The Golden Chance

~ piano, soft rock ballad ~ 2011-05-01

Life holds more promise than we know. Lyrics are from a poem of the same title by Edgar A. Guest; music by my brother Nathan Van Shaar. This arrangement / instrumentalization by me.

Notes / Back story

While my brother Nate was serving a mission in Indiana I believe my Dad sent him a copy of this poem, possibly with a request that it would make a great song. Nate doesn't do sheet music; he just made it up by ear and recorded it on a portable tape recorder in a chapel. He mailed the tape home and I have always loved it.

Within a year or two I transcribed it into an old music program I had called SongWright. This was in about 1993. Within the last week, I got the idea that I should do something with it, so I dug out my last resort program backups (stored on floppy disk in the garage) and found the song. I played it over MIDI (I keep a windows 95 system that can run DOS programs around for just such occasions) and captured it with my new system this morning, then spent most of the evening editing and tweaking. I just sang it for Danielle and then she came into to the 'studio' and listened while I did a couple of takes, giving me feedback. I just finished the editing, and voila! In one day, another song.


There is in life this golden chance
For every valiant soul,
The unpenned poem or romance-
The undiscovered goal.

Beyond the sum of all we know
And all that man has done,
Life holds a never-ending row
Of glories to be won.

Still waits the canvas for the paint,
The paper for the pen;
Still searches Faith to find a saint
Among the ranks, Among the ranks of men.

Though man, it seems, has traveled far
Along achievement's way,
His conquests and his triumphs are
But splendors for a day.

In all that is of paint and print,
And marvels which we see,
Life gives us but the faintest hint
Of splendors yet to be.

On still untraveled roads of fame
The feet of men shall climb,
Far nobler goals than ours to claim
From the rich lap of time.

Unreckoned genius yet unborn
Undreamed of deeds shall do.
Night ends the old. With every morn
Life bids us start, Life bids us start the new.

Visitor Comments

WeatteAdommotk from United States ~ 2012-09-20 23:48:18 ~ Whichever you choose, you'll be sure to be comfortable with cable satellite television, a coffeemaker, room service, a desk and high-speed wireless Internet access. However, the amount of ankle is often a good recovery decline to entertain and still be stylish. In modern day, a young priestess named Chiaki Ozuno uncovers the monument. Welcome back to a brand new year; it is hard to believe that it's 2012 already.

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