Via Crucis

by John Donovan

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John Donovan's Via Crucis is an interpretation of the fourteen traditional Stations of the Cross. The standard approach to presenting the Stations is observational, third-person, and present tense ("Jesus is condemned to death," "Jesus is taken down from the cross," etc.). Via Crucis shifts the focus to experiential, first-person, and past tense ("I was sent to die," "I was wrapped in a sheet," etc.). These changes, combined with Donovan's approach to songwriting, result in a body of impressionistic stories being told from the perspective of Jesus. The subject becomes the narrator. Even the tracks without words are meant as emotive inward reactions rather than onlooker-based compendia.

The intent of these compositions is twofold: to provide music to your music-loving ears, and to provide points of reflection to those wishing to reflect. Thank you for listening.


released February 13, 2013

Written, produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by John Donovan.
Cover photo by John Donovan.


all rights reserved



John Donovan St Louis, Missouri

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Track Name: Three Turns
I was turning the tide
And the table was wide
When the sun hit my eyes
Someone left my sight

I was turned in on time
By the son of Simon
When I closed my eyes
He was at my side

I turned down the fight
And the rooster cried
When I opened my eyes
I was sent to die
Track Name: Carried Across
Twelve men on horses
Unholy forces
Followed behind
Heavy expressions
On the procession
Flooded my mind

And I couldn't see
The two trailing thieves
Though I heard them
I couldn't waste
A breath as I braced
The burden

Through all the alleys
Families rallied
But I loved them still
In my resistance
Far in the distance
I saw the hill

But I couldn't see
The flowers or the trees
That I knew so well
I couldn't bear
The thought of the snare
The thought of Hell

Through all the hatred
My family waited
Counting the loss
Ancient predictions
No contradictions
Carried across
Track Name: An Early Memory Of Maria, Theotokos
Maria stood outside my bedroom door
While I drew flowers on the wall
And when she couldn't take it anymore
She went running down the hall

And she ran past the maker
And she ran past the made
And she turned to the taker
Who was lying in the shade

So I walked past the maker
And I walked past the made
And I turned to the taker
Who was lying in the shade

I pushed my hair behind my ears
And I looked at Maria
And only loud enough for her to hear
I said, "I'll see ya when I see ya."
Track Name: An Offering
If I could have gone forward on my own
Would I have gone again?
And if I could have looked him in the eye
Would I have trusted him?

I couldn't be distracted by the crowd
By the dirt inside my wounds
An offering was given out loud
That he would carry too
Track Name: Seraphia
Oh, Veronica, there are so few
As calm and caring and loving as you

Oh, Veronica, I gave you my grace
Like I gave you the blood that you wiped from my face

Oh, Veronica, holding the cloth
It won't be destroyed by fire or moth

Oh, Veronica, Seraphia
Oh, Veronica, Seraphia
Oh, Veronica, Seraphia
Oh, Veronica, Seraphia
Seraphia, Seraphia, Seraphia
Track Name: Maybe The Wind
I stepped to the side
And the women said kind words to me
Some were young, some were old

Some of them wailing
And some of them hailing
And I saw the fear in their souls

I wasn't supposed
To be looking for ghosts
But the sunlight was acting so strange

Maybe the wind
Will take all of us in
Or maybe the weather will change

I stepped to the gate
And the people were waiting for me
Some were short, some were tall

Some of the jeering
And some of them sneering
And I was forgiving them all

I tried to keep up
As my body was struck
But the mud on the road was too wet

Maybe the wind
Will remember their sins
Or maybe the weather forgets
Track Name: And They Carried Me
Built my life on my own
In my grandfather's home
Built my mind out of stars
Saw you cry from afar

I was given a name
And the angels proclaimed
And they carried me, and they carried me

Built my house with my hands
On the rock where it stands
Built the Son with my arms
On the hill by the farm

I was wrapped in a sheet
From my hair to my feet
And they carried me, and they carried me