A paraphrase of psalm 46 with chorus

(by Paul Merchant and Michael Lehr)

 Listen to the MIDI file whilst browsing the music?
 (MIDI player for Internet Explorer and Netscape,
 try select for other browsers)

Whilst sorting through some old hand-written music scores I came upon the following paraphrase of psalm 46 written by Paul Merchant in 1965, when we were both at Cambridge. I’d already set two of his lyrics, “Lord, Make Me Love” and “Father In Heaven” to music so I had to try my hand at these.

This was only my second year into writing Christian music, and I was fascinated by the links between early Beach Boys harmonies and the Tudor church music I was singing in college chapel. So I decided to write a five-part harmony setting to an appropriate rhythmic backing, and you should now be hearing a MIDI of the result I was aiming for.

I used it at Cambridge and a couple of other times over the next few years, but didn’t think it had had any other use - there really wasn't much call (then or now) for five-part settings requiring strong male voices! So I was surprised to find that it had survived at Cambridge, but sung a capella and rather faster, because they only had a vocal score without chords to work from! That would sound something like this.

However, the basic melody (which in the original verses moves around between voices) still seems quite strong, and could perhaps be used today as a simpler unison hymn/song (with optional harmonies for the chorus).

I've nearly created a manageable score, but for the moment there's just the intro and chorus below. I'll post the rest as soon as it’s ready.

Download the sheet music and related midi files in “zipped” format(20kb)?

(Page One of God Is Our Hope sheet music in *.gif format)

(Page Two of God Is Our Hope sheet music in *.gif format)

Words by Paul Merchant
(based on Psalm 46)

God is our hope,
God is our hope

God is our hope and our safety.
He is our strength if we fail.
God is our hope and our safety.
He is our strength if we fail.

There is no terror in earthquakes,
or if hills slide into the sea;
if the waves come crashing like mountains,
or the mountain ceases to be.
Where God is all is rejoicing,
and the rivers are glad when they see


We live with God all around us;
He is near at hand when we call.
When the world is at war and divided
it is God who is ruler of all.
When the Lord speaks we must obey him
and trust in his power when we fall.


The Lord has made us a promise
that at his word bloodshed will cease;
for when God wills all will be friendship,
and he is the giver of peace.
O Lord, may we worship you fully.
May the song of your triumph increase.


Reflection Home Page

Back to List of Music