Tuesday, March 10, 2015

More Lowry

I like the words of Robert Lowry. Not always his music - sometimes, but not always - but his words are often very useful. When I was, many years ago, looking for interesting hymn texts, I came across this little number: We are Pilgrims of a Day. I wrote an anthem on that text, as yet unused, but that's not what I'm offering up today.

No, today is a straightforward, ready-for-Sunday hymn setting. Well, except for the meter shifting on you every which way.

The basic meter I chose was a seven-beat pattern, which I felt fit the words reasonably well, as such:
We--- are pil-grims of a | day ...
Trav---eling on our cheer-ful | way ...

and also in the refrain:

We | jour-ney. hand in hand, (rest)
to | Can-aan's hap-py land; (rest)
O | come ye friends and neigh-bours ...

And all of that was a lovely idea, but there are these repeated interjections of "homeward bound, homeward bound" in the first verse and similar moments in the other verses. The actual hymn meter is 7, 6, 7, 5 (numbers which may mean nothing to you if you're not a church musician - that's the number of syllables per line) and an eight line refrain with a 5, 6, 5, 5 / 6, 6, 7, 6 pattern. Seeing poetry of that rhythmic nature, I am unsurprised to find that Robert Lowry's words tend to go with Robert Lowry's music and with that of few others!

So with little more ado, my second Robert Lowry hymn setting. I'm taking all bets as to how long until I set "How Can I Keep from Singing." (incidentally, I have made an SAT arrangement of that particular tune...)

Click for PDF download
The text is of course by Robert Lowry; as for the music...

Creative Commons License
We are Pilgrims of a Day by Mike Cutler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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