Sole Music: A Review of
The Way My Story Goes
Fun and Prophets
Up From Here
If there is one indicator of the enthusiasm that my family has for the music of Jamie Soles, it is that while I write this review, one of my children is playing “The Way My Story Goes” upstairs while another child is playing “Fun and Prophets” in the basement. Lest you think these are new CDs for us, we have had the collections for several months now, and my children still love them. So do I.
Jamie Soles, who lives and works in the Great White North of Canada with his wife and brood of eight children, is an outstanding composer and performer for children and adults. If I could sum up what makes his music unique, it would be the way he deals with the whole of Scripture and not just the easy stories we hear repeatedly. Also, he correctly sees the Old Testament not merely as a collection of moral fables but as God’s story of His covenantal dealing with His people that points the way to the Messiah who was to come. This manifests itself in his music through songs that weave their way through the Bible in ways that I have not heard anywhere else. His songs listing prophets, kings, apostles, and other historical information have greatly aided my children in their knowledge of biblical history. My favorite is “The Way My Story Goes.” Even my six-year-old answers Old Testament history questions, much to the amazement of the rest of the family. I attribute much of this to Soles’s music.
You need to be prepared, however. While Soles is very cautious about sensitive ears and hearts, he also talks about incidents in Scripture that aren’t exactly sugar and spice. For example, he sings about Jael giving Sisera the tent-peg treatment in Judges 4; Korah, Dathan, and Abiram getting swallowed up in Numbers 16; and similar incidents. I have been very pleased with the way he presents these historical incidents. My children learn the gist of what happened and why without hearing too much detail. He rightly understands that God put everything in Scripture for a reason, but he understands that not every audience has the same capacity or maturity.
While this review deals primarily with his music for children, he also composes and records music for adults that is well done and worthy of your consideration.
Since the audience of Homeschooling Today magazine is diverse in musical tastes, I recommend you visit the website at http://www.solmusic.ca to listen to excerpts of his music to make a decision based on your family’s personal standards. His music style varies somewhat from one CD or song to another, and some are more contemporary in feel than others. From a lyrical, scriptural, and teaching point, I recommend his materials highly.
By Jay Barfield
—Originally published in the “God’s Word Does Not Return Void” issue (May/June 2009) of Homeschooling Today magazine