Posts Tagged 'lament'

Songs of hope for tough times


A few days back, following up encouragement from others, I posted a YouTube playlist: SONGS OF HOPE FOR TOUGH TIMES. Here it is … nine songs of mine, including a few reflective instrumentals.  You may well have heard or sung some of them before.

I thought I’d include these songs:

I’ll Hold You Forever (Do Not Fear)
Reflecting on God’s constant promise in Scripture:  “Do not fear, I am with you”

We’ve lit a candle
As the coronavirus pandemic was deepening across our nation and worldwide, we joined folk lighting a candle each evening in our front window in solidarity with others doing the same, joining in solidarity and prayer.  On 22 March, churches across Scotland did just that.  A prayer was provided.  The lyrics of that prayer form the basis of this song.

Never let go
This song of wasn’t written for these COVID19 times. I wrote it almost five years ago while walking along the beach and reflecting on the fading health of a much-loved member of our community. Yet amid the struggle, I couldn’t escape the promise of my Christian faith through scripture and personal experience, that God never lets us go. Dale did a brilliant vocal, backed up on vocal and guitar by Peter, a longtime friend, himself struggling with life issues. I share it because I believe it can speak into our current times too.

Bring your peace, Lord
In part inspired by some significant well-being challenges I faced in the second half of 2015 and Stephen Foster’s profound song Hard Times (Come again, no more) I wrote this one, in the style of sorts of an American spiritual.

No other hands
Based on the words allegedly centuries ago of the Christian music, St Teresa of Avila

This one dates back about 15 years.  It’s in my humble opinion, one of the best instrumental pieces I’ve ever written.  As I wrote it I was incredibly aware of the presence of God.   It continues to evoke that presence.

Written just days ago as autumn (fall) happens in the Southern Hemisphere and as treasured customs in society start falling or straining too amid all that the coronavirus pandemic throws up.

Because the Lord’s my shepherd
This is a real “oldie”; written ca. 1979 for an all-age musical I’d written called Rock-on Goliath, based on the Old Testament David & Goliath narrative.  This one is sung by “David” and is based on Psalm 23.  Chris Macnaught played David in this production. Many years later, Chris recorded the song professionally.  He does a fantastic job.

Irish blessing
Vocals by a longtime friend Katharine McPhail, this is my setting of the much-loved words of blessing.  I’ve been touched by how many people have been blessed by this song,.

Take care.


Sometimes a song just comes.
So often, at the most unexpected of times.
Yesterday, I found myself down the road at the local coffee shop.  You’d think I have shares in the place. No, just lots of used-loyalty cards 🙂 I guess I was just browsing the paper.  Bushfires have exacted a terrible toll on property and people this past week in SE Qld, northern NSW and elsewhere.

I was suddenly impacted by these.  How would I allow my congregation to pray and reflect this coming Sunday.  Some of our folk have begun exploring practical ways of assisting those affected.

Within minutes, I had written a soft, seemingly-stark song of lament called Embers.  Lots of long ‘spaces’ between notes.  That effect worked.

I headed home, fine-tuned the instrumental piece … that’s what it is … recorded a simple mp3 track along with a basic piano score. I deliberately didn’t strive for recording perfection, every quarter-note or semibreve spot on for time.   That would be such a disservice for so many whose lives right now have fallen so imperfectly and fallibly apart.

So … I offer it to you.  Yes, we’ll use it in worship in Sunday.  Use it whenever, however.


score mp3


“Flow” – vocal recording

Hi. Dale’s added a lovely vocal to my recent song, “Flow” – my reflection on much for me arising out of the recent tragedy in Christchurch, New Zealand.  As I mostly likely will next Sunday, you may wish to use it as a reflective piece in worship, or in the silence or confusion of your own hearts.


leadsheet    lyrics   mp3 vocal    mp3 backing

come together … a new song

reconciliationJust written a new song – Come together, picking up themes of reconciliation, inclusion, harmony, love, repentance, and new life and future in Christ.

I guess it’s been inspired by a few things – this week’s national Uniting Church A Destiny Together – A Week of Prayer and Fasting initiative, some reflection on Ephesians 2 and Sunday’s Luke 4:5-42 (Jesus and the Destiny_TogetherSamaritan women at the well). I don’t claim to have any more insight or a clearer moral conscience on the deep issues of justice for Australia’s First Peoples than the next person. I don’t.  My songwriting has long been a journalling tool for me to reflect on all sorts of things in life.   More than anything this song – Come together – picks up the reconciliation theme.  I like any song I write to have application beyond a specific context … hence the way I’ve sought to put the lyrics together.  In no way does it want to avoid the place of lament, hence the first verse.  However, much of the song is upbeat, because in moving toward reconciliation one with another, transcending race, creed or gender we move closer to being one people in Christ.  This is the hope we are called to.

I’ll try to get a full piano score out in the coming days and maybe a vocal track.  For now, here are the lyrics and links to mp3 and music score.

Blessings – David

come together           leadsheet

Come together
Come together
We are one in God
through Jesus Christ
Come together
Come together
Christ our peace
and Jesus Christ our life

We’re humbly confessing
God help us addressing
Our pride dispossessing
For we’ve wrought pain
We come now repenting
We pray your forgiving
God’s grace reconciling
to live again
Come together

Come sister and brother
All creeds and all colours
Reach out to each other
all barriers down
Journeying together
Love for one another
No longer strangers
but friends in God
Come together

David MacGregor
© 2014 inspired by Ephesians 2
Willow Publishing

bright sadness

The whole situation in Japan is so overwhelming — and I’m not even there!  Add to this; earthquakes in Christchurch and Vanuatu, tragedy and unrest in northern Africa … and so on … and so on.

Came across what I found to be a  helpful piece of writing via a UnitingWorld email earlier today.

Our hearts are broken for our brothers and sisters in Japan.  Even the mere idea of more than ten thousand lost – perhaps many more – is too much to bear.  The terrifying footage, the unspeakable sorrow…

Facing such tragedies, Christians can do at least three things.  May God grant us the grace to do them well.

First, we can deny easy answers …

Second, we can pray …

Third, we can lament …

Click this link to access the full article

Grace & peace,


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 715 other followers

RSS Just in – ABC News

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Journey fast-news

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.


RSS Theolog:”The Christian Century”

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

%d bloggers like this: