Bobby Lewis wrote a lot of music after his son was born in 2014.
Lewis, assistant professor in the department of media, journalism and film (MJF) at Missouri State University, released an EP of six songs titled “Mighty was Your Light” on Dec. 6. Most of the songs were recorded in the months after his son’s birth.
The first single, “Moon Pie,” is dedicated to his son.
The story of “Moon Pie”
Lewis’ son was born one month premature. In those first months, Lewis and his wife would take four-hour shifts at night, holding the infant while he slept.
“We’d often find ourselves awake, staring in amazement at him and his beautiful face, which seemed to glow,” Lewis said. “My wife nicknamed him ‘Moonie,’ and somewhere along the way we called him ‘Moon Pie,’ which made its way into the song.”
Bringing the song to life
The video for “Moon Pie” features footage of the newborn, along with the now six-year-old’s colorful artwork.
“Originally, the video was going to be a simple live performance shot on Super 8. After editing the video and nearly falling asleep from boredom, I realized that it needed something else,” Lewis said. “I have his drawings and art plastered all over my office at MSU, which gave me the idea to include his artwork.”
Lewis enlisted MJF students Christopher Mitchell, Chase Mussey and Alex Ke to create the video.
“My direction was very minimal,” Lewis said. “I asked them if we could shoot it in black and white on Super 8, put it on an old television and make his art fly around. They did all the heavy lifting and were a joy to work with.”
Lewis added the video captures the essence of the song.
“After my son was born, it was as if I saw color for the first time,” he said. “The notion of love had a much deeper meaning.”
“Mighty was Your Light”
In the following years, Lewis’ mom, dad and younger sister passed away. He stopped working on his music for a while.
“It was the most challenging time I’ve ever experienced,” he said.
Eventually, he began to sort through the aftermath of all he’d lost, and it brought him back to songwriting. During a late-night recording session, he created the fifth track on the EP: “Fenwick’s Art of Dying.”
“It’s based on a book about near-death experiences,” Lewis said. “In it, death is painted as a second chance.”
The cover of the EP is a photo of Lewis’ mom waving goodbye as a teal car pulls out of a driveway.
At the end of the EP notes, Lewis writes, “These songs are dedicated to my loving mom. May her wave goodbye featured on the cover be a mere, ‘See you later.’”