Song of the Moment – When I Survey…

Welcome to Song of the Moment!

We have a new song to focus on this time. I hope you managed to catch the last song of the moment, if not please do have a look here.

The new song we are looking at at the moment is:

This will not be new to perhaps the majority of us, the words of this Hymn written by Isaac Watts in around 1707.

As we approach Holy Week and Easter, it is a good time to reflect on this timeless classic hymn. Focusing on the cross and Jesus’ death, it’s extraordinary significance and what that means for us.

I’m particularly struck how also throughout this song we sing of both the events of the crucifixion and our response to His sacrifice;

“My richest gain I count but loss”.

The third verse considers Jesus’ suffering on the cross, as we look to understand the sacrifice He has made, and experience His amazing love. Then the words of this final verse recognises that there is nothing on earth that is as great as He is and nothing that can match what He has done for us, and so “Demands my soul, my life, my all”.

On a musical note, as with a few Hymns this is one that uses more than one tune that has remained popular over the years. Many may be more familiar with the Hymn tune ‘Rockingham’, which we most often sing at the 9am service, though more recently the Hymn tune ‘Hamburg’ has gained popularity (especially with an added chorus), as well as a setting to the folk tune ‘O Waly Waly’. The latter can be good on occasions where we would want to spend some time reflecting over the words as it can tend to have some long notes, pauses and a soaring melody. ‘Rockingham’ can also allow for serious contemplation of the words with its definite phrasing. Rather than having a preference of a tune myself, I find them all good for different situations.

I have included here two links to recordings, one sung by Lou Fellingham (Rockingham), and the other the Tim Hughes version (O Waly Waly).

When I Survey the Wonderous Cross (Lou Fellingham)

When I Survey (Tim Hughes)

Please do also have a look at the Sunnyside Playlist on Spotify / YouTube / Amazon Music

Thanks for reading!


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