Monday, February 26, 2018

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Hymn for March, 2018

Lyrics (written by the joyful Isaac Watts): When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God! * All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood. See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown? (This next verse is often omitted) His dying crimson, like a robe, Spreads o’er His body on the tree; Then I am dead to all the globe, And all the globe is dead to me. Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all. You can listen here to pick up the tune, but please don't stop at listening. The hymns are meant to be sung. It's not as scary as it may seem. Just try to sing along once a day for a week or two, every day, and before you know it, you'll be singing while rocking the baby, peeling the potatoes, on long drives, while washing dishes, and more. This is a precious legacy to give your children. Please don't measure it out with a cramped, stinting hand. Be strong, be bold, banish fear and doubt, and SING! This is a simple congregational singing recording, easy to hear the parts, especially tenor and melody. The dying crimson verse is omitted. I believe this is the easiest one to learn the hymn from. Here: Fernando Ortega- he sings the first verse alone and acapella. The second verse adds a chorus and some simple background music. The third verse returns to Ortega singing solo, until the final two lines, with more complex background music. The 'dying crimson verse is omitted, there's a musical interlude before the next verse ('were the whole realm...') Here: The Breath of Life Quartet- they omit the final verse above, and also the verse about dying crimson. Their voices are powerful and strong, and this rendition is gorgeous. They step up the tune at the second verse and seem to omit the melody and highlight the harmonizing parts. They do take a few liberties with the tune, but not many. *some versions say 'Christ my Lord.'

1 comment:

  1. This is my favorite hymn... thanks for sharing!! I sang it growing up, congregationally and acapella. I made the effort to memorize the words, and challenge myself to sing it periodically. It is a most beautiful hymn.