A rediscovered gem

So I ran across this hymn today. I have no idea how the tune goes, but I instantly liked the words. The first and fourth stanzas, which frame the song, focus on the unending nature of the Christian’s praise, while the body of the hymn is a wonderful meditation on the character of God. The lyrics are by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), and I’m told it’s based on the 146th Psalm. It’s a song that uplifts the soul and the mind. And despite its age of over 250 years, the text would seem readily accessible to the modern English speaker. Call it Exhibit A.

Just for fun, I did a quick Google search for the following text which I arbitrarily selected: “I just wanna praise…” The search unearthed what I call Exhibit B. This appears to be a song of the “Praise and Worship” genre; it is the chorus from a larger composition entitled Thank You by The Katinas.

Exhibit A

I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath;
And when my voice is lost in death,
Praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne’er be past,
While life, and thought, and being last,
Or immortality endures.

Happy the man whose hopes rely
On Israel’s God! He made the sky,
And earth, and sea, with all their train.
His truth forever stands secure;
He saves the oppressed, he feeds the poor,
And none shall find his promise vain.

The Lord gives eyesight to the blind;
The Lord supports the fainting mind;
He sends the labouring conscience peace;
He helps the stranger in distress,
The widow and the fatherless,
And grants the prisoner sweet release.

I’ll praise him while he lends me breath;
And when my voice is lost in death,
Praise shall employ my nobler powers;
My days of praise shall ne’er be past,
While life, and thought, and being last,
Or immortality endures.

Exhibit B

so here i am
with all i have
i raise my hands to worship you
i wanna say thank you
oh, thank you
for everything
for who you are
you covered me you touched my heart
i wanna say thank you
oh, thank you

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “A rediscovered gem

  1. Bonnie

    This is a great hymn! I remember it from “back in the day,” although I haven’t heard it in a long time. I found the tune and the rest of the verses online… check it out: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/i/l/illprais.htm

  2. Anonymous

    And exhibit A isn’t bad, either.

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