(If you do not see the music icons/links within this post, please click on the July 5, 2020 title/link above.)
Continuing on from last week, I’d thought I’d do a couple more of the selections from George Shearing’s collection of organ pieces entitled “Sacred Sounds.” Last week, I did a recording of myself playing the arrangement of “Amazing Grace.” For this week, I picked to do “Jerusalem, My Happy Home” and “Once More, My Soul.”
George Shearing, as many of you might know, was a very prominent jazz pianist throughout much of the twentieth century. Shearing was born in 1919 and grew up in London, England. His only formal music training was four years of study at the Linden Lodge School for the Blind. In the 30s and 40s, Shearing was often heard on the BBC. He moved to America in 1947, and he recorded a huge number of jazz albums during the second half of the twentieth century. Shearing wrote over 300 jazz songs, and he was also interested in classical music and performed several times in the 50s and 60s with symphony orchestras.
It’s not very widely known that Shearing wrote a collection of church organ pieces. These pieces came out in 1977. They are all based on early American hymn tunes, and Shearing worked on them in collaboration with the popular church organ composer Dale Wood.
Here are my recordings of two selections from Shearing’s “Sacred Sounds” along with a few stanzas of the hymns that they go with. For “Jerusalem, My Happy Home,” I copied the words from our hymnal (Hymn #620)–though the words found there are quite different words than those that appear for this hymn in most other hymnals. The other hymn “Once More, My Soul” does not appear in our hymnal. (Actually, the tune does appear a couple times, but not with the lyrics that Shearing was thinking of.)
Anyway, thanks very much for listening, everyone! Best to you guys. – Danny
1 Jerusalem, my happy home,
when shall I come to thee?
When shall my sorrows have an end?
Thy joys when shall I see?
2 Thy saints are crowned with glory great;
they see God face to face;
they triumph still, they still rejoice
in that most happy place.
3 There David stands with harp in hand
as master of the choir:
ten thousand times would one be blest
who might this music hear.
1 Once more, my soul, the rising day
Salutes thy waking eye;
Once more, my voice, thy tribute, pay
To Him who rules on high.
2 Night unto night His name repeats,
The day renews the sound,
Wide as the heav’ns on which He sits
To turn the seasons round.
3 O God, may all my hours be thine,
While I enjoy the light;
Then shall my sun in smiles decline,
And bring a peaceful night.