Tag Archives: cameron gray

Ye Simple Men of Heart Sincere, Songwriting Exercise

Version 1:

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Bruce shared this link to a collection of Advent and Nativity hymns by John Wesley. I loved the first one I saw, so I wrote a tune to go with it and made a quick recording (version 1). After posting it here and getting some feedback, I came up with an alternate tune and made another quick recording (version 2). Now my idea is to turn this into a music-writing exercise, attempting to approach Wesley’s text from a variety of melodic and stylistic angles. Unfortunately, I don’t have that many ideas, so this might be a short exercise. If you’ve got an idea for this text, record it and send it to me and I’ll post it here. I’d be really interested to see what people come up with.

Is it Christmas already?

Ye Simple Men of Heart Sincere

Words by John Wesley, 1810. Music by Cameron Gray, 2009
©2009 Rough Harbor Music

Original text:
Ye simple men of heart sincere,
Shepherds, who watch your flocks by night,
Start not to feel an Angel near,
Nor tremble at his glorious light.

A herald from the heavenly King,
I come your every fear to chase;
Good tidings of great joy I bring,
Great joy to all the fallen race.

To you is born on this glad day,
A Savior, by our host adored;
Our God in Bethlehem survey,
Make haste to worship Christ the Lord.

By this the Savior of mankind,
Th’ incarnate God shall be displayed,
The Babe, ye wrapped in swathes shall find,
And humbly in a manger laid.

Isaiah 12

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Isaiah 12
Words and Music: Cameron Gray. ©2009 Rough Harbor Music

Sing to the LORD, come lift up and sing,
God is one, for all He’s done lift up and sing,
Make his Name known to all of the world,
For His banner of love stands unfurled

CHORUS:
Surely God, You are my salvation,
I will trust, I will not be afraid
Surely God, You are my salvation,
And my God, You are worthy to be praised,

Come give thanks, come call on His name,
Come take part, open your heart to praise and proclaim,
And with joy we will draw from that spring,
Oh, and satisfied lift up and sing
(Repeat CHORUS)

BRIDGE:
You are my strength and my song,
Make straight my way, make me Your own
(Repeat CHORUS)

You are my salvation

Scripture References:
Isa 12:1-6; Isa 11:12; Deut 6:4

In that day you will say:
“I will praise you, O LORD.
Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
and you have comforted me.

Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.”

With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.

In that day you will say:
“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.

Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.

Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Awake, Awake

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Awake, Awake
Words and Music: Cameron Gray, 2006. ©2006 Rough Harbor Music

Awake, awake my soul and sing—
Did not thy Lord thy salvation bring?
Did He not make His favor known,
And bear for thee the curse that was thine own?
Does not His sacred Word proclaim
Thy salvation sure in Jesus’ name?
Awake, Awake! Awake, Awake!
Awake, Awake, Awake, Awake!

Awake, awake my tears and flow—
Have you not heard—O, do you not know?
How thy sweet Savior bled and died,
How He upon that cross was crucified?
And by the merit of His blood
Thou art forever reconciled to God!
Awake, Awake! Awake, Awake!
Awake, Awake, Awake, Awake!

Awake, awake my tongue to tell—
When in thy sin thou stood condemned to hell,
Did thou not call His judgment just?
Did thou not in His mercy put thy trust?
And is thy faith not satisfied?
In Christ thy sin has all been crucified!
Awake, Awake! Awake, Awake!
Awake, Awake, Awake, Awake!

Scripture References
1 Peter 2:24; Psalm 89:17

O In The Grace That Calls Me Home

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O In the Grace That Calls Me Home
Words: Combined texts from the Gadsby Hymnal: Watts (752), Swain (738), Hart (740), c. 1838; Chorus & arr. by Cameron Gray, 2006; Music: Cameron Gray, 2006. ©2006 Rough Harbor Music.

O, in the grace that calls me home
See how my Lord’s bright glory shines.
There on the cross ’tis fairest drawn
In precious blood and crimson lines,
In precious blood and crimson lines.

O, the sweet wonders of that cross,
Where God my Savior loved and died;
Her noblest life my spirit draws
From His dear wounds and bleeding side,
From His dear wounds and bleeding side.

O, the vast mystery of that love;
How high, how deep, how wide it rolls.
It’s fountain springs in heav’n above,
It’s streams revive my sorrowing soul,
It’s streams revive my sorrowing soul.

CHORUS:
My treasure is Thy precious blood;
Fix there my heart, fix there my heart;
Thy righteousness my own, my God;
Fix there my heart, fix there my heart.

I shall forever speak His name
In sounds to mortal ears unknown.
With angels join to praise the Lamb
And worship at my Father’s throne,
And worship at my Father’s throne.

Recorded in December 07. Erica Schroeder on backing vocals, Johnny Ciccolella on piano, Will Turner on violin, me on everything else.

Instrumental Version:

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Hosannas On My Tongue

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Hosannas On My Tongue
Words: Isaac Watts, 1748, from the Gadsby Hymnal #409, altered by Cameron Gray. Music: Cameron Gray, 2008. ©2008 Rough Harbor Music.

To Him who loved me first
While I was in my sin
To Him who bore that curse
Just to make me safe in Him
To Him who formed my heart anew
Is endless praise and glory due
Is endless glory due

CHORUS:
The Father’s love shall ever run
Through my immortal song
I bring to God the Saving Son
Hosannas on my tongue
Hosannas on my tongue

Let every saint above
And angel around the throne
Forever bless and love
The holy Three-in-One
For mercy wrought by Spirit’s grace
I join my heart in grateful praise
I join my heart in praise

Scripture References
1 John 4:19; Eph 2:4-5; Gal 3:13; Eze 36:26; Mat 21:15; Ps 118:25-26; Rev 7:9-12

Hosanna: From the Hebrew “Hoshana”, meaning please save or save now.

Notes
Found these Isaac Watts lyrics in Gadsby’s and put them to music. I tweaked the words a bit, but not too much.

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. – C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Heart Like Mine

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Heart Like Mine
Based on hymn by John Newton (Gadsby, 999), c. 1779; altered & arr. by Cameron Gray. Music: Cameron Gray, 2007.

O Lord, with a heart like mine,
‘Less you hold me fast
I feel that I must and shall decline,
And leave my Lord at last
And leave my Lord at last.

You alone have power, I know,
To save a wretch like me,
Where or to whom shall I go
If I should turn from Thee?
If I should turn from Thee

No voice but Thine can give me rest,
No strength my fears depart,
No love but Thine can make me blessed,
Or satisfy my heart
Or satisfy my heart

O Lord, with a heart like mine

Go On, Thou Mighty God

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Go On, Thou Mighty God
©2006 Rough Harbor Music. Words: William Gadsby,1838; Music: Cameron Gray, 2006.

Go on, Thou mighty God
Thy wonders to make known,
Til every sinner bought with blood
Shall trust in Thee alone.

May grace triumphant reign
And Christ exalted be
May sinners calling on Thy Name
Thy great salvation see.

May mercy, truth and peace
Fill each believer’s soul,
And by the Spirit of Thy grace
Our wand’ring hearts control.

Thus let Thy kingdom come
And free salvation reign,
Till all Thy saints arrive at home
To never part again.

Gloria, Gloria!
Ad maiorem dei gloriam*
Gloria!

*To the greater glory of God

In Darkest Shades

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In Darkest Shades
Words & Music by Cameron Gray (based on a hymn by Isaac Watts, 1748, Gadsby 1011). ©2007 Rough Harbor Music.

My God, my God,
Thou spring of all my joy,
Thou life of my delight,
Thou glory of my brightest day,
Thou comfort of my night—
In darkest shades,
If Thou would but appear,
My dawning is begun;
Thou art my soul’s sweet morning star
And Thou my rising sun.

My Long-Awaited Christ

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My Long Awaited Christ
©2007 Rough Harbor Music. Words & Music by Cameron Gray

my long-awaited Christ has come
run and tell your brother
run and tell your dad and your mom
no more, no more, no more
will the darkness ever win
a new day is dawning
come and see the new day begin.

my long-awaited Christ has come
run and tell your neighbor
what Jesus has done
no more, no more, no more
anger and despair
got a home over yonder
and soon I’ll be there.

halleluia

my long-awaited Christ has come
such a dark road he traveled
just to bring me home
no more, no more, no more
will I wonder if I’m loved
evermore, evermore, evermore
shall my soul praise the Lord.

halleluia

Rejoice, Rejoice

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Rejoice, Rejoice
Words & Music: Cameron Gray, based on lyrics by Joseph Hart, (Gadsby, 725 & 787), c. 1768.

Come, come away with me
In meditations fair,
Let us to Golgotha go
And find my Savior there;
Let me in His wounded side
Wash away my shame,
And in that fountain opened wide
Lose all my guilty stain.

Rise up and rejoice
Rise up and rejoice
Rise up and rejoice
Rise up and rejoice
Lift up and sing;
With my heart and my voice
To Jesus my King

Come, come away with me,
Leave your sorrows behind;
Don’t you know that your life is hid
In the righteousness of Christ?
O the riches of His grace,
Enough to go around;
For who of mercy should despair
Since I have mercy found?