Update 10/28/21: Sheet music for this song can now be purchased at gregscheer.com.
In a Goldilocks’ moment, my third and final porridge…er, song…is just right. This time, my theme song for the World Communion of Reformed Churches 2017 General Council brings together the best of my earlier drafts.
My first attempt was too “slogan-y”. This version takes that slogan’s idea (“transformed and transforming; renewed and renewing”) and puts it in prayer form: “Renew us, O God.” This prayer serves as a refrain that can be sung joyfully, as on the recording, or introspectively, like a Taizé chorus.
My second attempt had a solid text, but stolid music. (Okay, “stolid” is probably too strong of a word–but it wasn’t festive enough for the occasion.) This third one recycles that same text, but matches it with more vibrant music. It is a lively 6/8 melody that could be accompanied in a variety of styles: hymn-like with organ accompaniment, in a liturgical folk style with piano, or with guitar and even full praise band.
I knew I was onto something when the song continued to come back to me throughout the week. It’s highly singable, but has enough Scheer™ twists and turns to keep it interesting. The first four chords, for example, are pretty far off the beaten track. The D (I) chord moves to an F#m (iii) chord, which should head to a Bm (vi), G (V), or even A (V). Instead, it goes to an Am (minor v), a surprising shift that doesn’t go off the rails because of the stable melody.
But enough harmonic geekery. Take a listen to the recording above.