We Fall Down SAS 2/401

This is a slight piece of writing from Chris Tomlin considering how much he rings out of it with repetition. I think I’ve just about blogged as much P&W as I can stand.
There are only three lines really and I can’t see they are effective from a symbolic perspective – still with the crowns, really? The second line, having placed something at Jesus’ feet are we now placing mercy and love there too? …and why does “Holy” have to have three syllables all the time?

The text is here. It can be purchased for download at various outlets on the internet including musicnotes.

I think the only hope for this song is keep is quiet, meditative and short and my backing aims for that.

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Of course I am a curmudgeon and lots of people love this song performed with admirable restraint by Tomlin.

His later version lacks the admirable restraint:

Covers (the instrumental version is at an obvious advantage):

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The Shade of Your Hand SAS 2/400

Tom Booth based this song on Francis Thompson’s poem “The Hound of Heaven”.

Now I didn’t think of a country rock song when I read the poem but Booth did and he did use some of the best lines and paraphrased the rest.

The text is at spiritandsong where you can purchase the sheet music for download. You can listen to the original here.

My backing is country rock and I’ll have you know I entered every sodding note of the piano introduction. BIAB had a lot of fun with guitar solos and drum fills in this one.

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Read the whole poem and see if you think Booth got the essence of it.

The Hound of Heaven
By Francis Thompson  (1859–1907)
I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days;
  I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
    Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.         5
      Up vistaed hopes I sped;
      And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
  From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
      But with unhurrying chase,        10
      And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
      They beat—and a Voice beat
      More instant than the Feet—
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’        15
          I pleaded, outlaw-wise,
By many a hearted casement, curtained red,
  Trellised with intertwining charities;
(For, though I knew His love Who followèd,
        Yet was I sore adread        20
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside).
But, if one little casement parted wide,
  The gust of His approach would clash it to.
  Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,        25
  And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,
  Smiting for shelter on their clangèd bars;
        Fretted to dulcet jars
And silvern chatter the pale ports o’ the moon.
I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to Eve: Be soon;        30
  With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over
        From this tremendous Lover—
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!
  I tempted all His servitors, but to find
My own betrayal in their constancy,        35
In faith to Him their fickleness to me,
  Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;
  Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.
      But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,        40
    The long savannahs of the blue;
        Or whether, Thunder-driven,
    They clanged his chariot ’thwart a heaven,
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o’ their feet:—
  Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.        45
      Still with unhurrying chase,
      And unperturbèd pace,
    Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
      Came on the following Feet,
      And a Voice above their beat—        50
    ‘Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.’
I sought no more that after which I strayed
  In face of man or maid;
But still within the little children’s eyes
  Seems something, something that replies,        55
They at least are for me, surely for me!
I turned me to them very wistfully;
But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair
  With dawning answers there,
Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.        60
‘Come then, ye other children, Nature’s—share
With me’ (said I) ‘your delicate fellowship;
  Let me greet you lip to lip,
  Let me twine with you caresses,
    Wantoning        65
  With our Lady-Mother’s vagrant tresses,
    Banqueting
  With her in her wind-walled palace,
  Underneath her azured daïs,
  Quaffing, as your taintless way is,        70
    From a chalice
Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring.’
    So it was done:
I in their delicate fellowship was one—
Drew the bolt of Nature’s secrecies.        75
  I knew all the swift importings
  On the wilful face of skies;
  I knew how the clouds arise
  Spumèd of the wild sea-snortings;
    All that’s born or dies        80
  Rose and drooped with; made them shapers
Of mine own moods, or wailful or divine;
  With them joyed and was bereaven.
  I was heavy with the even,
  When she lit her glimmering tapers        85
  Round the day’s dead sanctities.
  I laughed in the morning’s eyes.
I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,
  Heaven and I wept together,
And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine;        90
Against the red throb of its sunset-heart
    I laid my own to beat,
    And share commingling heat;
But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart.
In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek.        95
For ah! we know not what each other says,
  These things and I; in sound I speak—
Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.
Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth;
  Let her, if she would owe me,       100
Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me
  The breasts o’ her tenderness:
Never did any milk of hers once bless
    My thirsting mouth.
    Nigh and nigh draws the chase,       105
    With unperturbèd pace,
  Deliberate speed, majestic instancy;
    And past those noisèd Feet
    A voice comes yet more fleet—
  ‘Lo! naught contents thee, who content’st not Me!’       110
Naked I wait Thy love’s uplifted stroke!
My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me,
    And smitten me to my knee;
  I am defenceless utterly.
  I slept, methinks, and woke,       115
And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.
In the rash lustihead of my young powers,
  I shook the pillaring hours
And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,
I stand amid the dust o’ the mounded years—       120
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.
  Yea, faileth now even dream
The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist;       125
Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist
I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,
Are yielding; cords of all too weak account
For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.
  Ah! is Thy love indeed       130
A weed, albeit an amaranthine weed,
Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?
  Ah! must—
  Designer infinite!—
Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou canst limn with it?       135
My freshness spent its wavering shower i’ the dust;
And now my heart is as a broken fount,
Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever
  From the dank thoughts that shiver
Upon the sighful branches of my mind.       140
  Such is; what is to be?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds;
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of Eternity;       145
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then
Round the half-glimpsèd turrets slowly wash again.
  But not ere him who summoneth
  I first have seen, enwound
With glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned;       150
His name I know, and what his trumpet saith.
Whether man’s heart or life it be which yields
  Thee harvest, must Thy harvest-fields
  Be dunged with rotten death?
      Now of that long pursuit       155
    Comes on at hand the bruit;
  That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
    ‘And is thy earth so marred,
    Shattered in shard on shard?
  Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!       160
  Strange, piteous, futile thing!
Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught’ (He said),
‘And human love needs human meriting:
  How hast thou merited—       165
Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?
  Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
  Save Me, save only Me?       170
All which I took from thee I did but take,
  Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
  All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:       175
  Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’
  Halts by me that footfall:
  Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
  ‘Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,       180
  I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.’
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We Ever Praise Will You SAS 2/399

I’ve already blogged 398 “The Heart of Worship” here, which brings me to this charming lightly country song by Angus McDonell. Since it is singable by an assembly it could be used liturgically where appropriate, although a cantor could do the verses.

The text is at spiritandsong and it must have been popular to turn up in so many of their collections. You can hear the original here, where he is delightful called Agnus.

I tried to get the accordion into my version too:

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This cover rocks it up a bit and puts in the the answering harmony (each phrase consisting of one repeated note!) in the refrain:

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Surrender All SAS 2/397

396 is “Shout to the Lord”, which I have already blogged here.

This brings me to “Surrender All”, which is an odd one.  The introduction is by Judson W. Van Deventer and is from its time a hundred or so years ago and then the song proper by Frank and ValLima Jansen is R&B I suppose.  The music is fine but I find the text problematic – “surrender” is something you live imperfectly into – it can’t be rushed or done for ulterior motives, even to obtain the beatific vision.

The text is at spiritandsong where the sheet music can be purchased for download. You can listen to the original here.

My backing demonstrates the difficulty I have with this style of music – I fear I slip into parody:

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Our God Is Here SAS 2/395

This song by Chris Muglia is distinguished from many of the others in this section of Spirit & Song Vol 2 in that it is singable by an assembly. It could even pass for a gathering song at that, and there are examples on YouTube of churches using the song for that purpose.

The text is at spiritandsong where the sheet music can be purchased for download in many and varied versions.

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The original:

The wonderful Arch Street Band:

Another very professional cover, this time by MG Johnson and friends:

A nice choir version:

You can hear a nice prayerful unplugged version by Johanna Hurley here.

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No Ordinary Day SAS 2/394

I have no idea what to make of this solo vehicle by Curtis Stephan. Is it just a rocked up version of Al Jarreau’s “Mornin”?

The text is at spiritandsong where the sheet music can be purchased for download. You can listen to the original here.

My backing mixes the melody down a bit this time.

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Part of 52 songs in 52 weeks (I think she got to week nine.):

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So We Will Worship SAS 2/393

This is a more sensible song – this time by Sarah Hart and Kevin B. Hipp. The refrain would even be singable in a Coldplay sort of way by an assembly if you could find a liturgical use for it.

The text is at spiritandsong where the sheet music can be purchased for download.

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Sarah Hart:

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My Glorious SAS 2/392

This is a very hard rock song by Delirious? and written by Martin Smith and Stuart Garrard.

Definition of “glorious” (from Dictionary.com)

adjective

1.
delightful; wonderful; completely enjoyable:
to have a glorious time at the circus.
2.
conferring glory :
a glorious victory.
3.
full of glory; entitled to great renown:
England is glorious in her poetry.
4.
brilliantly beautiful or magnificent; splendid:
a glorious summer day.
5.
Archaic. blissfully drunk.

The question then is my glorious what?

This text is not really meant to make any sense except as incarnated in a throbbing crowd at a concert. The sheet music can be purchased for download from several sites on the net including musicnotes.

In response to this my backing is a ridiculous heavy metal version:

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The authors talk about the song:

The original:

Delirious? live:

A more laid back cover:

The Spill back in heavy mode:

More covers:

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Lead Me Home SAS 2/391

More Matt Maher.  He is in more reflective mode this time but he does say “thank you” a lot, which is nice. It has a nice two handed bridge.

The text is at spiritandsong where the sheet music can be purchased for download.

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Matt Maher:

Covers:

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Just Like You SAS 2/390

More P&W goodness from Matt Maher. As a rock song you forgive cliched lyrics and close enough rhymes I suppose. It has song fun pop tropes (deeper and deeper etc) but the ending could be a let down.

The text is at spiritandsong where the sheet music can be purchased for download.

BIAB got to have a drum solo.

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Matt Maher:

The crowd participating:

A cover:

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