Butterfly and yellow rose

A song
4 today

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For Today...

'I, the Lord of Sea and Sky'

Top-drawer song by Dan Schutte: along with Bernadette Farrell, he's one of the best Catholic songwriters who is widely known across Protestant / non-conformist denominations.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgLwH5RdtPk - a Songs of Praise recording (a verse short) - and an interesting arrangement. Includes roughly the same echo line I use in the chorus, too.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6grXk3e5bs0 - another Songs of Praise recording - a bit quicker, so they fit in 3 verses. A more conventional accompaniment, and a different chorus echo.


Recent links

'Lead us, Heavenly Father, Lead us'

A good Trinitarian hymn, which is also co-opted for occasions when state and church mix.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGsvbqErM2A - a Songs of Praise recording, from a parade service.


'On the Cross'

Standard communion repertoire - one of Geoff Baker's more well-known songs. It's very hard to find recordings of Geoff Baker songs on Youtube, or I'd feature more.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdHGc4ncZAg - we have several songs from this album in repertoire.


'How lovely is your dwelling place'

The Matt Redman version has become my preferred one. From a lead musician's point of view, it works well with a bit of gentle distortion in the bridge passage, either from the Hammond or the electric guitar. Elsewhere, a good sustained electric piano should be in the mix, and it's a good excuse to hang out the tubular bells too.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PdXmvMTyx0 - a version from the author.


'My Jesus, My Saviour'

A very popular Hillsong classic, not to be lost because it's been overused in the past. Tempting to take it 2-speed:- slower 1st half with piano, quicker for the 2nd half... and add the Hammond.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGmZcTCXjmM - a simple version, without the customary extended ending... and rare instance of a recording which I think feels a wee bit too fast.


'To be in Your presence'

Quality song by Noel Richards - works for me with a keyboard (electric piano) or guitar lead.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=typ7cueKdT4 - album recording.


'Purify my Heart'

Powerful top-drawer song by Brian Doerksen.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IvXA0yRDwY - making good use of the electric piano, which is my choice of instrument for this one too.


'I'll Praise my Maker'

A great Isaac Watts hymn that we haven't used in a long time - so it's nice to include it here.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7BB6kArmoI - from the Metropolitan Tabernacle.


'Who is there like you'

Immensely powerful song by Paul Oakley, and part of our core repertoire. I like to use it pre-communion.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv-2ay7JxEU - the composer's own take on it... though I prefer to lead it from a straight (well, doubled - octave plus a bit of super-octave) piano.


'All that I am'

Slow song of worship and commitment by James Wright, good for improvising around. Our congregation finds the triplets a bit challenging, but we get by.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl2nLKMXNVw - from James Wright's album of the same title.


'You laid aside Your Majesty'

A song which we, like many, first learned from Mission Praise 2... or if not that, then from Songs of Fellowship 1. The chorus melody contained what appears to be a curious misprint, which many church musicians (in churches I visited, anyway) faithfully taught their congregations and which they sang for years afterwards!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFICAbIxv_M - gets the tone about right - a version noticeable for the backing vocals.


'Great is Thy Faithfulness'

Early 20th century (and very popular) hymn, that sounds older!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTKIqmdfHSk - a Songs of Praise recording. Very slightly fast, but real congregational singing.


'Over all the Earth '

Well written song by Brenton Brown:- fun to play, fun to sing, a gift to improvise harmonies on.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz1dL0GiLEg - gently paced version, and with a Hammond in the mix.


'We are marching in the light of God / Siyahamba'

My own preference is to lead this a cappella, and animatedly try to get the congregation clapping on 2 and 4.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=feB0Iq9uhcM - bilingual version, from a church choir festival.


'Be Thou my vision'

Two decisions have to be made before singing this song. The first involves Eleanor Hull's versification:- do you go with the original (, or do you use the version (as used in the 1951 BBC Hymnal and adopted by two subsequent generations of Baptist Hymn Book) which improves it for congregational singing? The answer to that question is... the latter, without doubt. The second decision is... to syncopate, or to play it straight? That largely depends on whether you're playing the organ or leading a worship band... and what mood you're in.

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05kgpcw - a Songs of Praise recording from St Patrick's, Dungannon. (Only 4 verses, though.)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiukM6WHQEQ - syncopated version, nicely done, but not using the improved words.


'Your word is a lamp unto my feet'

Beautiful and moving song by Amy Grant. Needs to be piano based. I rather like an old-fashioned electric piano kind of sound for this. Also, the middle section is a gift if you're playing bass.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=npWJZwgmKMo - this version by the Maranatha Singers.


'Jesus shall take the highest honour'

Top-drawer song from Chris Bowater. A gift to church musicians and congregations alike.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GaiRYYOB0Y - done well, but the recording isn't perfect.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGYVN5RyL1c - an alternative rendering with no recording glitches.


'Even though I walk through the valley (Never Let Go)'

A good song, though the vocal range is too wide for good congregational singing, so the verses need to be well-enunciated by a lead singer, with the focus on bringing the congregation along with the rest of it.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFIDj5QF1vI - a Matt Redman recording.


'Come and pray in us, Holy Spirit'

A Taize canon.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdIHZZGt6r0 - from a service of prayer and meditation (Baltimore, Maryland).


'Your love, shining like the sun'

A good slower worship song.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNkI-QbAue0 - from the Stuart Townend album 'Outrageous Grace'.


'Within the Veil'

A 1970s golden oldie, worth hanging on to.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFo7AETAXG4 - album recording - nicely done, but with different, less varied chords to those I use.



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