Update: For sheet music or to adopt this orphan tune, head over to gregscheer.com.
A call went out recently for new hymn tunes to go with a forthcoming collection of updated Isaac Watts texts.
Can I resist? No, I cannot.
Over the next three days I’ll post what I came up with. The first is a rousing tune in common meter (C.M or 188.8.131.52). The text, “The Islands of the Northern Sea Rejoice!” is a real foot stomper with valleys rising and mountains melting to plains. I knew the tune needed to be strong and solid, with a hint of sea chanty. My first draft sounded suspiciously like the theme from Gilligan’s Island (sea chanty indeed!). I re-wrote the offending “sit right back and you’ll hear a tale” section of the tune, but decided to commemorate my near plagiarism by naming the tune GILLIGAN: MP3.