Update 3/16/22: Sheet music for this song is now available at gregscheer.com.
Sometimes you just have to go with an idea. Here’s what that looked like for me today:
11:15am The church organist and I had a brief conversation about tunes for “Ride On! Ride On in Majesty!” We both agreed that none was quite right and that’s why the text appears with so many different tunes. (For the record, our church is live-streaming–not meeting in person–and I wore a mask and practiced proper social distancing.)
11:30am I think, “Frankly, there just aren’t a lot of great Palm Sunday hymns”
11:35am I muse, “I should write one,” which was followed quickly by, “I’ve had a note in my compositional to-do list to write new music for my text “Hosanna in the Highest!” which was originally paired with the Jewish folk tune “The King of Glory Comes.”
11:45am Sit down at the piano and start writing. Hmm, this is kind of working: echoes of “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna,” a rousing chorus with narrative verses (perfect for palm processions), a lyrical progression that moves toward Jerusalem. This could be something.
12:00pm Eat a banana and grapefruit to tide me over.
12:15pm Enter the music in Finale and begin laying down tracks in Logic Pro.
3:00pm Do I really play trombone so little that my lips turn to water playing four parts of a hymn? I’ve got no more to give.
3:30pm Epic bike ride with my boys.
And so, my friends, I present to you my quickly written and recorded Palm Sunday hymn, exactly 12 hours too late to be of any use to anyone until next year. I may still do a little editing on it, but I’d be glad to supply music to those who ask nicely.
One final note: I’ve named the hymn tune “UNIQUE CROWN.” Can anyone guess why?
Hosanna in the highest!
Hail the One who saves us!
O blessed is the One who brings
the kingdom of David.
1. Who is the King of kings? The Lord God Almighty.
God’s reign is coming; it is on the horizon. (Refrain)
2. Who, then, may enter in? The One who is holy.
Open the gates for the procession of glory. (Refrain)
3. Who is this King who greets his people so meekly?
Riding a donkey past the crowds as they’re cheering. (Refrain)
4. This is the day the Lord has made, lift your voices.
Hail him who saves! Hail him with palms and rejoicing. (Refrain)
Okay, I’ve left everyone guessing for a year. I’ll reveal the big secret behind the tune name UNIQUE CROWN. I wrote this tune just as COVID-19 was beginning to spread and things began to shut down. At that time, the virus was called “Novel Corona Virus,” as in “a never-before-seen strain of the Corona virus.” Novel=Unique. Corona=Crown (in Spanish). UNIQUE CROWN.