Psalm 20: Blessing (with Kate Bluett)

Update: Sheet music for this song is now available at gregscheer.com.

Kate Bluett and I have already completed one Psalm collaboration, last year’s raucous “The Thunder’s Rage Is Roaring” (Psalm 57). This time around is a more placid song. Kate’s beautiful rendering of Psalm 20 is simply called “Blessing.”

She has recast the language of the Psalm in a way that speaks powerfully into our own context. For example, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses” becomes “Some trust in arms and some in power.” In my estimation, this is exactly the kind of “transplanting” that should take place in modern Psalm songs.

Musically, I kept things very simple. Much of the time the harmonies are rocking gently between a C and an F/C. This musical moderation means that even a shift to an A minor chord feels important. It also lets the melody and words speak with a candor and guilelessness that isn’t possible in more sophisticated music.

1. May God give answer when you call,
and may God’s name defend you
to shield you from what harms befall
and with great love befriend you,
then when at last the shadows fall,
with shepherd’s care yet tend you,
and may you see God’s hand in all,
wheree’er your road may send you.

2. May you take all you have and do
to be today your off’ring,
and give to God in love and truth,
in happiness and suff’ring.
May God send mercy filling you,
your heart’s desires uncov’ring,
with graces pouring into you,
and peace upon you hov’ring.

3. May God pay heed to all your prayers,
and may we know the answer,
rejoicing with you as you share
the goodness God shall grant you.
Some trust in arms and some in pow’r,
but we shall trust in heaven,
and trust still more in every hour
the vict’ry God has given.

This entry was posted in 2022 Psalm Collaborations, Church, Congregational Songs, Demos, FAWM 2022, Psalms. Bookmark the permalink.

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