Dylan’s “Pressing On”

Here’s a 1980 song from Bob Dylan’s album 'Saved' as covered first by Alicia Keys.

Well I’m pressing on
Yes, I’m pressing on
Well I’m pressing on
To the higher calling of my Lord

Many try to stop me, shake me up in my mind
Say, “Prove to me that He is Lord, show me a sign”
What kind of sign they need when it all come from within
When what’s lost has been found, what’s to come has already been?

Well I’m pressing on
Yes, I’m pressing on
Well I’m pressing on
To the higher calling of my Lord

Shake the dust off of your feet, don’t look back
Nothing now can hold you down, nothing that you lack
Temptation’s not an easy thing, Adam gave the devil reign
Because he sinned I got no choice, it run in my vein

Well I’m pressing on
Yes, I’m pressing on
Well I’m pressing on
To the higher calling of my Lord

And finally, here’s Dylan’s original performed live in Toronto, April 1980:

"Before You I Kneel (A Worker’s Prayer)"

As we celebrate Labor Day in the USA, here’s a relevant, recent hymn by the Gettys and Stuart Townend and another friend. The Gettys write,

"Before You I Kneel (A Worker’s Prayer)" is a hymn for the working day, a prayer for each task we are given. The spark for the song came from our good friend, Jeff Barneson, who introduced us to a special service called “The Holy Ordination to Daily Work” that Intervarsity conducts annually at Harvard University. As Keith and one of our new Nashville friends, Jeff Taylor, put the melody together, they reflected on JS Bach who finished his working day of writing for the church by inscribing SDG (Soli Deo Gloria) at the bottom of the manuscript page. It became the hook that we built both the song and this particular arrangement on where we hear Bach’s timeless melody, “Wachet Auf,” played on folk instruments.

Before You I kneel, my Master and Maker, 
To offer the work of my hands. 
For this is the day You’ve given Your servant; 
I will rejoice and be glad 
For the strength I have to live and breathe, 
For each skill Your grace has given me, 
For the needs and opportunities 
That will glorify Your great name.

Before You I kneel and ask for Your goodness 
To cover the work of my hands. 
For patience and peace to shape all my labor, 
Your grace for thorns in my path. 
Flow within me like a living stream, 
Wear away the stones of pride and greed 
‘Til Your ways are dwelling deep in me 
And a harvest of life is grown.

Before You we kneel, our Master and Maker; 
Establish the work of our hands. 
And order our steps to seek first Your kingdom 
In every small and great task. 
May we live the gospel of Your grace, 
Serve Your purpose in our fleeting days, 
Then our lives will bring eternal praise 
And all glory to Your great name.

Written by: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Jeff Taylor, and Stuart Townend

The recording is on the Getty’s (2012) album 'Hymns for the Christian Life.'

Here’s a live version by my Nashville friend Molly Lockwood. The song begins at 2:07 in the video below.

You can get a score or chord chart at multiple sites including these:

Praising God: Theologies and Practices of Worship in the Hispanic/Latino Church

In collaboration with Fuller Theological Seminary and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, the Justo L. Gonzalez Center presents its second Lecture Series:

Praising God: Theologies and Practices of Worship in the Hispanic/Latino Church in the US.

This lecture series will be held on the Pasadena campus of Fuller Theological Seminary. 

From Fri. October 17, 2014 at 7:00PM
to Sat. October 18, 2014 at 7:00PM

Panel: “Reflections on testimonies from pastors and 
worship leaders in the Hispanic church.”

First Lecture: “From private to public: 
Hispanic Christian Worship in the United States.”

Second Lecture: “What are we doing in worship?:
A question for conversation in the Hispanic/Latino church.”

1. “Worship and Arts: going beyond music”
2. “How can we sing to the Lord in a strange land:
searching for roots and routes in the Americas”
3. “Preaching justice as an act of worship”

Third Lecture: 
"Lessons from the Ancient Church for our worship today"

St. Rosa of Lima
 Icon by Br. Robert Lentz, OFM

Jessie Mae Hemphill - ‘Lord, Help The Poor And Needy’

Jessie Mae Hemphill (October 18, 1923 – July 22, 2006) was an American electric guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist specializing in the primal, North Mississippi hill country blues traditions of her family and regional heritage.


Jessie Mae Hemphill onstage in Memphis, 1980s. Photo © Lisa McGaughran, photographer

Hemphill was born near Como and Senatobia in northern Mississippi just east of the Mississippi Delta. She began playing the guitar at the age of seven and also played drums in various local Mississippi fife and drum bands. Her musical background began with playing snare drum and bass drum in the fife-and-drum band led by her grandfather, Sid Hemphill. Aside from sitting in at Memphis bars a few times in the 1950s, most of her playing was done in family and informal settings such as picnics with fife and drum music until her 1979 recordings.

The first field recordings of her work were made by blues researcher George Mitchell in 1967 and ethnomusicologist Dr. David Evans in 1973 when she was known as Jessie Mae Brooks, using the surname from a brief early marriage, but the recordings were not released. In 1978, Dr. Evans came to Memphis to teach at Memphis State University (now University of Memphis). The school founded the High Water label in 1979 to promote interest in the indigenous music of the South. Evans made the first high-quality field recordings of Hemphill in that year and soon after produced her first sessions for the High Water label.

Here’s one of her poignant songs:

Here’s a terrific contemporary version performed by Damer i Blues med Unni Wilhelmsen og Merete R. Solli live fra Energimølla, Kongsberg torsdag 17. februar 2011.

And finally, a faster-tempo solo version by Marcel van der Linden:

Responsorial Versions of Psalm 63

Jeremy Mayfield is the Assistant Music Director for Christ Anglican Church, Mobile, Alabama.

1. Here’s a wonderful responsorial setting he composed for Psalm 63, which will be used in many churches around the world this Sunday that use the lectionary:  August 31, 2014, the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Responsorial Psalm PS 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

R/ (2b) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
R/ My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary
to see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life;
my lips shall glorify you.
R/ My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus will I bless you while I live;
lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,
and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you. 
R/ My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.
R/ My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the U.S., 2nd typical edition, Copyright 2001. 

2. Here’s a contemporary poignant version composed by Christopher Tse. It’s sung by jazzy vocalist Ellen Bullinger. Piano: Garrett Taylor.

Find many more of Christopher’s arrangements of Psalms at
This link is also the the source of the score below.
This one is not especially easy for a congregation, even with a repeated refrain, but I sure love to hear it!

3. I found another great contemporary setting which is easy for a congregation - this one composed by Michael Lynch.

Hear the demo recording at

and here’s his score, from that webpage:


imageAnd lastly, you can find a set of older-style chant versions of Psalm 63, many accompanied by organ, at

Here’s one by “Corpus Christi Watershed”

For thousands of free Responsorial Psalm scores & Mp3’s, please visit:

Christine D’Clario - ‘Padre mío’

Christine D’Clario is a composer and worship leader with family roots in Puerto Rico who now travels frequently to minister in North and Central America. She’s released 5 albums so far.

Learn part of her history at

Here’s a song from her album ‘Mas Profundo.’ She writes, “Quizás comenzaste esta semana con desánimo, confusión, falta de fe y pensando que no tendrás la fuerzas para vencer tu situación. Entrega todo a Dios nuestro Padre porque el ya venció por ti y para ti. Él es tu Abba.

Maybe you’re starting this week discouraged, confused, with lack of faith and thinking that you probably won’t have the strength to overcome your situation. Give it all to God our Father because He already won for you. He is your Abba.”

Gure Aita (‘Lord’s Prayer’ sung in Basque)

The Basque language has about 720,000 native speakers in northeastern Spain and southwest France

Here is The Lord’s Prayer sung in Basque:

Gure Aita zeruetan zarena, 
santu izan bedi zure izena, 
etor bedi zure erreinua,
egin bedi zure nahia 
zeruan bezala lurrean ere. 
Emaiguzu gaur egun hontako ogia; 
barkatu gure zorrak, 
guk ere gure zordunei 
barkatzen diegunez gero; 
eta ez gu tentaldira eraman, 
baina atera gaitzazu gaitzetik. 

The audio is from the CD ‘Donibaneko Meza dite Messe de Corsaires’, KD-128 Elkarlanean, published by Portuetxe kalea, 88 bis 20009 Donostia (San Sebastian), Tel: (0034) 943 310267.


The person who created the video writes, “Since 1998 I have made intermittent visits to Irun, a large town just on the border with France, 2 kilometres south of the French town of Hendaye and about 20 Kilometres north east of Donostia (San Sebastian).

"I have been struck by the fact that whenever I went to Mass in Irun, San Sebastian, Hendaye or even as far north as Bayonne, the ‘Gure Aita’ has always been sung, even during Masses at which no music has been played, no other hymn sung and no Basque spoken. In a word, ‘Gure Aita’ is such a hit with Basque, Spanish and French speakers in that region that a Mass entirely in Spanish or in French does not seem to happen.

The photos, apart from the CD cover, are of churches where I have joined in singing ‘Gure Aita’ on at least one occasion:

1.La Iglesia de los Carmelitas, San Sebastian;
2.L’Eglise de Saint Vincent, Hendaye;
3.La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora del Juncal, Irun;
4.L’Eglise de St. Andre, Bayonne;
5.La Iglesia de los Pasionistas, Irun.
6.La Eremita de San Marcial, Irun.”

Here’s a live version of the same prayer sung in Basque, though the music is different. The notes say,
2014 Maiatza, 20garren urtemugako kontzertua
Gure Aita, Jexus Mari Esnaolak konposatua, Bere amari eskeinia.”

And finally, one more live version from a  church service (no details given).

"Ars Moriendi" by The Collection (orchestral folk rock on the Art of Dying)

The Ars Moriendi (“The Art of Dying”) are two related Lati ntexts dating from about 1415 and 1450 which offer advice on the protocols and procedures of a good death, explaining how to “die well” according to Christian precepts of the late Middle Ages. It was written within the historical context of the effects of the macabre horrors of the Black Death 60 years earlier and consequent social upheavals of the 15th century. It was very popular, translated into most West European languages, and was the first in a western literary tradition of guides to death and dying.

"Ars Moriendi" is also the name of the latest album by a music group from Greensboro (North Carolina) called 'The Collection' who play orchestral folk rock music. The size of the group fluctuates but goes up to 12 people.

People that are, at one point or another, taking time and a place in the collection, are David Wimbish- Accordion, Guitar, Banjo, Cello, piano, Brass, Throat Tom Troyer- Guitar, Glockenspiel, Flute Steven Berbec - Trumpet Mira Wimbish- Accordion, Throat, Auxiliary Percussion Whitney Keller- Throat, Glockenspiel, Auxiliary percussion, Organ Tim Austin- Drums Hayden Cooke- Bass Philip Keller- Baritone, Auxiliary Percussion Christina Goss- Piano, Rhodes Christina Brooke- Cello Maria Fischer-Violin Hope Baker- Clarinet Josh Weesner- Violin Graham Dickey- Trombone Edd Kerr- Guitar Sandra Wimbish - Trumpet Joy Waegerle- merchant, keeping us sane, smiling Past, possibly present, and hopefully future members: Ben Thompson- Bass, organ, Auxiliary Percussion Luke Thompson- Aux Percussion Chase Salmons-Drums Jennifer Millis - Cello Blake Burchette- Trombone Xavier Hobbs - Trombone Heather Faulkner-Violin Stacie Cummings-Cello Joanna Hampton- Piano, Trumpet, other doo-dads Steve Rozema -Trumpet, Glockenspiel, Piano, Banjo.”

Here’s a jubilant song called 'The Art of Dying.'


Death sits inside his office as we wait for the verdict 
he speaks our fate with a nervous tick; do we get the cure or the sickness? 
and when we die, what will it be - a graveyard grave, or a golden fleece? 
And will we fight or will we flee? 
Will you still have faith in me? 

I walk down the golden stairs and pray, again, the skeptics prayer 
my grandpa is still sitting there asleep with a book in his red chair 
I’m a father, and I’m a son, and I do not own any guns 
I hope death don’t come from my hands so I can die a peaceful man 

Can’t we say that we won’t know a single thing until the day that death itself is cast away 
and I believe there’s nothing left to mar, 
I don’t know where I stand, but when I fall, its not too far 

I hope you’re running down the road with a golden ring and a purple coat 
to meet me when I pass through death with my brother and the fattened calf 

I can’t see what it will be until my real name comes to me 
I can’t see what it will be, so dance with me until I sleep.

Get the album at

with song titles like From Dust, Capernaum, and Some Days I Don’t Want to Sing (O’ Death, Where Is Thy Sting?)

For the next few days, get the album as a free download (tips appreciated!) at

Learn more about the band, and the genesis of the album title and theme (on the heels of a friend committing suicide), at

Y’hi Shalom - Neshama Carlebach & Josh Nelson

Y’hi shalom becheilech shalvah be’arm’notaich. 
Let there be peace in your borders, tranquility in your palaces...

Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson released a powerful music video offering a heartfelt prayer for peace against searing images from Israel and Gaza. In the midst of a summer of bloodshed and strife, the duo performs Shlomo Carlebach’s iconic song.

Moved by a summer of pain and suffering in the Middle East, at home and around the world, Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson have responded in the form of a prayerful, riveting and emotionally raw music video, produced by Josh Nelson.

Musical artists with a lifelong commitment to Israel, trans-denominational appeal and a message of unity for the Jewish community and the world at large, Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson were compelled to record the legendary melody composed by the late, great Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach in the midst of the violence in Israel and Gaza…and in the face of the resurgence of anti-Semitism around the world.

“As a Jew, as a mother and as a human being, I am terrified by the escalating hatred that I see in this world,” stated Neshama Carlebach, daughter of Shlomo Carlebach. “I grew up knowing that my father’s family ran from Nazi-occupied Europe and was aware of my deep blessing; that I was living securely and free of fear. I hear his voice in my head. This song is our prayer.”

The song is based on Psalm 122:7 -
 May there be peace inside your walls and prosperity in your palaces.”

Individually and as a creative team, Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson perform widely across the denominational spectrum of Jewish life and in secular venues as well. Deeply invested in Jewish Peoplehood, they are spiritual role models in their community. As such, they felt the urgent need to call for peace and love in the middle of this time of unprecedented conflict, they said. “We believe that all people have the right to live their lives without fear, and when we decided to speak up, we knew of no text more poignant than this prayer for peace,” said Josh Nelson. 

Shlomo Carlebach’s version of “Y’hi Shalom” is beloved and meaningful for millions around the world, Jews and non-Jews alike, explained Josh Nelson. “We hope that this recording will inspire humanity to come together and to begin to move in a new direction. There are no simple answers to the incredibly complex situation in Israel and Gaza, but the message in this song may be a place to start.”

Text from

Y’hi shalom becheilech
shalvah be’arm’notaich

Let there be peace in your stronghold
serenity in your palace

You can learn about the Josh Nelson Project at


Homemade instruments in African church service

This short video came my way today, which you’ll appreciate and enjoy ….

The English translation reads, “I know that all our Levites are grateful to God for everything they have to offer the best praise to Jesus.”
No identifying information was given; if you recognize which country this is from, please leave a comment - thanks!