I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:1-2 NIV
As Canada was considering English words for the song that would become our national anthem, a number of different lyrics were written and considered at the beginning of the 20th century. One version, written by Mercy E. Powell McCulloch in 1909, used these words:
“O Canada! In praise of thee, we sing
From echoing hills our anthems proudly ring
With fertile plains and mountains grand
With lakes and rivers clear
Eternal beauty, thou dost stand
Throughout the changing year
Lord God of Hosts! We now implore
Bless our dear land this day and evermore
Bless our dear land this day and evermore”
Victor Hugo once said, “music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” There is something mysterious about music – even those who aren’t very musical admit that the right song can move them deeply. Music crosses generations and cultures and to Victor Hugo’s point, expresses deep longings and passions that simply cannot be expressed any other way. If this is so for music generally, it is even more so for music that expresses our Christian faith. Psalm 9:1-2 says, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” As early as Genesis 4:21 we are introduced to Jubal, the first musician in the Bible, who is described as the “father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. “Praise naturally flows from the hearts and lips of God’s people, and so often this praise is most beautifully expressed musically. Take time today to fill your heart and lips with musical praise.
These have been words from the heart.