Not long ago I noticed that a a former colleague of ours had posted an ad for the New Scottish Hymns Tour on Facebook. It rather piqued my interest so I took a look.
I have been listening to New Scottish Hymns ever since!
The project’s producer Greg de Blieck said:
"In a lot of modern worship music… Finding and developing the sound has become central whilst rich, crafted lyrics have become optional. The great hymn writers were articulate and widely read. They were passionate about teaching people deep truths about God. They could wield poetry and music to make these truths come alive to every kind of person. This was the real challenge to me…”
Rich, crafted lyrics that teach deep truths about God…
To prove it they took Horatius Bonar’s old hymn “Fill Thou My Life” and set it to a new tune. There’s nothing new in a new tune, of course, this hymn was already commonly sung to three different tunes or more.
But the new tune caught my attention and drew it to the rich lyrics - lyrics that made think again about the interweaving of the sacred with the secular in the fabric of my life:
So shall no part of day or night
From sacredness be free;
But all my life, in every step
Be fellowship with Thee.
Old hymns are good. They are rich. But New Scottish Hymns prove there can be treasure in the new hymns as well.
My personal favorite in the collection is a paraphrase (in the tradition of Isaac Watts) of Psalm 139. “Were I to Cross from Land to Land.” It ends:
5) Come search and test this heart, O lord
Dispel each anxious thought
And lead me onward evermore
To tread the path I ought
6) How blessed am I, so bound with love
Surrounded, yet so free
In doubt or blessing, life or death
My Lord remains with me.
So bound with love Surrounded, yet so free… I am blessed! With treasure new and old, yes, blessed indeed!