Forty by Chris deSilva

This song is an exquisite piece for Lent by Chris deSilva.

It is a fascinating piece of writing with the same tune for each verse but a different chord progression. The text goes from years to days to hours in a manner reminiscent of the recent Dunkirk movie. The effect here is also stark and cinematic.

The sheet music is here and you can listen to his piano+vocal track in which you should pay special attention to the piano line changing as the song progresses.

My backing is less sophisticated, but I have all the chord varieties he wrote.


Verse 1
Forty years through barren desert
Israel sought the Promised Land.
Forty days of prayer and penance,
Our desert journey is at hand.

Verse 2
Forty days of lonely fasting:
Satan then did Jesus dare.
Forty days of self-denial:
We, too, must face the tempter’s snare.

Verse 3
Forty hours from Crucifixion
Till the stone was rolled away.
Forty days of Lenten sorrow
End with the joy of Easter Day.

Copyright © 2012 Christopher J. S. deSilva. All rights reserved.

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