In the desert far and near,
Bidding all men to repentance,
Since the kingdom now is here,
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way!
Let the valleys rise to meet him,
And the hills bow down to greet him.
~ from Comfort, Comfort Ye My People
I hesitate to post the words to songs because reading them without having the tune in your head is just not the same experience as humming the tune (inside or outside your head) while you read the words.
And I just love this tune.
Cyberhymnal is a great resource, but there are times when I have a hard time getting over the tin or the reverb sound. Besides, on this one, ahem, they don’t have the “correct” tune, meaning the one I prefer! (Which is Freu Dich Sehr with a syncopated rhythm)
I just tried to record the tune on our piano – it sounded disastrous!
I guess y’all are just going to have to trust me. Enjoy the words….
And I am enjoying the words. The tune you specified is not to be found in the Trinity Hymnal, which is the only one I have here at home except for some very old gospel type hymnals, and I didn’t even look there. I have not seen those words before – they are beautiful and so appropriate.
Aha! Red Trinity # 197 and Blue Trinity # 148. The tune is called Thirsting, but Thirsting is a sanitized version of Freu Dich Sehr. Which reminds me: have you ever heard the original “A Mighty Fortress”? Same notes as what we sing but there is much more syncopation.This version sounds like an Irish ballad; I prefer it a million times to the Thirsting version. Play the first and third notes at the beginning of each phrase with a half note instead of a quarter note. Wait! On the first verse play these notes as half notes:com, com, peo-, plespeak, peace, saith, our, God (dotted half)com, those, dark, nessbowed, neath, sor-, row’s,load (dotted half)Speak,to, lemOf, peace, themtell, that, cov, etAnd war, is, ver (ver is a whole note). The last line is tricky with a half, quarter , whole ending.It has a sort of 3/4 feel, but it is one of those songs from the Genevan Psalter which has an irregular meter. We also sing Psalm 42 to the same tune.What a mess! I doubt this makes any sense at all.And I would love to know which Rutter and Willcocks hymn accompaniments you recommend. Have you ever seen them for piano? Our small church doesn’t have an organ. I think this might be what I collect in 2008. I thought of you this morning as we had King’s College playing – goosebumps just formed on my skin thinking about that Tutti!. Glorious!