Friday, October 29, 2010

A New THANK YOU Treat for my Custom Song Clients = Shocolaate!

In my recent efforts to put together some pampering THANK YOU packages for my Custom Song clients, I have come across the most wonderful, friendly and supportive mother-daughter team of chocolatiers. Diana and Cristina at Shocolaate ("Show-ko-latt" at make the most luscious artisan truffles and chocolate treats and I'm so excited to share them with YOU!

I will be posting 3 specific song packages and their details ASAP and each song package will come with a different THANK YOU set of gifts, but one thing EVERY Song Client will receive is a selection of Shocolaate chocolates to savor and share (or not share, ha!).

I'm really thrilled to give Shocolaate to you. Not only because this chocolate is very high quality and very delicious, but because it's made by sweet and savvy women who I am honored to call my new friends.

SHOCOLAATE just launched their NEW website, so check it out right now for their full selection of delights!

--jennifer haase


Monday, October 18, 2010

"From Moment One" for Hannah & Rick

Hannah Forrester married Rick Dolan on September 4th, 2010.   I've yet to meet Hannah personally but my connection to her family goes way back to my hometown of North Platte, Nebraska where Hannah had her wedding and her mother Tami did, too. 

Tami and I went to high school together.   When Tami married her high school sweetheart, Pat Forrester, I was so honored that Tami and her mother, Jan, asked me to sing in the wedding. 

That, my friends, was over 20 years ago.   When Tami and I reconnected recently via Facebook she honored me again with the request to sing in her daughter's wedding.  Though I said a very moved YES and was so excited to be part of another wedding with this wonderful family, the distance (I've been a New Yorker for nearly 13 years) and the finances just weren't going to allow me to be there in person.  

But Hannah would still have a Custom Wedding Song written by me, which Tami decided would be a special surprise gift for the Bride & Groom.

This was the first time I'd ever written a song for a bride without actually getting to communicate directly with the bride.  I was really nervous that I'd somehow get Hannah's story wrong or not hit on the special things (memories, images, feelings...) connected to her relationship with her hubby-to-be that would make this song one that she truly loved and would be proud to share.

And I wanted the song to be special to the groom, too, of course, which might be difficult for Tami and I to do together in secret.

Luckily, Tami was a wonderful source of info about Hannah & Rick's courtship.  Some of the details I knew I wanted to use in their Custom Wedding Song were...

  • Hannah met Rick on Rick's 21st birthday (which is March 21st).   At that meeting, he wanted to kiss her and she wouldn't let him.   They became friends first and eventually started dating on Sept 4th.  They got married one year after their first date, to the day.

  • Both Hannah & Rick love the song "White Lightning" and were surprised to learn that about each other.  Pat, Hannah's dad, used to play that song in his truck when his daughters were young.  I wanted to somehow mention white well as Hannah's relationship with her Dad and her key elements for her lyrics.

  • Rick seemed to know right when he met Hannah that she was his girl. Before Rick and Hannah started dating, Rick handed her his class ring and told her she could have it because he was going to marry her someday.   Rick's immediate sense of Hannah being The One is the main theme on which I based the entire song, moving me to title it "From Moment One."

  • Other sweet details like Rick calling Hannah his "Purdy Girl".....Rick pacing outside the jewelry store until they finally opened their doors on the day he went to buy Hannah's engagement fact, Rick himself really became the driving force of this whole song as I imagine he was when convincing Hannah that he was the right man to love her from moment one.

Not really knowing what kind of tempo & tone Hannah would want for her own Custom Wedding Song, I just winged it with Tami's input, writing something slow and loving. 

I played the 1st draft of the song for Tami over the phone.   She liked it so much she had me call her mother, Jan, and play it over the phone for her, too.

The recording of Hannah's song was easy and quick.   Working with my Emmy-nominated recording engineer, Robert L. Smith in New York City, I played my acoustic guitar and a bit of electric guitar in addition to the lead and backing vocals.  

I knew that Tami was happy with the song, but would Hannah & Rick love it, too?  I waited anxiously for Hannah's wedding to come and go so I could find out what her reaction would be. 

I was thinking that Tami would share this song with the bride & groom at their wedding rehearsal dinner, which was the original plan when I was going to be there in person to sing it for them.

But Tami and her co-conspirators put together a Custom Song Surprise so special I wish I had been a fly on the wall when it was played during the wedding ceremony itself.

Here's how Tami describes how they pulled off the surprise....

"We played it right after The Lord's Prayer. We put a copy of the lyrics in the programs so they [Hannah & Rick] wouldn't see it. Then the preacher gave them a copy right before it played so they could listen and see the words.  They were totally surprised, they loved it!!" 

I was so thrilled to hear how Tami and family sprung this song on Hannah & Rick in such a creative, touching way!  Here are the song lyrics to "From Moment One" and you can listen to their Custom Wedding Song by clicking the player below or at the top of this blog, too.

From Moment One by Jennifer Haase by JenniferHaaseMusic

From Moment One
(For Hannah & Rick)
Words & Music by Jennifer Haase c 2010

He knew it when they said hello
And even when she told him no
He knew he’d kiss this girl
And give his heart for real

She made him wait for their first date
Now one year later, to the day
She vows to love this man
And loves how they began

From his birthday, like white lightning
To two friends changed with one class ring
So lucky to find love so young
This love for two that grew from moment one

She’s grateful how their story goes
To add him now to her heroes
Like Dad and Grandpa Ed
The men who love her best

He’d paced outside the jewelry store
Not waiting for a minute more
To ask her for her hand
And make good on his plan


One “Purdy Girl” he loves as much
As those first days he asked her to trust
That his hope for them was true
And big enough for two


This love that grew for two
Somehow he always knew from moment one

He knew it when they said hello…


"The song was AMAZING! Everyone wanted to know when the cd for it was comin' out! They loved it 15 yr old nephew teared up~he wanted a copy. Everyone was blown away by it, Hannah was crying and Rick was so surprised. You touched many lives by that song and I am very blessed to have you as a friend Jennifer!!! I said it before, I think you have a hit with that one~ I know @ least 250 people that would buy it." --Tami Forrester


Tami & Pat Forrester, for flattering me with the opportunity to be part of your daughter's wedding, which was just as wonderful as when I was part of your own.  

Jan Barnhart (Grandmother of the Bride) for the GORGEOUS hand knitted throw you gave me as a Thank You gift, which is so pretty I can hardly bring myself to use it for fear of ruining it!  Thank you for your thoughtfulness, very much.

And special thanks, of course, to Hannah & Rick.   Writing this song for you was a sincere pleasure.  I hope you and your family enjoy it for many years to come.  Congrats to you!

To discuss the details for your own Custom Song Commission for your special event or loved one, please contact me at

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"Times Infinity" for Stacy & Daniel

Daniel: Can I keep you?
Stacy: You mean really, really keep me? Like a thousand years times infinity?
Daniel: No, a MILLION years times infinity.
Stacy: Ok. But only if it's a billion.
When Stacy told me her May wedding would have a Dr. Seuss theme, I knew I would love working with a client who had such a playful sense of humor.  When she told me that her custom wedding dance song would be a surprise gift for Daniel, her husband-to-be, well...I definitely wanted in on that kind of sentimental secret!

     As always, I started with lots of notes.  Gathered from an initial chat with Stacy via phone, several email exchanges (plus she and Daniel's great wedding website) plenty of wonderful song-worthy details about their relationship were obvious immediately.  The way they met online, their Seuss-inspired endearments and their shared spirituality was all great fodder for a special song of their own.

     My challenge with this wedding dance song wasn't going to be not having enough great information and imagery to mold with melody. What I thought might be tricky would be creating the right balance between the silly and the sweet.  

     Too much on the serious side and this song wouldn't fit the whimsical wedding theme.  Too much on the silly side and I wouldn't earn those happy bride tears that help me know I've written something she and her family would cherish for lifetimes.

"Oh. My. Goodness. On a stick. This is AWESOME!!! YOU ROCK MY SOCKS! I sent the song to my mom, and she cried. She said it was perfect and so beautiful. You've created something to cherish for a lifetime of love." --Stacy Mayfield, Custom Wedding Song called "Times Infinity", May 2010.

Some of the details that rose to the surface for this custom wedding song were...

  • Daniel & Stacy had Seuss-esque endearments for each other that felt to me like a special language all their own.  Like adding a "ses" sound to the end of words (love is pronounced "loveses") and using adorable mash-ups like "huglovesquish" as nicknames.   I knew I wanted to use some of these sweet "nonsense" words and pronunciations in their song, which would lend themselves beautifully to their wedding theme, even if the only people who fully got the reference were the bride and groom.

  • Spirituality was an important theme from my song notes, so I wanted to include something to symbolize their faith.  "Holy water" became the ideal image because I could use it as a counterpoint for another of Stacy's ways of telling her hubby-to-be how much she loves him, which is the phrase "Olive juice".  (If you don't know this already, mouth that phrase while looking at yourself in the mirror.  It looks just like you're saying "I love you.")

  • When Daniel proposed to Stacy, he asked "Can I keep you?" which is a line very special to their love story so I knew it had to be featured in this song in a prominent way.   And, as you can see at the top of this blog post where I quoted them both, their "times infinity" each other each time on how MANY times infinity they would love and care for one another....became the focus of their song's chorus and the title, as well.

Stacy was one of those brides you dream of working with.   She was so charming and positive.  She gave me details so rich and romantic.  She allowed me to trust my muse in piecing together a loving song very personal to she and Dan that they would want to listen to every year as part of their wedding anniversary celebrations to come.

And that's not all.  Stacy planned this song for her wedding dance.   But once "Times Infinity" was done and recorded for her, she changed her mind.  This would now be the song she used to walk down the aisle.  A surprise gift for her beloved boy during the ceremony itself.

To hear Stacy & Daniel's custom wedding song "Times Infinity" please click on the player link below or at the top of this blog, too. 

Times Infinity
Words & Music by Jennifer Haase, c 2010

One fish, two fish
Me and Youfish
One long Huglovesquish
Forever more

Some call it nonsense
We say it's loveses
Just like this ring says
My heart is yours

And it’s clear as holy water
We’re the real thing
Every year let’s hold each other
On this day and ask again…

Can I keep you?
May I, Loveyou?
From this moment times infinity
Share my language. Share my space ship.
But only if it’s for a hundred times infinity

When fate first matched us
What slowly hatched is
A sweet new friendship
About to spark

No one yet knew this
Our two lit fuses
Were twoloveyouses
Waiting to start

And it’s clear as holy water
We’re the real thing
Every year let’s hold each other
On this day and ask again…

(…but only if it’s for a thousand times infinity)

And it’s clear as olive juice
That we’re the real thing
Olive juice in a house
Olive juice as my spouse
Olive on and on and on and on, Amen.


(…but only if it’s for a million times infinity…for a trillion times infinity….for a triple billion zillion times infinity….times infinity…you and me…times infinity)

THANK YOU to Stacy and Daniel Mayfield for an incredibly moving songwriting experience.  I cried while writing it.  I weep joyful tears when I look at these wedding photos that tell a loving, playful story all their own, too.

THANK YOU for the advertorial feature on my Custom Song business that caught Stacy's attention and led to her hiring me.   Your website is a rockin' awesome source for the non-traditional bride, BRAVO!  Here's the Offbeat Bride link about me:

Please FOLLOW me on twitter! 

To COMMISSION your own CUSTOM SONG please send me an email with your questions and ideas at
I look forward to writing a special song for you, too.

--Jennifer Haase (rhymes with "classy")

Saturday, May 8, 2010


In addition to writing songs for my own albums, I love writing songs for other people to give as gifts and use for special occasions.   I will tell you stories here about my experiences writing with and for people who commission my custom songs.   The stories behind the songs themselves.

When I get a song commission, I ask a lot of questions.   My song journal fills with such beautifully intimate details about the people and relationships I'm asked to write about.  Images, experiences, memories, feelings...they all get scribbled down.   We talk about the song's main message.   We talk about rhythm and tone. 

I write the 1st draft and play it for them.   So far, I've been hired mostly by women.  And so far, when the women 1st hear their custom song, they cry.   And that moves me more than I can say.

If the song isn't quite right yet, we then edit it together.  We make sure it says exactly what they want it to say and how they want it said.

Then I make a professional recording of the song.   Usually people hire me for a simple recording of just me singing and playing my guitar, with possibly some harmony/backing vocals added.   If they want a fully-produced professional recording with more instrumentation, those song commission packages are available, too.  If you prefer to have a male voice singing your recorded song, I can make that happen for you.

I look forward to sharing my experiences writing these really special songs with you.   Please check back often as I finish new projects and add song samples. 

And if you'd like to hire me yourself, please contact me with your song needs and for a price quote at