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."