Welcome to “Light”, my new offering of musical worship. This serves a sort of online “liner notes” page. Enjoy. You can listen free or buy it here.
There will be a limited number of “handmade” CDs available. Comment below and I will email you with instructions on how you can get one.
Here are some interesting notes on the songs for you, if you’re interested, and there are more detailed notes elsewhere on the blog.
Come Thou Fount
One of my very favorite hymns, I never even heard this song until I was in my twenties. I always thought it would be a really cool song in 5/4 time (I am not the first to try that). Hope you like it. The hammered dulcimer (not real, sampled) is my little tribute to Rich Mullins, who loved hymns more than anybody.
The first verse and chorus of this song was floating around in my head for more than a decade, and features a rather obscure take on Jonah 2’s wording (borrowing from the original Jerusalem Bible). One day I opened up a Bible and just did the work of finishing it.
Every Word You Say
This song came to me in 12 seconds, as some do. It was inspired by Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, written to celebrate the words God uses to speak to us. I wanted to make it bouncy
I Give You My Heart
I wrote this over 15 years ago, I think, as an extra chorus for “I Surrender All”. It also is one of the songs that came instantaneously, like a rush of inspiration, perhaps. Here, that hymn ends up being an extra chorus for my chorus, so I turned it around a bit. I wrote verses for this at one point. They were horrible, so I haven’t included them here. You’re welcome.
This one is more about perspiration than inspiration. I had an idea for this song, and just worked and worked until I got it where I wanted. The idea is supposed to actually be offensive, just as applying the word Christos to Jesus was in the first century. The implication is that Jesus is the Master of my life, and no one, no government, ruler, pastor, parent or president has my allegiance. The shortest song here, it still actually has 3 choruses, 2 verses, and a middle-eight. Don’t blink, you’ll miss it.
All So Lost
Another one that came instantaneously. This song replaced another song that was going to go on there, but I just couldn’t get a recording I didn’t dislike. I was sitting in my office one day and it all came in a rush. I ran out to the piano with a pad of paper and wrote it all down as quickly as I could.
God of Light
Another one that came out kicking and screaming, instead of just appearing in my brain. I wrote at least 4 different choruses for this… hated them all… God is light and there is no darkness in him whatsoever. Should be a cause for celebration.
I wrote this song as a gift to my sister Julie on the occasion of her ordination. I didn’t sing it at the ordination, because it was way too hard to write and wasn’t finished in time. But it is dedicated to her, and to so many Christians who are less keen to make a life verse (and mission) out of God’s promises them… and more apt to make their life verse (In Julie’s case Micah 6:8, which makes up the chorus of the song) about surrendering to God’s purposes of mercy, justice, and love for all, especially those most put down and abused and neglected.
You Are the Way
This one was another easier one to write, and was written to be part of a sermon series at a church I used to work at. When Jesus says he’s the way the truth and the life, he means some things that require a response on our parts to truly believe them.
This song’s lyrics are taken almost word for word from the current edition of the United Methodist Hymnal, words we Methodists sometimes speak at communion together to celebrate the amazing mystery of the One who came to give everything so that we could be friends with God.
All songs written, performed and recorded by Peter J. Hamm. “Come Thou Fount” is by John Wyeth and Robert Robinson (public domain) and portions of “I Give You My Heart” are by Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter and Winfield Scott Weeden (also public domain).
Thanks to Pat Hamm and David Kerwood for their feedback, which made the final master way way better.
Recording ©2015 Peter J. Hamm. All Rights Reserved.
Lyrics and Chord Charts available upon request.