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A Wesley Music Project

October 15, 2008

I’m going to ask for your help here.  I want to break some writers’ block by collaborating with my favorite theologian-songwriters: John and Charles Wesley.

Here’s the idea:  I want to find some relatively obscure stanzas by the Wesleys that clearly reflect good Christian and Methodist theology and set them to (folk / rock / blues / Americana) music.  I would like for you to nominate partial or entire songs, combinations of stanzas, poems, etc. composed by any of the Wesleys and I will write and perform musical accompaniment to them, and make them available as free mp3s.  

So let ’em fly, folks.  Got a favorite Wesley verse we don’t regularly sing in church, a chestnut for which there is no known music, or anything else to nominate?  Leave some suggestions in the comment box below.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. jmeunier permalink
    October 15, 2008 5:50 pm

    I don’t have an obscure stanza, but I’d love to hear the classics set to new – more up tempo – tunes.

    O For a Thousand Tongue to Sing
    Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
    A Charge to Keep I Have

    And so on

  2. robbmccoy permalink
    October 16, 2008 12:19 pm

    I absolutely love this idea Will. That time you played a couple of hymns to a blues riff at our retreat was awesome. I would love to hear “O For a Thousand Tongues,” or “I Want a Principle Within.” In fact, I think this idea would make a great CD.

    Here’s a great stanza from “Jesus! Name High Over All” UMH #193:
    “Happy if with my latest breath
    I may but grasp his name,
    preach him to all and cry in death,
    ‘Behold, behold the lamb'”

  3. October 16, 2008 4:53 pm


    Check out Wesley Putnam’s CD, “Amazing Love.”

    He ended up doing an admirable CD with the same thing in mind as I think you are considering.

    You . . . will also do an admirable and creative thing as well. Hope to hear what you come up with.

    Rick >

  4. mark permalink
    October 17, 2008 9:15 am

    That’s a great idea. I have a friend here at Saint Paul who is doing the same thing. Here is a song I came across that I don’t really know but I like some of the lines.

    Being of Beings

    Being of beings, God of love;
    To Thee our hearts we raise;
    Thy all sustaining power we prove,
    And gladly sing Thy praise.

    Thine, wholly Thine, we pant to be;
    Our sacrifice receive;
    Made, and preserved, and saved by Thee,
    To Thee ourselves we give.

    Heav’nward our every wish aspires,
    For all Thy mercy’s store;
    The sole return Thy love requires,
    Is that we ask for more.

    For more we ask: we open then
    Our hearts to embrace Thy will;
    Turn and revive us, Lord, again,
    With all Thy fullness fill.

    Come, Holy Ghost, the Savior’s love
    Shed in our hearts abroad;
    So shall we ever live, and move,
    And be, with Christ, in God.

    Good Luck

  5. Nicole permalink
    October 17, 2008 10:00 am

    Seriously – you are my hero.

    My pick – “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?”

    And for those of you looking for an updated “For a Thousand Tongues” check out David Crowder Band’s version on their Remedy CD. It is excellent.

  6. JSnider permalink
    October 30, 2008 8:31 am

    Son of God, thy blessing grant,
    still supply my every Want,
    Tree of life thine Influence shed,
    With thy Sap my Spirit feed.

    Tenderest Branch alas am I,
    Wither without Thee and die,
    Weak as helpless Infancy,
    O Confirm my Soul in Thee.

    Insustained by Thee I fall,
    Send the Strength for which I call,
    Weaker than a bruised Reed
    Help I every Momement need.

    All my Hopes on Thee depend,
    Love me, save me to the End.
    Give me the Continuing Grace,
    Take the Everlasting Praise.

    (Hymn XLIX From Charles Wesley, “Hymns on the Lord’s Supper”)

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