Showing posts with label Christian music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian music. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Music to Prepare Your Heart for Thanksgiving: A Review

Thanksgiving and Praise Music Go Together


When our hearts are especially thankful, we can often express our thanksgiving and praise best with music. Even when our hearts are heavy, music can remind us of all God has done for us and help us remember his faithfulness during times stress. Songs of praise can often bring gratitude back to our hearts. Today I'd like to share some music and verses that help my own heart give thanks for God's many blessings.

Prepare Your Heart to Praise the Lord with Music - Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Let's get started with a song I first heard back in the seventies when I had many albums by the St. Louis Jesuits. I think I had all of them. Even though I'm Protestant, the Catholic Church was more innovative in writing music that expressed what was in  my young adult heart. Here's a sample I found on YouTube so you could hear the complete song, "Glory and Praise to Our God."




Even though  I'm now old, I still appreciate the simple melodies and beautiful harmony of many of the St. Louis Jesuits' songs.


The Music in This Thanksgiving Album Has All I the Qualities I Want

When I started searching Amazon for some of my favorite songs of thanksgiving and praise, I wanted to find an album with a variety of styles and artists. If I'm going to listen for a while, my attention wanders if the voices or music styles don't change periodically.  It's especially important to me that the rhythm changes. Even creators of albums by a single artist try to vary the rhythms as they put an album together.

I also wanted music with understandable words. All you need to do is listen to YouTube for a while to know that some choirs and smaller groups enunciate their words more clearly than others. It's wonderful that some videos show the words as they are sung, but most of us aren't able to watch our music on video when we are driving or doing the dishes. I don't know about you, but I normally listen to music to keep from getting bored while I'm doing some physical task

My personal music preference is songs with strong melody that beg me to sing along, and at least some harmony as the music flows. I want music that will lift my spirit, and tunes work with the words to do that.




This album meets all my criteria. There are a few songs included I wouldn't buy separately, but they work in the album to vary the styles and rhythms.  Click through to see a complete listing of all the songs and sample them right from the page. Although the thumbnails featured on the videos show different covers, the songs are the same ones by the same artists you will find on this video. OCP puts many of the songs in several different albums. If a song is only from a different album, I will tell you.



What's in the Glory & Praise: Third Edition, Vol. 26 Album?


Here are some of the videos I've found that will let you hear more complete recordings of some of the artists featured on the album. Most of the traditional hymns included are sung by the OCP Session Choir. Here is their YouTube presentation of one of the most popular Thanksgiving songs you will find in the album -- "Now Thank We All Our God." It dates all the way back to Pilgrim times and I grew up singing it every Thanksgiving.



I'll be the first to admit that the cover of this album is not very exciting, but one isn't going to listen to the cover.

There are also many songs associated with the St. Louis Jesuits which you can stream or still get on CD's.  Among them was the song in the first video I showed you above. This next one, also on the album, is by Bob Dufford and the St. Louis Jesuits. I'm giving you the visual version here. It's prettier than the album cover.






The album also features another of my favorite Thanksgiving songs: "Let All Things Now Living." It's sung to the popular folk tune of "The Ash Grove" by the OCP Session Choir.







Now let's vary the style and the rhythm a bit. This one is bilingual:
"Alabaré / O Come and Sing" by Manuel José Alonso and  José Pagán. It will start you dancing. It's also on the album.





The songs by Grayson Warren Brown are a bit slower and reflect a different cultural style.  Here's "Been So Busy." This artist was new to me.



If you'd like to sample more of this artist, which I did, you can not only steam his music, but also buy his CD. I like that, because I don't have an MP3 Player. Actually, I do, but it's ancient and I never figured out how to work it.


While checking out all this music, I see that to get the music I really want to buy and play it in a portable form I may need to invest in an MP3 Player. I'm checking out this one.


Still More Songs to Check out from More Artists on this Album


"Grateful" by Tom Tomaszek is also included in the album. Here it is complete. It's yet another style.




All these new styles are getting to me. I need to calm down a bit with another traditional hymn by the choir. Here's another of my favorites: "All Creatures of Our God and King." It dates back to St. Francis of Assisi in 1225 and was translated into English by William Draper in 1926. It appears some of the words have been modernized since then. The tune dates back to 1623. This version is from the Cambridge Singers and a different album, but the song is also sung by the OCP Session Choir on the Glory and Praise Album linked to above. I put this version here because I like the extra organ and trumpet music in many of the selections.



The O Praise the Lord of Heaven album it comes from features only a couple of the Thanksgiving hymns in my featured album. Most of the selections in O Praise the Lord of Heaven will appeal more to those who are "high church" or who enjoy classical music. If that's you, try the downloads from this album.



Let's change the style again with "Lift Up Your Hearts" by Roc O'Connor - a song that comes from our featured album:



Now we'll bring in a female vocalist, Sarah Hart.  She sings "Hallelujah is Our Song" in our featured album.



If you enjoy this artist and style, you can buy the CD or stream the songs by clicking the link below.


We've almost got this album covered. I haven't shown you all the songs, but you can sample the rest on the Amazon site. I do want to leave you with one last song from the album by an artist who was new to me and I'm glad to have met. It's another song I love, "Alle, Alle, Alleluia" by Richard Ho Lung. It will wake you back up if the slower songs were making you drift off.



If you enjoyed that song, you might want to check out others by the same artist and a couple of others on Working for the Lord. Most feature the faster rhythms, and some of the songs include female vocalists.


We've Come to the End of the Album


At least we've reached the last song from it I want to share with you in video. This is the version you will find on our featured album. The hymn has been around  with many different tunes. The English translation by Jane Campbell has been around since 1861. This version of "All Good Gifts" is by Kevin Keil.




I hope you've enjoyed our video tour of Glory & Praise: Third Edition, Vol. 26. If you'd like to purchase the album or individual songs just click the link to see the Amazon listing where you can listen to parts of each song. You can stream 13 of them for free if you Try Amazon Music Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial. That membership will also allow you to listen to many of the songs in the other albums featured here. If you'd like to do that, I'd really appreciate it if you'd click the affiliate link above to look at the offer instead of the one on whatever Amazon page you land on if you go to look at the music.




I hope this music will help you nurture a grateful heart and teach you more songs to help you praise the Lord.


Photo Adapted from Pixabay Photo


For more Thanksgiving music, check out what our contributor Heather Burns, wrote: Thanksgiving Canon, A Hymn for the Ages




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Thanksgiving Canon, A Hymn for the Ages

Thanksgiving Canon~Wondrous Thanksgiving Music!

Thanksgiving Canon worship hymn
Why I am reviewing Thanksgiving Canon: It's my favorite Thanksgiving Hymn and I love to play it this time of year

It's great to play any day you feel like singing a praise song! The notes of Thanksgiving Canon are on the  pentatonic musical scale that is very pleasing to the spirit at the cellular level. Science has now actually  proven this. (with brain scans) So if you listen, you will feel better.

Photo is Autumn Leaves by Pixel Anarchy on Pixabay and can be found here

The Thanksgiving Canon is an old standby and we sang it as a round, ending in a sustained Amen when I was in choir growing up . When I went looking for a video of it for you, the best ones were from the Girl Scouts.

How funny, but understandable, as we sang lots of wonderful uplifting songs in my Girl Scout troop. But I did not know that the Girl Scouts have their own CD's now! So had to spend an afternoon listening to some of their renditions of some old Camping favorites! 

Below is the original sheet music that I saved from an old Choir book. I think it was from 6th grade. 


Thanksgiving Canon sheet music

Enjoy the Thanksgiving Canon and Happy Thanksgiving!


For thy gracious blessings,
For thy wondrous words,
For thy loving kindness,
We give thanks, O Lord.
~Thanksgiving Canon



About Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated mostly in the United States and Canada. It is celebrated each year on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving in Canada falls on the same day as Columbus Day in the United States. In ancient times, This was the Autumn Equinox festival. Man has always thanked the Creator for the harvest.

And man has always sung to celebrate everything. The Thanksgiving Canon is not only beautiful, but the sound tones are very soothing to your ear and soul. I always play it on Thanksgiving day. 

The Thanksgiving Canon Performed
Listen to This Stunning Worship Song


Thanksgiving Canon is On This Album
Thanksgiving Canon

I was a lifelong Girl Scout, who camped out every month for years, singing campfire songs into the late evening under the moon and stars. Those are some of my favorite memories. Lots of faves on this CD.




Thy mercies have been numberless;
Thy love, Thy grace, Thy care,
Were wider than our utmost need,
and higher than our prayer.
~O King of Kings



Here is the Thanksgiving Canon by Itself to Download
Thanksgiving Canon






With grateful heart
My thanks I bring,
Before the Great
Thy praise I sing;
I worship in Thy Holy place
And praise Thee
For Thy truth and grace;
For truth and grace
Together shine
In Thy most Holy Word Divine,
In Thy most Holy Word Divine.
~ Psalms 138


Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday and I wish it would be adopted worldwide. How wonderful to be thankful, if only for a day!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey

https://reviewthispersonalreviews.blogspot.com/
I woke up this morning to a message on facebook from a good friend and fellow writer that included the link to this song.  I knew I simply had to share it with everyone here.

We all face difficult, heart breaking times in our lives.  It isn't always easy to bounce back.  Some things aren't that easy to just move past.  It is during those times that we need the reminder to tell our hearts to beat again. 

I thought of several people while I was listening to this song.  Friends who have recently buried loved ones, friends who are struggling to survive divorce or unwanted separations, and others whose lives have changed, or must now change, due to health problems.  Their lives will never be the same again.  I wanted to share this message with them all and to say with every breath you take, "Tell Your Heart to Beat Again".

I believe there is also a message in this song for anyone who still lives under a shadow cast over their lives for many others reasons including, but not limited to, the inability to move forward with their life due to guilt or a lack of forgiveness for something in their past. 

This article and song are dedicated today to my friends, or anyone reading, who are hurting.

For those of you who are currently breathing easily and whose lives are at peace, listen anyway and store the message of the song in your heart.  You never know when you might need this refrain playing back to you.

I believe the lyrics easily speak for themselves.
 


  
Thank you Diana for sending this song to me this morning.   It is such lovely song with a wonderful message that is beautifully sung by Danny Gokey.  

To my Mom, who I know is reading and listening, I love the piano accompaniment to this song!  I know you will too.  The simplicity of the tune and clear, even voice presentation allow the message to ring loud and clear just the way we always preferred.    


 Tell Your Heart to Beat Again - This Song Only to Download Tell Your Heart to Beat Again - Digital Sheet Music Hope in Front of Me - The Full Album / CD



Review of "Tell Your Heart to Beat Again" was Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Reviewing Music by Don Francisco - Christian Singer, Songwriter & Musician

Do You Know this Man's Name?
https://reviewthispersonalreviews.blogspot.com/
Music has been a driving force in my life for as long as I can remember.  Over the years, many singers and their songs have touched my heart and they have left an indelible mark.  But, there are a few who have touched my soul.  Their lyrics have spoken to the very deepest part of my being.

One such writer who has the ability to write a song with such simplicity, but with great depth, is Don Francisco.  I first heard him sing in the 70's, but his music and songs still play in my head.  I raised my children singing his "Lullaby" to them at bedtime.  There have been times when my faith was bolstered by recalling the lessons his lyrics teach.  Then there were other times when I was able to remember a bible story because I remembered his song.

While he may not have received tremendous accolades on this earth, his voice or style may not appeal to everyone, and his name may not be a household word, there is no question he will receive rewards in heaven.  His voice is pleasing to God and the only One who matters in the end knows his name.

If you have never heard of him, let me introduce you.  If you already know who he is, enjoy the memories by listening to his music below.   

I have included 7 different music videos in this article.  You may not have time to listen to all of them right now, so be sure to bookmark this article and return to listen to them one at a time, when you have time.

Oh, I should tell you, he writes all of his own music. 


Lullaby by Don Francisco 


This is the lullaby I referred to earlier in the introduction.

Even as an adult, I appreciate the reminder that Christ is right here with me while I sleep.  I love the line "With the peace that Jesus brings."   It is only with these assurances that I find rest myself.




The Best Known Song by Don Francisco ~ "He's Alive" 


This is the song that first draw my attention to Don Francisco.  He opened a concert for the Gaithers once when I was in attendance and this song received a standing ovation.  Honestly, I think he stole the show. 

It is a song that describes the events that followed the crucifixion of Christ.  It is told from the stand point of the disciple, Peter.   So many of us can identify with Peter.




Why I Admire Don Francisco


There are several reasons, aside from writing wonderful lyrics, that I admire Don Francisco. 

He has a very unassuming presence when he sings.  Usually it is only Don and his guitar sitting on a stool center stage.  No major production, no fancy costumes, no theatrical presentation, just a jean clad regular guy praising God. 

His wife, Wendy, often accompanies him.  Not just in person, but also on the guitar.  He doesn't look to the crowd for reassurance or praise for himself.  As a matter of fact, I don't know if he even looks at the crowd but he still somehow connects with them. 



 

One of my Favorites ~ "I Don't Care Where You've Been Sleeping" 


This song is now one of my favorites.  I remember my first thoughts about this song vividly, I thought it was shocking

My favorite bible verses can be found in Psalms 139.  Frankly, I love the whole chapter, but there is one verse that says "If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there."  

Once I made the association between the scripture and the song, I readily embraced the lyrics. 

Oh, so many people need to hear this message:  "There's no sin you could imagine that is stronger than My love"





Teaching with Lyrics ~ Balaam


This song lays out the story of Balaam's encounter with an angel in a way that is easy to follow and memorize.  Believe me when I say, if you don't know the story of Balaam before you hear the song, you will never forget it after you hear this song.

You catch a real glimpse of Don Francisco's wit in this song.  The deliverance of the song and story is lighthearted, fun and humorous, but scripturally accurate.   What I love most about this bible story is that God used an animal to deliver His message.





The Storyteller ~ Adam Where Are You? 


In this song Don Francisco shows his remarkable ability to "string a phrase" and tell a story. 

This is one of those songs that tell the story so well that in my mind I can just envision the scenes unfolding and my heart breaks for God and Adam.

I also know He continues to call out to all of us.  






Too Small A Price by Don Francisco 


If you don't have the time to listen to any or all of the others songs featured here now, at least Listen to this one!

This song is written from the perspective of the thief on the cross next to Christ.  

There are several messages in this song.  I suspect which one speaks to you will depend on where you are in life.  Over the last 40 years of listening to this song, I can tell you from experience, perspective matters.  The message I heard when I was a teenager was different than the one I hear today due to the verse and lyrics that capture my focus. 


 

 

Albums by Don Francisco

Don Francisco has a number of albums that he has recorded. These are the albums that include the songs featured in this article. 




Reviewing Music by Don Francisco was Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.