It’s going to be a week long extravaganza of contests, starting today!
The first song is one that I wrote a while back–1999 to be exact. “My Keeper” is a rendition of Psalm 121 that began its life as a Jars of Clay or Caedmon’s Call style acoustic rock song. I’ve always had a soft spot for this song, but it’s never quite worked as planned. The main problem is that the verse rhythm is fairly difficult, especially on the page. The second problem is that the refrain hit a high D on an “ee” syllable. That’s not particularly congregational friendly.
So when Faith Alive put out a call for songs based on particular scriptures, and one of those scriptures was Psalm 121, I knew I needed to take the opportunity to revisit “My Keeper.” In this case, the call was for “Caribbean-style” songs based on Psalm 121 for grades K-1, so I had to do some serious rethinking.
The Reggae style I used help me move the melody to a straighter, more congregational-friendly rhythm in the verse. I expect the straighter rhythm will work well even when not using the Reggae style. Recording the song–and struggling with the high Ds in the refrain–led me to repeat the first phrase of the refrain twice. Peaking at a B four times may not be as interesting of a compositional choice, but it works a lot better for the people singing the song.