Well-known hymn words set to new melodies

  • A collection of well-loved hymns
  • Newly composed melodies
  • Contemporary musical styles
  • Male and female soloists with SATB choir or vocal group

Like many of my generation who were raised by Christian parents, I grew up within a rich culture of traditional hymns. Some were great, and some not so great, but all played their part in encouraging us in faith and in Christian discipleship. The hymns offered us words with which to praise, they articulated belief and doctrine, and they reassured us in the human fears and doubts that we all experience.

For a number of reasons our traditional hymns have fallen by the wayside in many contemporary Christian churches, where few of them are sung today. Although a large number of older Christians clearly lament the passing of this aspect of their culture, it seems unlikely that many churches will ever return to the hymns as we used to enjoy them. The music of the church has moved on, just as musical styles always have done throughout history.

Yet there is a wealth of material in our old hymn books that is worth preserving in some way. The language might in some cases be archaic, sentimental or exaggerated in its poetic style, but in many can be found a depth of theological understanding that is too often lacking in today’s contemporary worship music.

I have addressed this by taking a number of hymns that I particularly like, and composing new tunes for them. I wanted to write tunes that were easy and enjoyable to sing, and that were more contemporary in musical style. They are very suitable for accompaniment by the contemporary worship band or by the piano or organ alone. Where possible, I have used versions of the words with less archaic language, and in which obscure vocabulary has been modified. Hymn writers include Cecil Frances Alexander, Philipp Bliss, Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley and John Newton.

Heritage is the name I have chosen for this collection, and my aim is to revive a little of that which has been handed down to us by the great hymns writers from history, so that today’s worshipers, both young and old, can identify with it once again.

Track List

1 All Creation Join To Say
2 Amazing Grace
3 Fairest Lord Jesus
4 Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
5 Holy, Holy, Holy
6 How Sweet The Name
7 Jesus, Lover Of My Soul
8 Jesus Stand Among Us
9 Jesus Walk Beside Me
10 Just As I Am, Without One Plea
11 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
12 Love Came Down at Christmas
13 Low in the Grave He Lay
14 Man of Sorrows
15 May The Mind Of Christ My Saviour
16 O Jesus, I Have Promised
17 O Sacred Head
18 Search Me O God
19 Take My Life
20 The King of Love
21 The Strife Is O'er
22 There Is A Green Hill
23 We Sing The Praise Of Him Who Died
24 When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

Available Resources

  • Piano-Vocal (SATB) arrangements
  • Melody lead sheets with guitar chords
  • Some backing tracks