April 1, 2007

Awake, My Soul

Awake my soul, in joyful lays,
And sing thy great Redeemer's praise;
He justly claims a song from me!
His loving kindness, oh how free!

He saw me ruined by the fall,
But loved me notwithstanding all;
He saved me from my lost estate,
His loving kindness, oh how great!

Though num'rous hosts of mighty foes,
Though earth and hell my way oppose,
He safely leads my soul along,
His loving kindness, oh how strong!

When trouble, like a gloomy cloud,
Has gathered thick, and thundered loud,
He near my soul has always stood;
His loving kindness, oh how good!

Often I feel my sinful heart
Prone from my Jesus to depart;
But though I have Him oft forgot,
His loving kindness changes not.

Soon I shall pass the gloomy vale,
Soon all my mortal pow'rs must fail.
O! may my last expiring breath
His loving kindness sing in death!

Then let me mount and soar away
To that bright land of endless day,
And sing, with rapture and surprise,
His loving kindness in the skies.

--Samuel Medley, 1738-1799


Owl of the Desert said...

Has that been put to music?

Lynn Bruce said...

We know it to three or four tunes. We first learned it to the tune sung in the Appalachian region, which is the tune "Conflict" (the tune for "I Am a Stranger Here Below, #494 in the PBH), but somehow this tune sounds very different when sung in the old mountain style. You can hear that version on the old recording of hymns lined by the late Elder Walter Evans in North Carolina (available through Baptist Bible Hour), and I can't encourage you enough to do so. To that tune, it is powerful, haunting, deeply meditative, soul-stirring and just all around wonderful. We can't hear it without our eyes watering up.

It is set to the tune "Loving Kindness" in the PBH (#305), but I think we might prefer it to the tune "Tallis Evening Hymn" which is #556 in the PBH.

But the old mountain tune is the one that never fails to move me.

Owl of the Desert said...

Thanks! The words are beautiful, and I just felt sure they had to be to music.