Here’s another familiar hymn by Philip P. Bliss, “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning.” A further nod to my happy childhood days listening to record albums of songs I didn’t hear anywhere else, some of which I haven’t heard since, but have never forgotten.
Enjoy the Ocean Drum, one of Remo’s wonderful additions to the hand percussion world, and my Native-American-made deerskin drum as well. You’ll hear this soothing melody on lyre, then alto recorder accompanied by ukulele. I hope you enjoy this first of several sea-themed pieces I’ll be sharing in the coming days!
This hymn was first published in 1868, with lyrics by S. Fillmore Bennett and music by Joseph P. Webster. It is still a popular traditional Christian hymn that appears in many modern hymnals. I’ve always found it comforting and peaceful.
Today, enjoy ukulele and viola, then compare the sounds of double strung harp, lyre, harp again, and last but not least, zither. Though these instruments are similar, they have different sound qualities. You will hear some slight buzzing in the harp recording, because I misplaced the microphone. My apologies!
Did you know? There are 98 strings in this arrangement! The harp has 23 strings on each side, for a total of 46. The lyre and zither each have 22 strings. Ukulele and viola have 4 strings each. That’s a lot of strings to tune!
The Spanish traditional melody, “Madrid,” has also been published as
“Seville.” It is the musical setting for the hymn, “Come, Christians,
Join to Sing.” Christian henry Bateman wrote the lyrics in the 1800’s.
However, they are a rewritten version of a hymn by William Edward
Hickson, “Join Now in Praise, and Sing,” also written in the 1800’s.
Both hymns are in the public domain in the United States. Although we
no longer need to be concerned with copyright issues, we should still
give credit where credit is due.
My arrangement of “Madrid” is played on lyre, alto recorder, and
viola. I hope you enjoy it, and wish you a happy, peaceful, and safe
You may be familiar with this 19th-century Irish tune, “Mantle So Green.” Perhaps you’ve heard Sinead O’Connor’s recording. It’s a song about a woman remaining faithful to her beloved, who went off to fight in a British war.
This is a popular Celtic harp tune, and today I’m playing lyre (mine sounds like a harp), with alto recorder and viola rounding out the session, as it were.
“(I’ve Got) Peace like a River” is a much loved African-American spiritual. It compares peace to a river, joy to a fountain, and love to an ocean. With its simple, repetitive lyrics and catchy melody, it’s an easy sing-along song. In fact, I remember doing just that as a child, singing around many campfires. I even played ukulele more than once to accompany the group!
I hope you enjoy “Peace like a River” on ukulele, viola, alto recorder, and lyre!
This is a prayer hymn that was written for, and is often still sung at Christian wedding ceremonies. Dorothy F. Gurney wrote the lyrics in 1883 for her sister’s wedding. In 1889 Joseph Barnby composed the melody most commonly heard today.
I hope you enjoy this beautiful hymn played on Oriole (soprano) recorder and lyre! Apologies for the sneezes in the background! You know what they say: “In sickness and in health…”
This beautiful hymn was written by Charles Wesley. The text was first published with the subtitle “A Child’s Prayer,” in “Hymns and Sacred Poems,” in 1742. The melody was composed by Martin Shaw in 1876.
My arrangement begins with the melody on alto recorder, then a viola and recorder duet, a solo on lyre, and ends with a recorder duet. This lovely melody would be appropriate for a lullaby, as well as this hymn. I hope you enjoy it!