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.

You can download lead sheets for I Will Sing To You (Psalm 108) from my GitHub repository. For those requiring an audible demonstration, you can listen to a demo recording.

Constructive criticism is welcome.

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

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

UPDATE(8/11/2021): Updated sheet music links to point to my GitHub repository.