Sunday, January 27, 2013

I Will Sing To You (Psalm 108)

Part of my journey as a Christ-follower involves discerning how to apply the talents and spiritual gifts that God has given me (and/or allowed me to develop) toward the goal of serving Him and His people better. I love music, and enjoy making/playing/sharing it. I'm not a gifted lyricist, and over the years I've learned to understand and be (more or less) okay with that. But I've heard from a few different sources that it can be a lovely personal worship experience as well as artistic exercise to crack open the Bible and let the words therein be the lyric to whatever accompaniment springs up from within, and have enjoyed such experiences in the past.

The other night, the wife and I were having trouble falling asleep. For her, an accidentally consumed caffeinated beverage was most likely to blame. For me, it was a restless mind simply reeling with all the stuff I'd seen earlier in the day during a field trip to the Passages exhibit. So at 1:30am, I quit trying to sleep and headed over to my office/music room. I sat down with my Bible and my guitar, and then (I'm almost ashamed to admit) played a bit of "Bible Roulette" — semi-randomly choosing a chapter in the book of Psalms to read. Within a couple of minutes I was contributing to my wife's inability to sleep by playing and singing (somewhat loudly) a new melody to the slightly rearranged words found in the first part of Psalm 108:
My heart is sure, O God
I am secure, O God
With everything my soul will sing to You
I will awaken the dawn
Great are you, Lord, higher than heavens
Your faithfulness fills the skies
Be exalted, O Lord, above all the heavens
And let Your glory rise!

I will sing to You
I will sing to You
I will praise You, O God, before the world!
I first recorded the melody on my phone's voice recorder app. Then I moved to tracking a little demo on my computer. I toyed with the song all night long — adding and removing tracks, making minor adjustments to the chords for variety, fine tuning the melody, experimenting with harmonies, and really just swimming in the whole experience. Ultimately I did, in fact, "wake the dawn" with my rendition of the psalmist's words.

So... I'd made, I'd played, and now it's time to share. I'm posting sheet music of the song (which I've called I Will Sing To You (Psalm 108)) here for anyone who cares to download it. I've licensed the work under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. For those who are skittish about such things, let me spell out some of what this means. You don't need my permission to play this song, to share it in your own faith communities, or even to modify it to suit your own needs. And you certainly don't need to pay some CCLI royalty for performing it! Take it. Use it. May you or your family or your church or whatever celebrate by singing words that are pretty much straight from Scripture. After all, there is but one true Creator, and I suspect He loves to hear the text of His Word sung back to Him.
So, without further ado, here is I Will Sing To You (Psalm 108) in PDF and Finale formats. For those requiring an audible demonstration, you can listen to a demo recording.


Constructive criticism is welcome.

SIDEBAR: If you, unlike me, know how to properly wield Finale to lay out music according to all the conventions of the trade and would be willing to fix up that Finale file for me, I'd be happy to post the revision here and credit you. I don't know for sure that anything is wrong with the file ... maybe some ties or sequences of rests that aren't optimal ... but that not-knowing-for-sure is precisely the reason I would appreciate peer review.

UPDATE(2/23/2013): Added demo recording.

UPDATE(2/26/2013): Renamed song from just "Psalm 108".

7 comments:

  1. Did I miss it? Where is the file of you playing and singing Psalm 108?

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  2. Sorry, no audio at this time. My voice isn't lovely on the best of days, but when recording at about 3am ... eek!

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  3. Too bad. I like your voice...all the way back to Plaza days! :)

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    1. Heh. Thanks, Nancy. I recently found a recording of mine from "Plaza days", and was surprised to hear a pretty smooth voice. Alas, those days pre-date the "Chicagoland rock band playing in too many smoky bars and clubs" days, so the smooth has become the scratchy. But then again, the additional twenty years might have alone had the same effect.

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  4. Okay, tonight Amy and I tracked a demo recording (in the more sane key of Bb!) of the song. I've linked to it in the post above.

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  5. Your friend Chanda shared this with me. Love the song!!!

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