what isn’t right
When we see the world in color, but we think in black and white.

Because black and white doesn’t do the world justice
Black and white ain’t the way it ought to be
And black and white might have once been alright
But it just isn’t good enough for me.

Now I’m not trying to make is seem that I’m someone who always knows the right way
I’ve got my own thoughts and a couple blind spots
But I’m hoping that I’m open to what others might say

And if I’m wrong, please help me along so that I can finally begin
To appreciate and see the beautiful diversity
Of this wonderful world we’re in.

But I know we can get there together, and I’m wishing with all of my might
That we might see the world in color instead of simply thinking in black and white.

PopTech 2019

PopTech is the coolest thing you have never heard of. Or at least, it was the coolest that I had never heard of until, somehow, I received a scholarship from the Bush Foundation, allowing me to attend and find out for myself what it was all about. I was not disappointed.

I will not attempt to summarize this experience, because the amazing Jennifer Gilhoi has done so in a way that is comprehensive yet artfully succinct. This summary can be found here.

The Poptech Community extends an unforgettable welcome. Everyone sits down for shared meals and is encouraged to connect with new people. That environment provides a place for everyone to feel appreciated and able to contribute.. And maybe that is why I was able to share a piece that I had written on stage. Thank you again to everyone who made this event possible.

A Message to Our Students

This last month has been really tough on everybody. Educators are trying to figure out how to serve our kids and their families. Parents and families are trying to take care of their kids while working from home. And our students are trying to make sense of this new world they suddenly find themselves in.

Usually we are there to help our students. But having to keep our distance and not being able to say “goodbye” in person has been difficult for all of us. I asked teachers and staff at Early Childhood Special Education in Fargo what they would want to say to our kids and their families. Their responses became the lyrics to this song. Enjoy! And feel free to share!

Thanks to everyone who participated and Haley for making an incredible video!

See You Again

Since the day we last saw you, it’s been far too long
We wish we would have had the chance to say goodbye before you were gone.
If we would’ve known things were going to happen this way
There’s so much that we would have taken the time to say.

We love you and we miss you and your bright smiling faces
We hope you’re happy and safe no matter where your place is.
And we appreciate your families and everything they do
And we just wanted to say we’re all in this together with you.


You can do hard things you’ve got it in you
It may take some time for you to begin to
See that you can do this and then
We’re so excited for when this all ends and
we can see you again.

Because we care about you!
We hope you’re healthy and you’re eating
And being kind to your family and appreciating reading.
Because these are the things we miss when we can’t be around
But we know you can do your best at staying safe and sound.

And now that might not sound easy but we know we can do it
And when it finally happens you’ll say you always knew it.
Do whatever you need to help you stay strong
Because all of us knew all along…

Each Other’s Arms Again

Social distancing is hard. But this is how we protect each other. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we can all be together. Until then, we dream of being in each other’s arms again.


Staying inside after a long North Dakota winter is hard. The weather gets nice (above 20 degrees) and we want to get outside with the people close to us. But with the current pandemic, staying inside and keeping your distance is one of the best things you can do for your community. People who have compromised immune systems may not be able to fight the virus the way most of us can. It is up to all of us to keep our distance, slow the spread, and flatten the curve.

Be #NDsmart.