Psalm 28: My God, the Rock (tune: SANDY)

I asked Kate Bluett if she would be willing to write a new Psalm text on one of the Psalms I haven’t yet set to music. She came through with skill and style!

Psalm 28 is a three-part prayer. It begins with a plea to help the righteous, continues by contrasting the fate of the wicked, and ends with preemptive praise to the God who saves. Kate follows this structure in her beautiful rendition of the Psalm. Notice how she teases out the image of God the Rock, as opposed to the stony silence of a god who doesn’t hear people’s prayers.

I actually wrote four tunes for Kate’s text as I tried to imagine how to bring the song to life. I quickly threw out two of them, but I simply couldn’t decide between the other two. The first (this one) is a jazzy melody that never quite comes to rest in relation to the chords. This gives the song a mournful, prayerful character that brings out the pathos of Kate’s text. The other tune (wait for a separate blog post) is more rustic and forceful, which gives the song confidence in the midst of a trial.

1. My God, the Rock on which I stand,
I cry to you in need.
My refuge, see me lift my hands:
Do not be deaf to me!
Not silent as the stony ground,
unmoving when I cry:
Into the pit I shall go down
if stone-like you stand by.

2. Do not cast me away, O Lord,
with those whose tongues are sharp,
who speak of peace and long for war
within their hardened hearts.
Give them instead what they deserve,
and tear their evil down.
Let them and all their wicked works
lie scattered on the ground!

3. But you, O God, are stone and strength;
our refuge never fails.
You bear us up the breadth and length
of all our days and cares.
Blest be the Lord who heard my cry:
my strength, my shield, my Rock.
Oh, let my song rise up on high
to praise the might of God!

This entry was posted in Church, Congregational Songs, Demos, Jazz, Psalms. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Psalm 28: My God, the Rock (tune: SANDY)

  1. Pingback: Psalm 28: My God, the Rock (tune: ROCKY) | The Musical Diary of Greg Scheer

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