Sunday, April 10, 2016

npm pmmu #10: love unknown

My dad joins us today--rather late, I'm afraid--to share his "all-time favorite poem set to music."  A musician himself (saxophone originally, and clarinet; these days oboe and recorder more often, and he sings darn well too), Bob Mordhorst enjoys many kinds of music and has come to appreciate a much wider range of poetry in the last decade (I'll claim a little responsibility for that!).

But he is foremost a man of God, a Lutheran pastor who says, "I can’t sing [this] without getting choked up at the words 'he is my friend, my friend indeed.' There are other musical settings to it, but in my opinion this is the perfect wedding of poem and music."

Here is the full text of this hymn with words composed in 1664 and the tune my dad loves composed later, in the 20th century.  You can read more about other musical connections at its very own Wikipedia entry.

My Song Is Love Unknown || Samuel Crossman

My song is love unknown,
My Saviour’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I,
That for my sake
My Lord should take
Frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed-for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend,
My Friend indeed,
Who at my need
His life did spend.

Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!”
is all their breath,
And for His death
they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries!
Yet they at these
Themselves displease,
and ’gainst Him rise.

They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He
to suffering goes,
That He His foes
from thence might free.

In life no house, no home,
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb,
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say?
Heav'n was his home;
But mine the tomb
Wherein he lay.

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend,
in Whose sweet praise
I all my days
could gladly spend.

Thanks for participating, Dad, and for bringing the grandeur of the organ and the gift to my juicy little universe.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post Heidi! A great Sunday read and listen.

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