This Sunday (06/15/08) the lectionary called for Psalm 100. There are lots of songs I could have chosen, including “All People that on Earth Do Dwell” and “I Will Enter His Gates.” Instead, I decided to update a song that started its life as a folk rock song written on guitar sometime in the 80s. I ended up leading it in 1989 at the “Ostertreff” in Aachen, Germany with a praise band and a violinist who was kind enough to play the torturous arpeggios I wrote for her. From there the song ended up in the 1993 “Bellefield Liturgy” written for the choir of Bellefield Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh when I directed the music there. The main problem with the song was that there was no place to breath for 16 measures. The second problem was that each verse was different, so it was really difficult for a congregation to learn. I got around those problems with the choir version, but I haven’t used it since.
But I decided that this would be the year I’d finally revamp the song and reintroduce it in a congregation. I stretched a few measures to give places to breathe, gave the verses to a cantor, and re-wrote the piano part. In this recording I’m singing the cantor part and I’m accompanied by a stellar group of musicians: Mary Helen Galluch on violin, Kathleen Devarenne on piano, and Brandan Grinwis on bass. Without further introduction, take a listen to Psalm 100: Shout for Joy to the Lord.