It was this antipathy to some of the new worship music that made me start composing Christian music in the 1990s. I had never composed before and regard this as a surprising God-given gift in my last years. Growing up in a church singing the great Christian hymns, singing anthems set to Scripture in the church choir while standing in the choir stalls under the huge stained glass window, I felt many years later that I was being denied the right to worship. I also objected to the constant repetition of phrases in hymns as opposed to anthems. I thought Scripture should be sung – an easy way of learning and remembering it! But what I wrote was really unsuitable for a congregation.
One night when I was alone and complaining to God about this, a melody sprang into my mind, and I found myself dancing around most uncharacteristically singing over and over “I will praise the Lord with my whole heart”. The next day I set it to music and had to “eat my words” for I had outdone any repetition of which I was aware and repeated each phrase 10 times! Since then I’ve made much use of repetition, but except for the occasional “Hallelujah” never 10 times again!
“I WILL PRAISE THE LORD WITH ALL MY HEART” is now on my SINGING SCRIPTURE page (see menu) and is one of my favourites! I love the piano variation for the last verse. If you are not an accomplished pianist it is worth the practising involved because it is quite fast!
There are 11 new settings as free downloads on Singing Scripture. I’m managing MUSESCORE much better – though still learning! It doesn’t take me as long to do a setting now. But I certainly struggled with “And I will pray the Father”. This is what our Lord said about the Comforter and I really felt the forces of evil did not want me to put it on, so I had to pray continually “Help me Lord!” – and he did!
Some news about A CHRISTIAN IN LON DON AND PARIS.: my stock is now finished so it is no longer available online but there is a free download on A Christian in London and Paris page, and a free download of my collected poems THE HARP’S TOP STRING on its page. Half of these diverse poems were published in American Christian magazines over many years.
PS As South Africa is the focus of much world attention, I thought I’d like to mention one or two Christian organisations in this and future blogs. In a township in the Eastern Cape there is a church based NGO which works with abused children on many levels. See http://www.catchprojects.co.za/ . Christian Action based in Cape Town has a new, very informative site: http://www.christianaction.org.za/ .