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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah6xIq4mL0I