Archive for February, 2018

When I survey the wondrous cross (What love for us)

Well, it’s my birthday!
Not every birthday one finalises a song about death and crucifixion.
Anyhow, that’s what I’ve done – a new setting for Isaac Watts’ Good Friday classic: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.
It’s in a minor key and with a bridge added. I woke up from an afternoon nap with much of the song in my head, having gone to sleep with it in my head. It stayed there.  Hopefully a good sign!!

I’ve long pondered how comparatively speaking I’ve written few Easter songs … even less for Good Friday. Maybe it’s because there’s so much great material “out there” – both traditional and contemporary. Why write something new?!

Rather than lyrically getting hung up on atonement theories and the like, I wrote a bridge which more than anything shares my faith that on the cross, Jesus – in the ultimate act of love, sheer love, takes on our brokenness and frailty.

Not that I don’t like the traditional setting – it’s my favourite Good Friday hymn.  Hopefully this new setting does Watts’ timeless lyrics justice.  Feel free to use, with appropriate CCLI attribution.
Blessings, David

score
mp3 vocal (in Gm) 
mp3 backing (flute melody)

1. When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Jesus, what love for us
Jesus, in dying for us
Jesus, forgiving us
On the cross, your pain
Love in our brokenness
Love in our hopelessness
Love in pure awesomeness
That we’d know life again

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

traditional words: Isaac Watts
music & bridge: David MacGregor  © 2018 Willow Publishing

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