Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Adventures in Hymnwriting



I am stuck at home with some kind of creeping drippage and achy bones. I do not have the flu, pneumonia, laryngitis, or anything else which will prevent me from recording my album in good voice. I refuse to have it. However, I am sleeping, taking medicine, and wondering where my extra box of Kleenex got to.



I have been brooding over said album, of course. I really need to work on it, but obviously practicing is not on the agenda today. I will just have to listen to my scratchtracks again. And again. And again.



ANyway, before I got caught up in the Endless Translation below, I wrote a song adaptation of Psalm 72 today, to the fine old tune of "Brian Boru's March". (There's a beautiful MIDI of it available at the latest incarnation of Taylor's Traditional Tunebook. Do download and enjoy.) I've said before that the old slow airs and marches are probably the most appropriate Irish tunes to use as hymn settings, and I think this proves my point.



I used as much of Psalm 72 as I thought I could get away with, but had to leave out a line here or there to make the verses work out. The verses and choruses are doubled, because traditionally Irish nstrumentalists play the verse twice, then the chorus twice, etc., and I thought I'd go along with that. I was interested to see how much the translation was changed and how much was left out between the daily readings and the actual Bible verses...I guess enemies licking the dust aren't really the thing for church, though!




Psalm 72
Lyrics: Maureen S. O'Brien, 1/6/04, after the NAB online.
Music: "Brian Boru's March", Irish trad.

O God, give your judgment/ to-o the king,
And gi-ive your justice/ to the king's son.
With ju-ustice he/ will govern your people,
With judgment your/ affli-icted ones.

And so the mountains/ bounty will yield,
And so the hills/ give much to the people,
And he will defend/ those who are oppressed,
Sa-ve the poor/ and crush their oppressors.

CH: (2x)
Lord, every nation, nation, nation,
Lord, every nation, nation, nation,
Lord, every nation, nation, nation
On the earth will/ ado-o-re you.

Ma-ay he live/ as long as the sun,
Li-ike the moon,/ through generations.
Ma-ay he be/ like rain on the fields,
That plenty will flourish/ till the moon is no more.

Ma-ay he rule/ from se-ea to sea,
fro-om the river/ to the earth's ends.
Ma-ay his foes/ all knee-eel before him,
Ma-ay his en-/ -emies lick the dust.

CH: (2x)
Lord, every nation, nation, nation,
Lord, every nation, nation, nation,
Lord, every nation, nation, nation
On the earth will/ ado-o-re you.

Ma-ay the kings/ of Tarshish bring tribute,
Kings of Arabia/ and Seba bring gifts.
Ma-ay all kings/ bow down before him,
Ma-ay all nations/ come to serve him.

For he rescues the poor/ whenever they cry,
He helps the oppressed/ with noone to help,
Pities the needy,/ saves the poor's lives,
Frees them because/ he counts their blood precious.

CH: (2x)
Lord, every nation, nation, nation,
Lord, every nation, nation, nation,
Lord, every nation, nation, nation
On the earth _will_ ado-o-re you.

So long may he live,/ with Arabian gold,
Prayed for without pause,/ blessed day after day.
May plenty wheat grow,/ right up to the heights,
Fruit trees like Leb'non,/ grain grown like weeds.

May his name be blessed/ long as the sun lasts.
May all the Earth's tribes/ bless things in his name.
May all of the lands/ regard him as favored.
Blest be God, who/ alone does such wonders.

CH: (2x)
Lord, every nation, nation, nation,
Lord, every nation, nation, nation,
Lord, every nation, nation, nation
On the earth will/ ado-o-re you.

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