Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hymn of the Day

Ever heard Dave Brubeck's Take Five? You probably have, even if you don't recognize the name. Here's a clip:

Today's hymn comes from the same ouevre as Take Five. It's also in 5/4 time, and its melody and chord progression are just as catchy.

And the lyrics are awesome.

It's called Sing of the Lord's Goodness by Ernest Sands, and it's a song that was included in the ELCA's Renewing Worship materials, but didn't make the cut for final inclusion into ELW. Which is understandable, as it takes up a decent amount of page space, and with its funky feel, would probably scare a lot of music folks off. The page space was probably better used by including something else.

That being said, it's a real shame...this is a case where if you have a musician with a good sense of meter and can lead it strongly the first time, it's gonna stick with the congregation. It's just a matter of sticking your neck out and doing it the first time.

I'll soon be planning hymns for March. You can be sure this one will be included for our contemporary service, and will most likely end up as a "special music" piece at the traditional service.

Here's the lyrics (I love the Psalm 150 quote in the final verse!):

Verse 1. Sing of the Lord's goodness Father of all wisdom,
come to him and bless his name.
Mercy he has shown us, his love is forever,
faithful to the end of days.

Refrain: Come, then, all you nations,
sing of your Lord's goodness,
melodies of praise and thanks to God.
Ring out the Lord's glory,
praise him with your music,
worship him and bless his name.

Verse 2. Power he has wielded, honor is his garment
risen from the snares of death.
His word he has spoken, one bread he has broken,
new life he now gives to all.

Verse 3. Courage in our darkness, comfort in our sorrow,
Spirit of our God most high;
solace for the weary, pardon for the sinner,
splendor of the living God.

Verse 4. Praise him with your singing, praise him with the trumpet
praise God with the lute and harp;
praise him with the cymbals, praise him with your dancing,
praise God till the end of days.

Imagine along with me for a moment...would this not be an awesome Hymn of Praise in a jazz liturgy? You could even do a Kyrie beforehand using the same basic tune...turns out the phrase "Kyrie Eleison" has the same syllabic structure as the phrase "Sing of the Lord's goodness."



Rev Scott said...

Amen - I was REALLY disappointed when this one didn't get into the new hymnal. However, there is another cool, jazzy hymn that did: have you tried "You Are Holy" yet? Can't remember the number, but it's known as the "Swedish Samba" around here because the composer & lyricist are both Swedes. It can be sung in canon, also, which is a really cool sound if you can do it in your congregation. I'm looking forward to getting the new hymnals soon so I can try this one out!

Funky Dung said...

Words cannot adequately express how much I loathe "Sing of the Lord's Goodness". *shudder*

LutheranHusker said...

Funky Dung--out of curiosity, is it the music itself or the lyrics that you particularly loathe?

Funky Dung said...

I honestly can't pay attention to the lyrics because I'm so put off by the music.

Anonymous said...

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE "Sing of the Lord's Goodness."

WHAT A BLESSING! "that it sounds like TAKE 5" is a GOOD THING.

I want it played as the closing song at my funer5al. I've also heard this at WEDDINGS.


sgtskitz said...

We just used this hymn as our processional today at my (Catholic) church (Divine Child, Dearborn, MI). We use it only occasionally, maybe four or five time a year. It is one of my favorites!
I just wish our organist could duplicate the snare and cymbal percussion.
Although it was popularized by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, it was not written by Dave, but by sax player Paul Desmond.

Anonymous said...

I for one really enjoy this hymn both playing it and singing it. It is uplifting.
I will have to look up the other hymn "You Are Holy", because it sounds like another sog that would fit into our contemparary service. if you are looking for other jazz style of worship music, take a look at, www.jazzworship.com. Most of the music is melodic and reasonablely able to sing.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there is jazz mass liturgy that is available? I have tried to track one down byt haven't had any success it. I would love to do a jazz mass, but can't propose it with out something to show the music director.

PaulH said...

I like this song, but in all fairness, it's VERY demanding for the average congregation to sing. (Particularly since most music groups play it quite fast, making it harder for unprepared singers to fit the words in).
Whenever it's played in my church, I sing along. (I'm a guitarist, and have played the song in previous church contexts, so I know it pretty well). When we get to the end, without fail I always get a comment from whoever's sitting within a few pews' distance from me - "good job you held that one together!"

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Bill said...

Epic hymn jam. Funny it's a jazz ripoff.