Come Thou Fount: Original Piano Arrangement

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Come Thou Fount

Come Thou Fount

I love the old hymn, Come Thou Fount.  I think it captures the spirit of Christianity everywhere and reminds us that without Jesus Christ, we are nothing, but that with Him, we can become all that He is.  I’ve been intending to create an arrangement of it for a long time, and I finally took the time to do it.  You are welcome to download this arrangement for free.  If I get requests for it in sheet music, I’ll transcribe it and make it available for purchase, so let me know if you would like me to do that.

Of all the words in the song, my favorites are these: “Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.”  It reminds me that I have given my heart entirely to the Lord, and he can do with it as He sees fit.  That heart often needs tuning, even regular tuning, and only He can do it, but I must bring it to Him – over and over and over.  Each time I do, he refines it, purifies it, and returns it to me, better, stronger, and more empowered than before.  I love Jesus Christ.  No matter how much I give, He always give back more.  I guess that’s why He said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

He waits on us to give Him all that we are, and when we do, He gives us back a life that is far better than anything we could have imagined.

Below is a copy of the original lyrics by Robert Robinson as he wrote them in the 1700’s:

1.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

2.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

3.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

4.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

5.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

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My Musical Journey: The Message

When I was nine, my sister Ria had piano lessons. Being the little brother, I thought I should be able to have piano lessons, too. To me it looked like fun, and I wanted a turn. So mom signed me up.

A lady in our neighborhood, who was also in our ward, taught many kids piano lessons, and for only $3 a week, it was a pretty good way to go, though I didn’t find out until later what a generous teacher I had to charge such a small fee for those valuable lessons.

The lessons were fun, and I learned all the basic musical terms and skills, and obtained a very basic piano proficiency. By the time I had been taking lessons for a year, however, I was tired of practicing, and after a few weeks of dragging my feet, I stopped going to piano lessons.

Years went by, and I didn’t touch my piano books. They were a thing of the past, and any time I considered playing, I remembered how boring practice was, so from the time I stopped the lessons, I stopped playing the piano entirely.

As a young man of fourteen, I loved listening to music while drifting off to sleep. I would stick in a favorite cassette and let it play through to the end. However long it took me to fall asleep, I would always get completely wrapped up in the music. As I made a habit of this, I soon found that the mere act of turning on music and closing my eyes did something to me. It was as if the sounds were wrapping around me, filling me. I don’t know how to describe it, but that simple, quiet music had an overwhelming effect on my whole system.

It was at that time that I came to a realization of the power of music – just a few simple notes, played at just the right… well, everything! The tempo was perfect, the notes were perfect, played at the perfect volume at just the right moments. What was it about this mix of sounds that drew a person in so completely? Was it the flawless skill of the artist, or was it something independent of the musician? Did the music itself somehow convey the sense of completeness and power that I felt?

Much of the music I listened to was religious music, and the powerful feelings I felt while listening to that music were always accompanied by an intense spiritual high that made me want to be better, do more good, and reach out more to bless the lives of more people. But a lot of the music I listened to was simple New Age music, which at that time was sometimes called Easy Listening music.

One night, while listening to some of this gentle music, I felt something unique – or I heard something, but with my feelings rather than my ears. It was as if someone or something was sending a clear message through while my mind and heart were in such a susceptible state. The message was simply this: “You can give this gift to others.”

I lay motionless, still wrapped in the feelings and power of the music. The words had been clear. You can give this gift to others. What gift? Music? The ability to play music? The feelings that the music expressed? Though the message had been clear, I didn’t know for sure what it meant.

The more I thought about it, the more I felt that it was time to go beyond simply listening to and enjoying music. I needed to make music.

But how? I didn’t play any musical instruments, and my voice was nasally and boisterous. I would have to learn to play an instrument. A flute? A brass instrument? I didn’t have any instruments, and I didn’t have access to any instruments – except…

Yes. The piano. The family had a piano. I would would get out my old lesson books and start learning to play first thing after school the next day.

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Lunch Bucket Canon: The Piece that Didn’t Make the Cut

Lunch Bucket Canon

In preparing The Ancestor CD, I had one piece that was intended to go on the album, but didn’t make the cut.  It needs some fixing up, and hopefully I’ll have it ready for publication later.  So it’s been sitting on my computer rotting for a couple months.  Then I realized that just because it’s not ready to sell doesn’t mean I can’t share it on my blog!  So here’s the piece that didn’t make the cut for my new CD.

Lunch Bucket is my daughter’s nickname, and I have a tradition of writing a lullaby for each of my kids.  After writing one for Lunch Bucket, I realized that the melody fits with the chord progression to Pachelbel’s Canon in D. So I made a little medley that is basically a variation on Canon in D, though it’s really Canon in C when I play it.

Oh, and I should tell you up front – this is NOT a solo.  It takes at least three people.  If I ever play this one in an up-close concert, I might even have everyone who can play Canon in C come up and jam along!

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When the Night Came: The Meaning Behind the Music

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When the Night Came

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Enos

1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—

2 And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.

3 Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.

4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.

6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?

8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

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His Rain

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His Rain

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His Rain
Vocals and Lyrics by Maria Hathaway Spencer
Music by Chas Hathaway

I am standing in the rain
In the sparkling drops of rain
I seek the warmth of new light
Beneath the endless sky

I am walking in the rain
In the sparkling drops of rain
Through the clouds I see a new light
A tunnel to the sky

The rain is clean
The rain is pure
I feel it wash away the world
I am new
I am pure
I found His light

I am dancing in the rain
In the sparkling drops of rain
I have found the warmth of His light
Descending from on high

His rain is clean
His rain is pure
I feel it wash away the world
I am new
I am pure
I found His light

I am new
I am pure
(I found his light)
I found His love

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From the North: The Meaning Behind the Music

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From the North

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D&C 110:11

After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.

I have always been fascinated by the history of the tribes of Israel.  They were in bondage, then led to freedom.  But their hearts weren’t right yet, so they couldn’t inherit the promised land.

Then when they did qualify, and were allowed to enter the promised land, they lasted a short time, and then fell back into wickedness.  So they were again taken into bondage.  Realizing their mistake, they repented, and the Lord showed mercy on them and led them away – both to the north and all over the world.

The history of the tribes of Israel is covered in blood, wickedness, repentance, forgiveness, freedom, pride, idolatry, and suffering.  It is a painful history, a sad history, and an inspiring history.

But we are living in the golden age of those tribes.  They are being gathered from around the world and brought into the church.

And sometime prior to the Lord’s return, He will lead the group that fled north back to the lands of their inheritance.  No longer will they teeter on the fence between righteousness and wickedness.

Their final redemption will be complete, and their scriptures, mingled with ours, will prove that the Lord is looking after ALL His people.

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To hear the music without my voice, go to Overtones and scroll to playlist on the sidebar called, “The Ancestor CD,” and click on From the North

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