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Reclaiming Beloved Hymns

For your pleasure, shamelessly secularized and humbly submitted (some may even say hopelessly bastardized):

Whenever I hear the song of a bird
 Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
 Or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
 Or walk by our lilac tree,
I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world
 Mother Nature created for me.

She gave me my eyes that I might see
 The color of butterfly wings.
She gave me my ears that I might hear
 The magical sound of things.
She gave me my life, my mind, my heart:
 I thank her rev’rently
For all her creations, of which I’m a part.
 I’m grateful Mother Nature made me.

Adapted from My Heavenly Father Loves Me, music and original lyrics by Clara W. McMaster © 1961 IRI. Arr. © 1989 IRI.

Abide with me; ’tis eventide.
 The day is past and gone;
The shadows of the evening fall;
 The night is coming on.
Within my home a welcome guest,
 Within my home abide.

O Friend, please stay this night with me;
 Behold, ’tis eventide.
O Friend, please stay this night with me;
 Behold, ’tis eventide.

Abide with me; ’tis eventide.
 Thy walk today with me
Has made my heart within me burn,
 As I communed with thee.
Thy earnest words have filled my soul
 And kept me near thy side.

Abide with me; ’tis eventide,
 And lone will be the night
If I cannot commune with thee
 Nor find in thee my light.
The darkness of the world, I fear,
 Would in my home abide.

Adapted from Abide with Me; ‘Tis Eventide, original lyrics by Lowrie M. Hofford, music by Harrison Millard.

Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
 The darkness deepens. Love, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
 Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day.
 Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
 O Love that changest not, abide in me!

I need thy comfort ev’ry passing hour.
 What but thy grace can foil my ego’s pow’r?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
 Thru cloud and sunshine, Love, abide in me!

Adapted from Abide With Me!, original lyrics by Henry F. Lyte, music by William H. Monk.

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  1. mel said,

    May 24, 2007 @ 10:45 pm

    My favorite song when I was a kid was “Heavenly Father Loves Me” … I leaned it and sang it with a Primary choir in General Conference I think around 1975 or so. I like what you did with it and it’s just as good, no, better.

    I also like how you were careful to keep the two “abide with me” hymns together in their traditionally confusing proximity.

  2. Jonathan Blake said,

    May 25, 2007 @ 7:15 am

    I think my adaptation of Heavenly Father Loves Me is my favorite. Once I started thinking about one of the Abide With Me hymns, I couldn’t leave out the other. I’m sure they would have felt lonely. :)

    I still find myself humming or singing the hymns, but my enjoyment of them is marred by the dissonance I feel with the traditional lyrics. Now that’s not a problem.

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