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Tony Rossi, Director of Communications                                        

And Lovely It Is

     Sarah Hart recalled that her grandfather was a lovely man with a servant’s heart who

always turned strangers into friends. But one day, during the last few years of his life, they

were talking on the phone and she realized he sounded out of sorts. “Are you grumpy,

Grandpa?” Sarah asked him. He acknowledged that he had gotten a little crotchety lately

and that he’d even yelled at somebody that day. Sarah told him, “That’s so not like you.” 

The message registered, so a few days later, Grandpa called her back to say he had found a solution to his problem.         

     Using the old style printer paper that still had holes on the side, he made himself a banner that read, “Be Nice” and hung it over the door so it was the last thing he saw before he left the house. It proved to be a reminder that worked, and the phrase “Be nice” even became a family mantra for the Harts. So when Sarah was working on songs for her latest album, entitled “And Lovely It Is,” she turned the words “Be Nice” into a song – not just because of her grandfather, though.

     During a “Christopher Closeup” interview, Sarah told me, “I wrote it right before the 2016 presidential election when everybody was being so mean to each other, and I just couldn’t take it. Songwriters are lovers, not fighters, but our weapons are the pen and the melody. So my weapon was to write a song about the fact that we should work on our civility, our kindness.”

     Though Sarah is a Grammy-nominated Christian music mainstay, “And Lovely It Is” is outwardly more secular, inspired by her love of her daughters Rose and Evelyn, husband Kevin, and other family members and friends. Implicitly, however, the light of the divine is reflected on the album’s songs in various ways. Sarah notes, “I’m very much of the school that the Lord is in all things…And we as believers, if we have that in our hearts…then our hearts can’t help but radiate it.”

     Some songs are meant to simply inspire joy in the listener, as is the case with the track “C’est La Vie.” Joy doesn’t always get the attention it deserves when it comes to living a fully Christian life, but Sarah hopes to change that. She said, “[Music] is a beautiful gift that God gave us, and sometimes it’s intended for fun.”

     In order to tap into this spirit of joy, Sarah made one major change in her life: she stopped watching the news on TV or listening to it on the radio because it has “a tendency to report on nothing but the negative.” To stay abreast of what’s going on in the world, she will read some stories, but she refuses to go back to being a full-fledged consumer of all media.

     Sarah said, “It’s amazing the effect that [a news fast] has had on my spirit. I think there’s something that happens in the way that you look at other human beings when you’re not constantly hearing every day about how bad human beings can be…Instead, [you’re] looking at people and trying to see the face of God in that person and be one-to-one communicating with people and loving people in the world. That has changed me, so I highly recommend it. Don’t listen to the news. If you need to know something, read it. But listen to good things instead. Like ‘Christopher Closeup.’”

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