Our Front Porch: Ralph Carmichael and the Young People, Light Records (LS-5560-LP) 1970?



New Sounds of the 70’s is what this album is all about. If you are reading this, you are probably familiar with one factor of Christian music from this time period: it was always a couple of years behind in stylistic trends. This isn’t a bad thing, and in 2017, it is quite refreshing to hear music that is heartfelt and sung by real people, even if they were trying to be edgy or different.  I hear slight elements of Sly and the Family Stone (I’ve got Confidence), Friends of Distinction in the opening song, “Our Front Porch”, and the slightly soft psych tune, “The Flower Shoppe” round out the album. The remainder of the numbers are pleasant and certainly listenable harmonious pop vaguely reminiscent of the later (and groovy) Four Freshman Lps.

Side One:

Our Front Porch

Smiling at Rainstorms (Psalm 59)

Bright New World

Trust Me Now (Psalm 37)

Reach Out to Jesus

Side Two:

Dressing Up Jesus


We’re Not Going To Make It Together

The Flower Shoppe

I’ve Got Confidence


From the back cover: 

“Wilted daisies, 

Ragged, plastic covered chairs. Busted screens.

Scraggly, unkept grass.

We’ve been given a hand-me-down place to live.

We’re stuck in a ramshackle scene,

looking out at what’s coming next (who knows?)

Obviously, we weren’t around when all this was made.

But we’re the ones shoved out onto the porch.

We’re the ones who have to trim that yard some day.

We gotta fix those chairs and boards.

Or just sit in ’em.

and strangle in weeds and filth. Some day.

We’re the ones shoved out to the edge of the action. 

We got no hammers, no nails

–nor even a reason to fix anything. 

Or even be anything!


Oh yeah, we’re here. Like, man, we know we’re here!

There is no way–no way–

to move into a carpeted, everything manicured world.

It doesn’t exist!

Not anywhere in sight. 

Utopians may dream on.

but all we see are rusty hinges, broken windows

and people are getting their bare feet in the glass.

This is the universe. Right here. 

It’s a cruddy place to live. 

Always has been (except when it was brand new…

Which was a long, long time ago).


But we do have water

Cold, bracing water.

Pure, cleansing water. 

Water to satisfy. 

Living water.

Yeah! Living water!

The utensils you find it in may get pretty filthy.

But the water–

the water itself, mind you–

it’s pure delight….

This water satisfies.

It stimulates!

Makes you want to grab a paint brush

–and paint the whole world!

Grab a hammer

–and hammer out justice and love for the people!

Oh, there’s water here, 

in all this dilapidation we live in–

this once beautiful scene man’s still ruining–

there’s water here!

And it’s free.

Unlimited supply.

Pure water

(if you get past the grease on the grundy glasses).

People die of thirst every day, 

afraid to drink because of grease on glasses.

But the water’s worth it. 

Free. Plenty for everybody.

Hey, are you dyin’?

Have some water!”

–the CAMPUS LIFE editors

Listen to the full lp on Youtube here!




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