The Book Mormon Set to Music: 1 Nephi 1

I thought it might be fun to set music to the Book of Mormon by playing the piano while listening to a recorded reading of it. The tune was improvised on the spot so I could have the mood change with the words. It starts out a little cheesy, but overall  I think it worked okay. Let me know what you think!

Need Music for Your Blog?

I finally got around to putting my Hymn Arrangements on playlist.com. So if you have one of those cool little playlists on your blog or website, then pick a tune on the playlist below and click the little “add” button to add the song it to your playlist. Come on, you know you want to! If you don’t have a playlist on your blog, it’s easy to set up. Let me know in the comments and I’ll give you a little tutorial.

While you’re at it, feel free to add some of my original stuff from my newest CD, The Ancestor. It will be fuuuuuuunnnnn! Just do it. Come oooooonnnn, Everybody’s doing it
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My Invented Instrument

I invented a strange instrument. Help me decide what to call it! It’s no orchestral instrument, but it’s got a cultural style about it. What do you think?

Battle Hymn of the Republic

Battle Hymn of the Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…

His truth is marching on.

The sheet music is finally ready! Click to learn how to buy it.

Battle Hymn of the Republic has always been my favorite patriotic song, as it captures the why of all that the founding fathers of America did. The strength of their devotion to God, and the faith they had in Jesus Christ gave them the courage to move forward when they knew it could cost their lives and the lives of their families.

The lyrics were written in 1861 by Julia Ward Howe. The tune belonged to another song, which was more of a spoof than a serious song. When a friend suggested to Julia that she write new words to the music, Julia took the challenge. The new lyrics came to her when she woke early one morning. She said, “I went to bed that night as usual, and slept, according to my wont, quite soundly. I awoke in the gray of the morning twilight; and as I lay waiting for the dawn, the long lines of the desired poem began to twine themselves in my mind. Having thought out all the stanzas, I said to myself, ‘I must get up and write these verses down, lest I fall asleep again and forget them.’ So, with a sudden effort, I sprang out of bed, and found in the dimness an old stump of a pen which I remembered to have used the day before. I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper.”

Here are the original lyrics:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.
I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.
He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

We’ll Bring the World His Truth

We’ll Bring the World His Truth

I’ve always loved the primary song, We’ll Bring the World His Truth. I was asked to play a musical number in a stake priesthood meeting a couple weeks ago, and the topic was missionary work. I decided this was a great excuse to come up with an arrangement for it. Let me know if you’d like me to make it into sheet music. I’ll have to get permissions from Janice Kapp Perry for that, since the sheet music wouldn’t be free, but I’m willing to get permission if you guys want to be able to play it! Either way, enjoy!

Chas

Falling Up

I’m taking a different approach to releasing my music this time.  Instead of writing a whole CD’s worth of music and then releasing it all at the same time, I’m going to release songs as they are written, and then when there is a CD’s worth, I’ll put them together.

This way the music will be available as soon as it’s recorded.

This song was written by Maria Hathaway (Maria Spencer after tomorrow!  Congratulations, Ria!), and I wrote the music for it.  It will be available for purchase soon!

Enjoy!

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Falling Up

Falling Up

Falling Up

Lyrics and Vocals by Maria Hathaway Spencer
Music by Chas Hathaway

Walk to the place
where you can no longer see,
turn your face
to all that’s free,
take a step
into the deep,
fall into light.

Arms will embrace
and you will know it is He.
Call His name, walk His ways
fall into the endless light
of truth
of love
of peace
above.

Walk to the place
where you can finally see.
Gaze upon
Eternity.
Fall into light.

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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