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For Today...

'O Sacred Head Sore Wounded'

There are many recordings of this on the web, none of which are quite like the arrangement I play. I've chosen the late, great Sir David Willcocks and King's College Choir.



Recent links

'It's your blood'

A good communion song, taken gently, with a good role for a piano.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLoXae0kQQI - complete with percussion. It moves along.


'We will walk with God, my brothers'

A great song for sending out. (We've only ever tried in in English.)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKybxg99fUc - a bilingual album recording from 'Sing with the World'.


'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.


'O Jesus, I have promised'

Scouring Youtube and Vimeo, it seems that 'Day of Rest' is by far the most popular tune for this hymn. (It's certainly the easiest to play if you've not properly woken up.) I prefer to use 'Thornbury', though I can't find a suitable link to share, and you could argue that it's stealing from "Thy Hand O God Has Guided". Some use 'Wolvercote'... which first appeared in the Public Schools Hymn Book and has never quite shaken off that association. And of course there's Geoffrey Beaumont's 'Hatherop Castle', fun but rarely used now.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFLOCoYaPI - sung to Day of Rest.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi71IIsEfkY - gamely played on the organ (presumably no piano/pianist was available) with a... unique take on the rhythm.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNz-33V1V8A - Hatherop Castle again, a brass band performance, played by the book.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=07hhz4LRFjM - Wolvercote.


'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.

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.


'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.


'Come, see this glorious light'

Part of our core repertoire, and one I prefer to lead from guitar (C, capo 3) rather than the keyboard.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xq2j2Ubmjw - a Stuart Townend recording.



A golden oldie, well used in its time but worth hanging on to. For church musicians, it's an opportunity to bring out all those old riffs and tweak them anew.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaRwD2Y7C0s - a 'big' arrangement, fairly restrained but works well. Nice coda.


'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.


'Tom's Song'

A song for the Easter season, based on John 20:24-29, when Jesus appears to Thomas.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOUHod4EGUw - The only online recording I'm aware of.


'God beyond all names'

Lovely reflective and meditative song - not really for congregational singing, but good to use when you can.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Htrmq0g_Nk - beautifully done.


'Alleluia, Sing to Jesus'

The words of W C Dix's great hymn get sung in various different orders. Hyfrydol isn't the only tune used for it, but it's increasingly common - and why not!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmz-W733sz4 - a regular recording of a church closing hymn.


'Praise Him you heavens'

Driving opener, pacey and great fun. (For the keyboard player, plenty of scope to use a variety of sounds. Synth or Hammond on the chorus, as is your taste.)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBo9yIUWEEc - Hillsong Worship live recording.


'O my soul, arise and bless your Maker'

An uplifting hymn from Stuart Townend which makes a good start to a morning service.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-3vCOdf0Ag - lovely rendering by Phatfish folk.


'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.


'God of the moon and stars'

Not really part of our repertoire, but a song with a difference. One we have tried and which I'd like to use again.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VvAydYFyRQ - Paul Field himself - solo vocal and accompanying himself on guitar, with a little backing from piano.


'Jesus be the Centre'

Top-drawer song, in the 'para-celtic' vein. Stands a bit of repetition, and benefits from a mix of gentle/driving styles.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG-l1kK-BpU - a Praise album recording


'Jesus, we enthrone you'

Slow, versatile golden oldie.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jkyiT1_J6I - a light rendering, and an interesting variation.


'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.


'Halle Halle Halle'

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjf6bYQRbtU - exuberant, simple, and for the youngest to the oldest.



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