O Loving Founder of the Stars

O Loving Founder of the StarsThe choir often sings this arrangement of mine of New Century Hymnal #111 at Easter. Here is that same arrangement performed on organ. You’re welcome to follow along. The exact words as found in our hymnal aren’t found online, but a common text found in other hymnals is at https://hymnary.org/text/creator_of_the_stars_of_night. Those words have 6 versus. The New Century Hymnal version, however, has only 5 verses.

The picture to the left is of a door at the Salzburg Cathedral.



Just a reminder that the complete collection of these hymn recordings is available for free listening (streaming) at https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/hymns-at-lakewood. When each new recording is posted on the church website, it is also added to this album.

De Colores

de coloresNumber 402 in the New Century Hymnal, this song is always sung with enthusiasm by our congregation, often with the first verse in Spanish and the second in English.

You can find the history of this song HERE along with the words, both Spanish and English. Our hymnal only has the two verses, but you can see from that Wikipedia link it has many more. I wish they were all in our hymnal because this song is easily sung many times, each time with the unique opening chord–an A6 for those music theory inclined–held with a sway, leaning into the beat.


Just a reminder that the complete collection of these hymn recordings is available for free listening (streaming) at https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/hymns-at-lakewood. When each new recording is posted on the church website, it is also added to this album.

God’s Eye Is on the Sparrow

His Eye Is on the SparrowThe records of the incomparable Mahalia Jackson were much loved in my home as a child. This song, then, as now, was one of my favorites of her recordings.

The actual title of the song is Why Should I Feel Discouraged. Also, in the United Church of Christ we use gender neutral language. So, you may be more familiar with the original text version, His Eye Is on the Sparrow. God’s Eye Is on the Sparrow is # 475 in the New Century Hymnal.

To sing along, go to https://hymnary.org/text/why_should_i_feel_discouraged for the old text and the music.


Just a reminder that the complete collection of these hymn recordings is available for free listening (streaming) at https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/hymns-at-lakewood. When each new recording is posted on the church website, it is also added to this album.

Wendeyaho

Screen Shot 2020-03-29 at 4.40.50 AMSomething different this morning! It’s not found in any hymnal although it should be; rather, it’s a Native American hymn traditionally sung to the four directions in the morning by the women of the community. The arrangements and orchestrations are my own. I’ve done several settings–orchestra, solo piano, and choir–the first two of which are presented here.

“Wendeyaho” is often described as a “Cherokee Morning Song.” However discussion of it on the Internet indicates that the word, “Wendeyaho,” is not contemporary Cherokee, although it may have its origins in an ancient form of the language. The translation I was able to piece together from various internet sources is as follows:

Translation – We n’ de ya ho
Freely translated: “A we n'” (I am),
“de” (of),
“Yauh” –the– (Great Spirit),
“Ho” (it is so).

First, here is my orchestral arrangement.

And, here is the piano solo arrangement. Feel free to download the 2 page sheet music PDF from THIS LINK so you can play it at home, yourself. You need to do some tricky shifting of hands to cover all the parts in the last two variations, but it’s doable, I promise.


Just a reminder that the complete collection of these hymn recordings is available for free listening (streaming) at https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/hymns-at-lakewood. When each new recording is posted on the church website, it is also added to this album.

Forest Green

Forest Green brass ballsjpgThis recording is named, not for the first line of the hymn as is customary, but for the tune name. Each tune in the hymnal has its own name irrespective of the words that are sung to it.

Further, each tune is described by the number of notes (sort of…) in each phrase of the melody. Tunes are then organized in a metrical index. Some of the metrical patterns have nicknames. The pattern for Forest Green is 8.6.8.5.D of “Common Meter Double,” which means twice through 8.6.8.6. Sorry…you didn’t know this was going to be a class did you.

Anyway, this metrical organization of tunes permits singers to sing any set of words of a specific metrical pattern to be sung to any tune of the same pattern. For instance, Forest Green, in the New Century Hymnal, is used with two different sets of words: #434 (All Beautiful the March of Days) and also #110 (Now Bless the God of Israel). As you sing along, the words for #434 (my own favorite words for this tune) may be found at https://hymnary.org/text/all_beautiful_the_march_of_days and the words for #110 at https://hymnary.org/text/now_bless_the_god_of_israel. Some hymnals even use it for “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” which may have been (I don’t know for sure) the text associated with Forest Green when Ralph Vaughan Williams made his famous 4-part harmonization that I used here.

OK…class dismissed. Have fun!


Just a reminder that the complete collection of these hymn recordings is available for free listening (streaming) at https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/hymns-at-lakewood. When each new recording is posted on the church website, it is also added to this album.