The Song I Wrote (and Mark Farner Sang)

Derek Ouellette —  June 30, 2011

I wrote “I Cry To You” several years ago intending it to be sung during praise time at my church. Having shown it to my brother-in-law who in turn introduced me to his friend, Terry, who is a professional music producer, “I Cry To You” was eventually professionally recorded and sung by Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroads). But it never saw the light of day and got lost among the mountain of CD’s I’ve collected over the years.

While unpacking from my recent move I was going through a box filled with old CD’s and lo and behold there it was stuffed between Wayne Watson and Scott Wesley Brown.

I’ve provided the lyrics below the song if you want to follow along. The melody changed somewhat during production from how I imagined it when it was written and Mark made some adjustments to the lyrics (which I suppose makes him co-writer). I have highlighted his changes in italics and inserted the original lyrics in brackets. Also, I end the song a little bit early here, so it’s only 2 minutes long.


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I Cry To You

Verse 1

Everywhere I turn and look
You’re staring right through my heart.
You know my all, I’m so inspired (ashamed)
All I have left are words to impart (to say is…)

I cry to you, giving my all
I cry to you, saying you are my God

Verse 2
You are my God, you are my (redeemer,) friend.
You set me free from my enemy
The joy I have (know) from knowing you,
Makes me sing nearly constantly (with all I am…)

Repeat Chorus

When I think of the cross, where you died
And all you’ve done in my heart
It’s the only thing I do (In my heart there is only one thing to do,)
“Here I am!”

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • Jon

    great sound to the song. just a side question…do you agree with the changes made to the lyrics? i mean there are some major changes like on the first stanza, from your original words “ashamed” changed to “inspired”.

    • Derek Ouellette

      Jon, I’m thrilled you asked.

      The changes made are significant and in essence they change the message of the song. The point of the first stanza is that I am a wretch, ashamed when a holy God looks on me and sees those parts I try to hide from everyone else. Mark is more optimistic. God looks at my inner being, and that brings inspiration to say, “I cry to you”. You’ll notice in the second stanza that the word “redeemer” has been removed. He’s my God and he’s my friend, but he’s not my redeemer? Maybe there’s nothing to be redeemed? Maybe that’s why I don’t need to be ashamed? I wonder if the deletion of “redeemer” is a direct outworking of changing the word “ashamed” to “inspired”. And finally you’ll notice that “in my heart” has been moved up to read “all you’ve done in my heart” as opposed to the original, “In my heart there’s there’s only one thing to do”. These say two very different things. “All you’ve done in my heart” is very individualistic. I say to God, “here I am” not just because of what he’s done “in my heart”, but because of what he’s done. Period. Everything he did. Not just for me, but for all of creation. So I cry out, “here I am… send me”.

      So no I don’t agree with Mark’s changes. He and I have a fundamentally different understanding of God’s work in creation and redemption.

  • Jon

    Thanks for the explanation. I guess I liked the original lyric better because it capture theological leanings that I have personally as well. I guess that’s what happens when someone else sings songs we write.