Music From My Movies

Healing River

15025590_10210831813212227_3211617417573494035_oWhen I was young, it was a toss-up whether music or writing would be the focus of my career. Writing and filmmaking eventually emerged as my creative fulcrum. But, like water seeking the path of least resistance, my composing (I’ve always been more of a songwriter than a performer, anyway) found its way into my films.

As the writer-director of Healing River, I was in a unique position to assign songs crucial roles in the storyline of my first feature film, rather than add them later. The movie isn’t a musical per se, but one of the characters is a songwriter, and music figures prominently in the story.

Unlike other songs in the movie, Healing River actually came to me while I was writing the screenplay–on the first day, in fact. As I envisioned the opening, I began hearing a mournful melody. This would become the recurring musical theme for Ingrid, the story’s protagonist, a woman whose only son is killed by a drug-addicted driver.

Healing River is built around two metaphors: that of water as a sign of healing (a symbol of God’s Spirit), and that of a potter as a remaker of lives. The latter is a reference to both God, the Master Potter, and Ingrid, who is herself a potter. The lyrics speak of loss and longing, but are also intentionally cryptic, referring as they do to things which have not yet occurred:

Tell me your story, show me your pain,

Teach me how to find that healing river again.

Where is the water that first made me whole?

Where is the Potter who can remake my soul?

Lord, I’ve been drifting, and I don’t know why,

When did the world get so barren and dry?

Where is the water that first made me whole?

Where is the Potter who can remake my soul?

This recording was arranged and produced by the brilliant composer of Over-the-Rhine’s score, Steve Goers. The heartbreaking vocal is sung by alto Jackie Chitwood. Note: A one-minute-long instrumental plays under the film’s opening credits; the vocal section comes in as the story begins.

Note: No part of this song or recording may be copied or reproduced without first obtaining written permission from its composer Mitch Teemley (Og Hollow Music, 2016 – ASCAP)

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Movies, Popular Culture & Entertainment and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Music From My Movies

  1. Gary Fultz says:

    Wow Mitch, Do I ever relate to the music and lyrics…The movie is also on my “Gotta watch” list. Thanks

    Liked by 4 people

  2. jwfisch says:

    Mitch, I’m John Fischer. We might have run into each other when you were with Isaac Air Freight. I am one of the pioneers of Jesus Music and went on to write a number of books as well as songwriting. I would very much like to connect with you. email:; website:

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow! Who knew? Not me… Just sayin’ Love the song… I’ve written over 250 songs, but I’ve never found a collaborator for music. Such is life… My son is a classical music composer, so he isn’t any help… Ha. Very nice, Mitch! God bless you, brother!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This is so powerful and moving! For those of us who haven’t seen it and really, really want to…is this available somewhere to watch? I was in tears just watching the trailer! Your witness and amazing gifts are daily blessings, Mitch. Now I’ve GOT to see this…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Janet T Oldfield says:

    I echo whitehairgrace in her comment above in that I would really love to see your movie. Did it open in some theatres and is maybe available for dvd purchase? I am pretty much housebound these days except for an occasional day when I can get out of the house and venture to somewhere close to my home. Your movie and its music sound amazing and I loved the preview! So happy to hear of your success!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. simplywendi says:

    I am so looking forward to seeing your movie…… so very exciting for you and your family! Bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. badfinger20 says:

    Really good song Mitch and Jackie has a soulful voice.

    I love writing songs and recording them…Cubase has made it easier now than in the 1980s.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ron Bouchard says:

    So thankful that men like you have consecrated your talents for the Masters use! Hearing the music and watching the trailer for your film was inspiring to me and I’d like to put a link on my site with your permission (once I figure out how to; I’m new to all this!) Let me know if that’s not appropriate.
    Ron Bouchard

    Liked by 3 people

  9. A beautiful song beautifully done.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. waynetdowdy says:

    That is really nice; a beautiful voice with relaxing tones. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Ann Coleman says:

    I can’t get it to play on my IPad, (my fault, I’m sure as this devise will be the death of me yet), but the words to the song are so beautiful and meaningful, for anyone who has felt loss or lost their way. As we all do now and then. I’ll play it as soon as I get to my own computer!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. smzang says:

    music, lyrics, and vocals
    all transport the listener

    Liked by 2 people

  13. nancyehead says:

    Love it. And my husband came into the room to ask what I was listening to. Great job! God bless!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. lynnabbott says:

    Oh, Mitch… it’s hauntingly beautiful! You are truly a Renaissance Creative! I love this! Bravo!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Pingback: Music from My Movies | Mitch Teemley

  16. lorraineanne says:

    hello! thanks for sharing would really appreciate it if you would check out my blog would mean a lot!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. brianlazanik says:

    Great read. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. You can really imagine the sorrow and brokenness in this song. I will have to watch Over the Rhine…if it’s available to view? Would it ever be on PureFlix?

    Liked by 2 people

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  21. Great poem, Mitch. How well it expresses the longing of a searching soul.

    Liked by 2 people

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  24. The lyrics speak of what we feel when we are lost and we search God in need of His Hand. Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

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