Psalm 33: A Symphony of Praise

Update 10/2/20: Sheet music for this song can be downloaded here.

Psalm 33 was a refreshing change. I’ve been doing a lot of dark Psalms during my Adopt-a-Psalm month, so it was nice to have one that was joyful and musical. I use Psalm 33:3’s “new Psalm/skillfully” as the scripture for my songwriting workshop description, so I was eager to use it in a song.

I chose E, the most joyful of keys, as my starting point. As I doodled, I came up with the melodic motive for “you saints of the Lord,” which I really liked. It’s off the beaten path, but still singable. The first draft flowed freely from there. What I found, though, is that my first draft was “breathless.” Literally, there was no place to breathe. After another two or three drafts I was able to produce a song that was singable and joyful, but not predictable or (I hope) trite.

I should point out that the phrase “a symphony of praise” came late in the game. At first, I had, “to the music of your name,” but I realized that Marty Haugen had already used that line. So I kept brainstorming and finally came up with “a symphony of praise.” This final phrase felt like it was the missing piece. Indeed, it became the title of the song.

Take a minute to read through Psalm 33, then take a look at my rendition in notated (see link above) or recorded form.

Rejoice, you saints of the Lord!
Adorn yourself with God’s praise.
Lift up a joyful new song
and renew old melodies.
Let every lung, every pipe, every string
lift the lift up the song until all the world rings
with a symphony of praise.

1. God’s word crafted sea and earth,
the rivers, wind, and waves.
God breathed and the planets turned;
And still they spin in space.
But even surer than the coming dawn
Is God’s everlasting love. (Chorus)

2. All earth: love and fear the Lord.
All peoples: stand in awe.
All life’s cradled in his word;
our days God only knows.
One generation waxes another wanes,
but God’s wisdom still remains. (Chorus)

3. God watches from heav’n above
and sees our days and deeds.
God knows every human heart,
Our passions and beliefs.
Blessed indeed are those whose only trust
Is their God’s unending love. (Chorus)

4. Ruler’s trust in their own strength,
But strength is never enough
God saves those who call his name
and hope in his strong love.
Even in doubt, despair, and darkest night
God is leading us to life. (Chorus)

Our souls will wait for the Lord;
We give ourselves to God’s care.
Rejoice! Our hearts have a hope,
and our voices fill the air
with a symphony of praise.

This entry was posted in Adopt-a-Psalm, 2017, Church, Congregational Songs, Demos, FAWM 2017, Psalms. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Psalm 33: A Symphony of Praise

  1. CJEinColombia says:

    I read this Psalm this morning, and eventually thought of sitting in a symphony! So I googled “Psalm 33 Symphony” to see if such existed, and I found your blog! I have tried to play the audio clip attached, but I cannot. Possibly I need an account or something? Could you give me direction in how I could listen to your works?

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