Fulfilling the Desire to Create, Part III

Songwriting is an intimate expression for Courtney King Walker that is “like writing in a journal and then letting everyone see it.”

Her song, He Bowed His Head, conveys her feelings about Jesus Christ’s personal suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and at his crucifixion. When she wrote the words and music, “it felt almost like it was a sacred hymn, even though it is not written in a hymn style.” Listen to it here:

He Bowed His Head, copyright 2001 by Courtney King Walker, all rights reserved.

The song captures an “exact moment in time” and her impressions of “what He is going through right when He is in the Garden.” It speaks in straightforward words of His sacrifice, not only for His accusers but for each of us:

He conquered life through death.
First on His knees, then as He hung on a tree.
He suffered, He died, for me.

Courtney wrote this song during an emotionally difficult period of her own life. She recorded it in 2001 in California. Jill Thompson and Linda Stewart performed the vocals, and Courtney accompanied on the piano. Now, she looks back on that time as one of her most productive and most inspired times as a songwriter.

“Was there a connection? Why was I able to write so much during that time? The more difficult times drew me close to the Spirit. And I think it was the Spirit guiding me.”

Putting words and music together is a private process for her to say something important. “I only wanted to write about Christ. I feel it is in me only to write about what I care deeply about.”

Growing up she loved both art and music. When she went to Brigham Young University, she had to choose between music and design. She took a songwriting class in college, but she chose design and graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She worked as a graphic designer and now freelances for Shade Clothing and others.

Several years ago, motivated by some positive feedback and encouragement from others, she contacted other LDS musicians to explore the possibilities in the commercial market for her music. Through those conversations, she realized that although she wanted to share her music with as many people as possible, marketing her music commercially didn’t seem like the right choice. Thus, her music remains her own spiritual expression and to her “it feels more innocent because of it.”

She distinguishes between the creative process of putting words and music together and her ability to write music to accompany words that someone else has written. The latter is much easier for her and something she could do professionally.

Before her Grandpa passed away five years ago, she wrote and performed—but never recorded—a song for him to the words of a poem that his sister, Virginia King, wrote in the 1930’s. The poem, God Is, is about the existence of God in everything. Courtney added the words in parenthesis for the flow of the music.

God Is

God is, not was.
He is with us still.
His, the driving force and will
That makes the world go ’round (and ’round).

Wherever you see
a green tree grow,
or a flower in bloom, you’ll know
That there God may be found.
(That there God may be found).

God is He who
makes the sun rise;
the stars that twinkle in the skies.
Today as well as yesterday.

God is. He lives, though you may not hear
His footsteps when He draws near.
That’s where God may be found.
(That’s where God may be found).

(God is.
God lives.
He is with us still.
God lives.
God is.
God is.)

God is Courtney’s driving force that fulfills her desire to create. Her creative pursuits—songwriting and music, art and design, raising a family, cooking, gardening, friendship—express her love of God. Courtney represents a new kind of Renaissance woman of this century—one who cultivates her creative gifts and whose life and character become their expression.

Fulfilling The Desire to Create, Part III is the last in a series from an interview with Courtney King Walker. He Bowed His Head is copyrighted by Courtney King Walker, 2001, and downloads may not be sold or used without permission. You may contact Courtney by email at walkerfamily5 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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