Rock of Ages Cleft for Me – 1 Kings 19:1-18

These are the words that I needed from Rock of Ages Cleft for Me. 

That is verses 2 and 3…

“Not the labour of my hands
Can fulfil Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All could never sin erase,
Thou must save, and save by grace.

Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress,
Helpless, look to Thee for grace:
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Savior, or I die.”

If you look at Church Hymnary 4  CH4 hymn 554 you will find it is set to the tune Petra.  I must say not one of my favourite tunes – but the Late Rev. Bob White always reminded me that these tunes were the pop songs of the day.  Sadly one of a set of tunes that I struggle to look at as a pop song.  For me, it sounds like a dirge.   Other people may well enjoy, but it is not in my top 10.

As usual, I sent an email to our choir members.   I mentioned that words also fit the tune for the carol  ‘As with Gladness men of old’.  Secretly, I was hoping this would be ok.

Quickly, I received an email back – we know the tune.    ‘Oh dear’,  I thought.  Nothing for it, but I will try and rearrange Petra, perhaps break the chords or add a variation in the bass.

Today I arrived at church for the choir practice.   Played the tune Petra, it was not recognised, by anyone.   Nothing to do with the arrangement!  I then checked the CH3 hymnary and the tune was Petra. – it was there again!   Only, one more source was left…   Mission Praise.  There I found the tune Toplady and that was a perfect match.   Do have a  look at Mission Praise MP 582 (ii).  To my mind much superior to Petra.   Had to transpose by two semitones – but the organ magically did all that for me! 

To hear the tune click here



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