Judith Hanlon's song "On My Honor"

The lyrics and story...

Judith Hanlon - On My Honor

Words and Music © 2000 Judith Hanlon
Vocals: Vincant Davis and Johnnie Wheeler

On a ship that had no charted course
With no pattern for our sail
We set out in love’s gentle boat
In culture’s stormy gale
I just loved you when I met you
It was simple, right and true
So, with no power vested from the state
I simply pledge the sacred, holy weight
…….of my honor.
On my honor, I will love you
I will keep the dinner on for you
Together we’ll grow old
We’ll turn the album pages
And a history will unfold
And all the states
And all the powers
That fashion, shape and name
Will pale and seem so powerless
When I today bring nothing less
…….than my honor.
On my honor, I will love you
I will celebrate your victories
On Sunday find our pew
We’ll gather friends at table
And discover something new
And all the states
And all the powers
That fashion, shape and blame
Must be silent and so powerless
When I today bring nothing less
…..than my honor.
In the novel of our journey
In the story of our days
Things will change most certainly
And grace will find a way
But today, we bring this Family
To this feast of kindred hearts
With celebration’s bounty on our plate
We taste the precious, sacred, holy weight
……of love’s honor.

and, when I asked permission to post her song, Judith Hanlon wrote me (May 27, 2006):

Hey -- do you want the story of its recording?

Two men -- recorded ONCE -- they had never met. One, Johnny Wheeler, was a member of my church. He has a powerful voice. I wanted this song sung as a duet with two men. When they perform it, it is dripping with love and sexual energy, which is a wonderful addition to the lyrics.

At any rate, I had NO idea how I could find another man who had Johnny's power and could provide harmony -- as the lyrics suggest.

Then it hit me -- go to the gay bar on the night of karaoke. I did. That is when I heard Vincant Davis and KNEW that he was the one. I approached him and said, "Hi, I am Pastor Judy and I would like to talk to you." He is African American, but his face turned white. I didn't know that he was from Texas and imagined ALL pastors to want to SAVE his soul from the EVIL of homosexuality. He turned on his heels and found a place at the other end of the bar.

Before the evening was out, I found him, handed him a tape of the song and the sheet music. Four days later, he heard the song while driving down the road. He was so moved that he began to weep.

He contacted me. We made a date for him and Johnny to meet at the studio. They met for the first time. They sat and talked about how to arrange the song. ......and what you hear is the FIRST time that they sang together. It was a TAKE! Two strangers who felt the song that had been a dream for both of them since they were young children. To love and to marry a man.

We preachers call that the Holy Spirit. It was surely a MOMENT!

Vincant is now a member of the church and sings regularly. Johnny and his partner bought a home in New Hampshire and moved away from us. We still do GIGS in churches who will have us.

Vincant also went with me when I spoke before the Boston State House as a clergyperson in favor of "gay/equal" marriage. My testimony is on my music website.

ALL OF THIS.....if you care to know the stories behind the songs!

Pastor Judy Hanlon

The Color of Grace  The Colors of Love