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         R. A. Hoeppner

LYRICS

I PRAY
As I venture through the middle part of my life with cancer, I have come to understand a little better the need for prayer. It certainly comforts me and puts direction in my life. With the song “I Pray” I hope people can relate to the situations in the verses and maybe recognize them in their own lives, and see how prayer can help them as well.

Sometimes in the middle of the night
I will pray with all of my might
Ask the Lord for a better life
And thank him for the love of my wife
For better days ahead
For my daily bread
And all the things I’ve said
I pray, I pray, I pray

So much pulls on me, I have no control
I can’t always see what’s good for my soul
So I ask the Lord, please change my ways
And allow this man to live another day
For better days ahead
For my daily bread
And all the things I’ve said
I pray, I pray, I pray.

So as life goes on, I begin to see
How precious that Heaven is to me
So I ask the Lord, please don’t turn away
And smile on me on my judgement day
For better days ahead
For my daily bread
And all the things I’ve said
I pray, I pray, I pray

I pray--------
I pray (for better days ahead)
I pray (for my daily bread)
I pray (all the things I’ve said)
I pray, I pray, I pray

A GIFT
As much as the members of Mixed Blessings enjoy the old Christmas standards, we wanted something original and updated to our tastes. So I sat down and wrote the song ”A Gift”. It has been a mainstay at many of our Christmas programs. And it’s probably one of the harder songs I have written.

Hail to the King, born for us that night
Hear the Angels sing of his power and might
A gift of love from God above
Hail to the King

Glory to this child, the chosen one
Given to all mankind, God’s only son
A gift so great that God has made
Glory to this child.

Rejoice to the world, his love prevails
A child sent to us, Emmanuel
A gift he brings, the Angels sing
They sing Emmanuel
They sing Emmanuel
They sing Emmanuel
They sing Emmanuel.

FOR ME
I was raised in a church that, in hindsight, seemed to teach me to question my worth in God’s eyes. “For Me” captures the feelings and questions I’ve had for almost my whole life, about the crucifixion of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and why He would do that “For Me”.

When I was young, I had not begun
To understand why my Jesus would die for me
Now that time has gone by
As a man I can only try
To understand the reasons why
He died for me, He cried for me

Now that time has gone by
As a man I can only try
To understand the reasons why
He died for me, He cried for me

So now I’ve seen the blessings He gives to me
So why then don’t I cry for Jesus and why He died for me?
Now that time has gone by
As a man I can only try
To understand the reasons why
He died for me, He cried for me, He died for me

DID YOU KNOW
“Did You Know” started from an urge to write an old-fashioned rock song. I wanted to try and get my church congregation up and moving.  Well, I got what I wanted, but it morphed into a Christmas song. How this happened I do not know -- this song was written in the middle of July. It is a Christmas song that gets you up and moving, smiling and of course, rocking out.

Did you know, and do you understand
That Jesus was born for every man?
Not just for you and me, for everyone that you see
So get out spread the word about our Savior’s birth

Now Jesus was sent to us that day
He came to take our sins away
One birth that changed the world
For every boy and every girl
So get out spread the word about our Savior’s birth

Jesus came to lead us all
Will we really hear His call?
A little child sent that night, sent to us to be our light
So get out spread the word about our Savior’s birth

Did you know, and do you understand
That Jesus was born for every man?
Not just for you and me, for everyone that you see
So get out spread the word about our Savior’s birth

BURY ME THERE
This song started out originally titled ”Better Then A Dirt Nap”. It morphed into the song, ”Bury Me There”. The song looks at my life and how I just wandered through my younger years, trying my best to stay out of the way and as invisible as possible. It poses the question, ”What happens next?” Based on my realization that maybe I didn’t do all the good I should have, it also shines a light on and gives a little advice with regards to some of the good things I have in my life. First and foremost, my relationship with God -- and then there’s my wife.  Remember, a good wife can make you a better man. It did me.

High on a mountain top, where eagles dare to fly
Down in the valley low, bury me there when I die
Bury me there when I die

Most of my time I’ve been looking for no particular place
I always tried to live my life not showing my face
There were times I might settle down
Then leave without a trace
Leave this wicked world far behind, I liked it that way

High on a mountaintop, where eagles dare to fly
Down in the valley low, bury me there when I die
Bury me there when I die

Now that my life is mostly spent, I’d like to go back
And change some things that I did
Specially those that were bad
All the good things that I have done, really not a lot
One thing that I would like to know, will they count or not

High on a mountain top, where eagles dare to fly
Down in the valley low, bury me there when I die
Bury me there when I die

Let me tell you one thing that I have learned
About life and how it goes
Just be glad that you have your health
Ten fingers and ten toes
One more thing that I forgot to tell about your daily life
Always try and live the best you can, and find a good wife

High on a mountain top, where eagles dare to fly
Down in the valley low, bury me there when I die
Bury me there when I die

Here I am thinking ‘bout eternity, spent where I don’t know
Thinking that I should have prayed a little more
Just to save my soul
So friends, when you lay me down, say an extra prayer
And live your life as I have done, only if you dare

High on a mountaintop, where eagles dare to fly
Down in the valley low, bury me there when I die
Bury me there when I die
Bury me there when I die
Bury me there when I die

SEEKING GRACE
I was watching the evening news and a story on the television caught my attention. It was about this youngster, maybe 13 years old at the most, a gang member, going to the penitentiary for life as an adult. As I was able to look into his eyes, he appeared so lost and empty. The emotion for writing “Seeking Grace” came from the sorrow I felt for that child.

A church bell rings, an Angel sings, a sinner cries
And wonders why his life turned out this way
All the things his life brings scars his soul
He don’t know just how to make things right.

What will it be to take him from this place?
Is prayer enough to save him from his ways?
From his God, will there be mercy someday?
Will he see Heaven’s gate?
Will he seek God’s grace?

The way he feels as life reveals all the strain
And all the pain in his life he’s come to know
A life so lost it could cost a man his soul
He don’t know just how to make things right

What will it be to take him from this place?
Is prayer enough to save him from his ways?
From his God, will there be mercy someday?
Will he see Heaven’s gate?
Will he seek God’s grace?

All songs written by R. A. Hoeppner and published by Max Berry Music (BMI)

THE BEST I CAN
If you believe that everyone has angels in their lives, then you will be able to relate to this song. I was lying in a hospital bed not doing real well, surrounded by my friends/angels, when I realized how special my friends were and what it meant to me that they were there. The idea for the song “The Best I Can” was in my head and stewing. At some point I needed to escape from the daily drudgery of cancer treatment, so I removed myself mentally to a better place. That place, with my friends in mind, is where this song was written. I wrote this song in honor of their friendship and unwavering support. They always help me stand strong, especially through the worst days. Everyone deserves friends/angels like I have.

Layin’ on the green grass on a Sunday afternoon
Lookin’ up to Heaven, hummin’ some old tune
Sunshine on this old face, ah Lord it feels so good
Thinkin’ of the old days, where a younger man once stood
In time this life will end, I’ll live my life till then
Surrounded by my friends, I’ll be the best I can
Best I can

Wonder ‘bout the weather, not a cloud in the sky
Like a blowin’ feather, has time passed me by
Remembering the sorrow and emotions deep inside
If everything stays the same, I change all the time
In time this life will end, I’ll live my life till then
Surrounded by my friends, I’ll be the best I can
Best I can

Old men playin’ checkers to pass the time of day
Lovers walkin’ by me trying to find the words to say
Life comes full circle if you want it to or not
Hopin’ it won’t find me, I’m already caught
In time this life will end, I’ll live my life till then
Surrounded by my friends, I’ll be the best I can
Best I can

CANDLE IN THE WIND
”Candle In The Wind” is a song about hope. Even though our lives are long and hard, there is always a chance that things in our lives will turn out all right. But we must always be willing and ready to take the next step every day. Living with cancer has taught me that the human spirit can overcome almost anything.

So much time on this road, how long I don’t know
Seems like this old road will never end
Promises made promises broke
Another life gone up in smoke
Life is like a candle in the wind
Life is like a candle in the wind

How much time will it take for my life to break?
Raise my hands, here I go again
Just how much can go wrong with my life as it goes on?
Life is like a candle in the wind
Life is like a candle in the wind

As life goes on I wonder why, all the things I did not try
Lookin’ back to see just where I’ve been
So much pain all my life, but I’ve won once or twice
Life is like a candle in the wind
Life is like a candle in the wind
Life is like a candle in the wind
Life is like a candle in the wind

IS THIS HOW THEY CRY
I was sitting and watching some thunderstorms when this song came to me. They were so beautiful to watch. The premise for the song, “Is This How They Cry”, just came to me out of the blue -- or the clouds as the case may be. After the question “Is this how the Angels cry?” presented itself in my mind, the song basically wrote itself. We often take for granted the wonderment that is all around us everyday, like thunderstorms. Their beauty and power can be very healing and cleansing to us, if we would just take the time to look and see. I hope that this song might help you look and see some of it as well. It took cancer for me to see the world in this manner. I almost consider cancer a blessing for helping me see the world differently. It surely did open my eyes in many ways.

Sittin’ on the front porch swing, watchin’ storms roll by
Is this how the Angels sing, or is this how they cry?
Wonder what’s in store for me and my battered soul?
Will I ever find my way down this winding road?
Let the rain fall down on me
And wash away my pain and misery.
Let it wash deep down inside
All the things I try to hide, for all to see

Lookin’ how my life has gone, I ask my self why
It feels like I got here through the needle’s eye
Wonder what might have been, I can only sigh
Remembering I’m just a man, all I can do is try
What will be on judgement day
With know one else to blame, what will I say?
All the things I could have done
Did I help even one, I’m so ashamed

As the wind hits my face my mind wanders far
Is this God sending grace to heal my sinful scars?
The thunder starts to roll, it shakes me deep inside
Will it mend my broken soul and give me back my pride?
Will the flash of lighting show
Only things that I know, for all to see?
Will it take away my pain
Even though I am to blame for my misery?

Sittin’ on the front porch swing, watchin’ storms roll by
Is this how the Angels sing, or is this how they cry?

THE BATTLE INSIDE ME
It seems like the good in life gets harder to find everyday. The song ”The Battle Inside Me”” is a story about what a lot of us deal with throughout our lives. We try to do what is right but it is so easy in today’s culture to be tempted to do what’s wrong. This can cause us to doubt our worth in God’s eyes and can lead us further away from our heavenly salvation.

All my life I’ve tried to find
Things that the devil tries to hide
Looking for comfort to ease my pain
Looking for something to make me whole again

Ten long years since I’ve tried to pray
Asking forgiveness for things I’ve had to say
My life takes me places best untold
Only to be pulled back by something in my soul

So many things lead me to do what’s wrong
Can I really save me, is my time just gone?
Is there time to turn back to a better place?
Only if I want to change my ways

This battle inside me, for my very soul
Will never be over, my pain just grows
When this life is over there’s no place to hide
Will I find salvation, or wished that I tried?

CRY FOR THE CHILDREN
Look at what we are doing to the world and its children. Our kids don’t deserve our problems. Hopefully they’ll outgrow the damage we’ve done to them and find a way to fix all of the other stuff we’ve broken.  That is what “Cry For The Children” is about. I am embarrassed with what we are leaving our kids and my part in it. Maybe we can start fixing things before we go.

Cry for the children, don’t you cry for me

Cry for the children, for what we leave behind
Cry for the children, treated so unkind
Everything that we have been, we teach it all to them
So after I am dead, remember what I said
Cry for the children, don’t cry for me

Cry for the children who could not find their way
Cry for the children who never had a say
With mothers all alone, and fathers that are gone
So after I am dead, remember what I said
Cry for the children, don’t cry for me

Cry for the children, better then the rest
Cry for the children, given all the best
The things they’ll try to do in a world they cannot use
So after I am dead, remember what I said
Cry for the children, don’t cry for me

Cry for the children, a world that’s so mad
Cry for the children, hungry, cold and sad
Can they love their fellow man?
Are they guided by God’s hand?
So after I am dead, remember what I said
Cry for the children, don’t cry for me

Cry for the children that we did not teach
Cry for the children, did we only preach
The things in life we give, not what they need to live
So after I am dead, remember what I said
Cry for the children, don’t cry for me

Cry for the children
Cry for the children
Cry for the children, but don’t cry for me

A LONG GOODBYE
In the early stages of my cancer treatment, I didn’t feel that things were going well. I felt as if my health was slipping and that the odds of me dying were not in my favor and getting worse. One day while pondering my mortality (songwriters think of strange things), I imagined my final conversation with my wife, wrote it down and put it to music. I hope the release of emotion from ”A Long Goodbye” will help people deal with their own emotions toward their loved ones before it is too late. As emotionally painful as this song is to perform, it still helps to remind me what the most important things in my life are.

Have I told you that I love you? If I haven’t, well, I do
Is this where we should cry? Are we ready for goodbye?
I never thought we’d end up here
Trying to wipe away our tears
As I hold you I hear you cry
It feels like a long goodbye

When I’m gone will you miss me, though time will set you free
Should I look into your eyes, and love you one more time?
I never thought we’d end up here
Trying to wipe away our tears
As I hold you I hear you cry
It feels like a long goodbye

No one knows how we tried to let the world just go by
As a tear rolls down your face, I can’t find the words to say

Do you know I will miss you? For eternity, it’s true
Did I leave enough behind for the memories in your mind?
I never thought we’d end up here
Trying to wipe away our tears
As I hold you I hear you cry
It feels like a long goodbye

Well, we knew this time would come
To see the end we’re running from
As my life just slips away, have we said all we can say?
I never thought we’d end up here
Trying to wipe away our tears
As I hold you I hear you cry
It feels like a long goodbye

Have I told you that I love you?

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