Blended/Folk

Showing 25–36 of 41 results

  • Psalm 16: The Refuge of My Soul

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    [embed]http://musicblog.gregscheer.com/psalm_016-the_refuge_of_my_soul.mp3[/embed]

    This song chronicles a life from birth to death under God’s care.

    At first glance, it may seem like the song has little to do with the Psalm 16. It uses none of the “protect me, God” or “path of life” phrases that other settings of this Psalm use. Instead, it goes a layer deeper, into the Psalm’s structure.

    Samuel Terrien proposes that Psalm 16 is made up of 6 strophes, with the first three mirroring the last three. In broad strokes, the Psalm begins its focus on things of earth and moves toward heaven. As I meditated on the Psalm it suddenly struck me that it closely follows the span of human life. It is very clear in the last two strophes, which focus on the grave and eternal life. Working your way backward, you can see further life milestones: the growth of wisdom (strophe 4) and earthly blessings (strophe 3). The first two strophes are less clear, but with a bit of imagination, I recast the first strophe’s protection and refuge as the womb and the sacrifices to false gods in strophe two as the sins of youth. It’s easier to understand when you see the Psalm and my song side by side as in this PDF.

  • Psalm 18: I Love You, God My Lord

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    https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/psalm_18-i_love_you_god_my_lord.mp3

    In addition to being quite long, Psalm 18 presents the difficulty of wide-ranging content. It starts with praise for God’s strength and a plea for help, then extols God’s retribution of enemies, provides an overly flattering assessment of the Psalmist’s own piety, takes joy in the strength God gives the Psalmist, and ends with more praise for the victory God will give.

    Adam Carlill’s 20 verses do justice to the original while remaining accessible to modern ears. I added a refrain–it felt like the song needed something to break up all those verses. I could imagine a leader singing a few verses at a time and then handing it over to the congregation to sing the refrain.

    This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

  • Psalm 37: An Antiphonal Acrostic

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/psalm_37_demo-complete.mp3"][/audio]

    Psalm 37 is an acrostic Psalm with 22 sections built on each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This musical setting follows that pattern, with 22 connected “songlets.” The last four measures of each songlet can be sung in counterpoint to the first four measures of the next songlet, creating a 22-link musical chain. It sounds complicated and esoteric; just take a listen to the MP3 demo and everything will make sense!

    This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense. Download includes side-by-side Scripture and lyrics.

  • Psalm 4: I Rest in You

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    [embed]http://musicblog.gregscheer.com/psalm_004-i_rest_in_you.mp3[/embed]

    Psalm 4 is the lament of someone whose honor has been impugned. You can hear the theme of shame and honor recurring throughout. Ultimately, though, the Psalmist chooses to rest in the Lord. It reminds me of what Richard Foster says in The Celebration of Discipline—I believe in the section on silence—about not speaking in defense of yourself, but simply allowing your reputation to stand on its own. This lack of control is frightening, especially when your name is at stake, but ultimately we can’t control what others think of us. In this song, the lyrics and music turn the Psalm from an indignant defense (“Break their teeth, O Lord”) into a quiet prayer in the night. 

  • Psalm 44: For Your Mercy’s Sake

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    https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/psalm_44-for_your_mercys_sake.mp3

    Lyricist T.L. (Tammy) Moody has a knack for finding fresh ways to express herself, or in this case express Psalm 44’s anguished cry for help of the original Psalm: “Awake, O Lord!” The Psalm is full of unresolved questions; similarly, the song’s harmonies remain unsettled throughout.

    This hymn is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

  • Psalm 46: O Lord of All, You Are Our Home

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    [embed]http://musicblog.gregscheer.com/psalm_046-o_lord_of_all.mp3[/embed]

    Psalm 46 offers comfort and hope in times of trouble. It doesn’t promise that we won’t experience hardship, but that God will be with us in those times.

    In Martin Luther’s famous setting of Psalm 46, “A Mighty Fortress,” he focused on themes of strength and battle. In my setting, I highlight the Psalm’s images of God as a refuge–God’s stable presence among us in a chaotic world–concluding each verse with an affirmation of hope: “The Lord of all is with us.”

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    Psalm 6: Lord, My God, Do Not Contend

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/psalm_006-carlill-lord_my_god_do_not_contend.mp3"][/audio]

    Adam Carlill’s Psalm versifications in Psalms for the Common Era strike a fine balance between faithfulness to the Hebrew texts and singability for modern congregations. For Psalm 6,  I wrote a Celtic-style ballad, which feels to me like it’s sturdy enough to contain the harsher elements of the Psalm (“do not castigate and chide,” “Turn away from me my foes” ), but soft enough for phrases like “soothing touch and balm inside.”

    This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

  • Psalm 62: Only God Can Save Me Now

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    https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/psalm_062-only_god.mp3

    Psalm 62 famously begins with the words, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.” The Psalmist goes on to describe the many difficulties experienced in life–those who are attacking or extorting money–always coming back to the refrain, “My soul finds rest in God alone.” Scottish lyricist, Doug Gay, has given these words an introspective feel in his setting of the Psalm. They could almost be sung by a victim of abuse, crying to God for help. That’s the thing about the Psalms: they give words to things we may have not experienced, which may make us feel like we don’t need them–until we do.

  • Psalm 78: People Of The Lord

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/people_of_the_lord-cantor_and_choir.mp3"][/audio]

    Who would have thought that a Genevan Psalter-style setting of Psalm 78 in 7/8 time would become my biggest hit? After it won the Calvin09 hymn contest, the song was translated into a half dozen languages and sung from Switzerland to Brazil. It is included in a number hymnals, including the Presbyterian Glory to God and CRC/RCA Lift Up Your Hearts. Your church can get in on the fun, too, by downloading the music here at www.gregscheer.com.

    Read the whole story of the song here: People of the Lord

  • Psalm 80: Restore Us, O God!

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    http://musicblog.gregscheer.com/restore_us_guitarchestra.mp3

    Eugene Peterson argues that we sanitize the Psalms. His Bible translation, The Message, attempted to restore some of the grittiness of the original Hebrew. If this is true in Bible translation, it’s even more true in the way we sing the Psalms–we edit out the difficult verses and sing the rest very piously. “Restore Us, O God!” has a folk music (almost Klezmer) feel that brings out the urgency of Psalm 80’s lament.

     

  • Ready My Heart

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    I first heard “Ready My Heart” on Steve Bell’s CD Each Rare Moment a number of years ago and immediately fell in love with it. Lois Shuford has composed a unique Advent song, a devotional text in which we pray that our hearts would be prepared to cradle the coming Savior. Below is a video of Larry Figueroa and me introducing the song.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3aMobSfosM

  • The King of Glory Comes (KING OF GLORY)

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    https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/scheer-hosanna_in_the_highest.mp3

    This arrangement of THE KING OF GLORY COMES works with the familiar text by Willard F. Jabusch as well as Greg’s Palm Sunday text, “Hosanna in the Highest.” Optional flute descants add to the Klezmer feel of this rhythmic tune.

    Arrangements for strings and brass are also available with the alternate text.

Showing 25–36 of 41 results