Wednesday, February 28, 2007


O the deep, deep love of Jesus / vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
My hope is built on nothing less / Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness

Be still my soul / The Lord is on your side / leave to your God / To order and provide

There’s nothing like a song or scripture in my head to keep me focused on truth and protected against lies, discouragement, or fear. So lately I’ve enjoyed browsing through an old songbook that includes the words quoted above - also, of course, found many other places! It’s a 1972 edition of Young Life’s publication, “Songs.” Remember it? The little paperback, brown cover?

This may bring it back:
From mountains high cool waters flow / the singing breeze, green meadows grow / Shine tall pine trees, blue skies above / Are all expressions of my Lord’s love / And this one God who made all these / Is interested in you and me / His greatest gift is to make men free / New self, more life, abundantly!
The edition I sang from in the mid-1980s may have been a bit different from this one, but not much. It features lots of Yohann Anderson, John Fisher, and the like: Jesus music.

It also includes a lot of not-so-Jesus-y artists like Bob Dylan, John Denver, and the Beatles. And lots of folk music and pop songs from the 60s and before. They were pretty hip tunes at the time. I remember learning most of them by hearing them stream from the little yellow transistor radio which my mom carried from the kitchen to the garden. Now you can only hear them on the oldies station...

With its mix of Christian and secular music, new song and old ones, often with a new flavor, this book was pretty contextualized to its audience. Though perhaps open to the charge of syncretism. "Puff the Magic Dragon" and "Blessed Be the Tie That Binds" make strange bedfellows. I wouldn’t mind singing “In Christ There Is No East or West” to the tune of “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” (try it!) but “A Mighty Fortress” to the suggested alternate tune of - oh this makes me laugh - “Come on Baby Light My Fire”? Hmm. Would Ol’ Martin Luther be rolling - or rocking and rolling - in his grave?

I wonder if something like this exists that is more contemporary, a compact words-only songbook, with songs I know, old and new? Or are we too far beyond the days of people sitting around with a guitar just singing for this to be relevant? Of course it would be quite easy now to make my own, and maybe a good devotional exercise.

I’d also experience the same fun and encouragement by enlarging my collection of worship-music CDs but it is hard knowing where to start. Any suggestions? What are you listening to and loving, lately?


Dave Moody said...

Oh man, take me back. I sang from that songbook too. I remember thinking, "Hey, I didn't know John Denver and Paul McCartney were Christians!" Ah to be that naive and innocent again.

I don't know if that sort of thing would fly now. we're all too jaded, too sophisticated at such an early age. or maybe I'm just getting up there in yrs. Hmmm...

You made me think of events and people I haven't thought of in over 20 yrs. Great post Marti.

Nairobi Paul said...

Check out some of the Vineyard CDs. We go to a Vineyard chuch here & the worship has been alive for me - for thee first time in many years.

Life Abundantly! said...

Oh, I loved this songbook! It died in storage (mold - very sad). I would still really appreciate a copy if anyone knows where to get it.
I ran across your blog looking for all the words to the Abundantly! song - I have them all in my head, I think, but just wanted to double check and give proper attribution...
Blessings, wendy

Life Abundantly! said...

Ho ho!
Well, I answered my own question.
If you want one of these songbooks, search "Yohann Anderson" on Amazon, and follow your nose from there.
Thanks, Marti, for getting me enough info to find something I've been wanting for 5+ years
: ) wendy

Maroso Marco said...

Hi there, here Marco Maroso from italy (now).
I used to sing that song when i lived in RSA (South Africa) in the 70's and i never stopped doing that, nearly all days. I always sing it under the shower. Can someone tell me if i can find in the internet that whole song (from mountains high....) ? Thanks again for sharing your memories!


Maroso Marco

PS: Also on singsnap singing!

Life Abundantly! said...

Hi Marco, when I received the songbook, I posted the lyrics to friends, here are the words

enjoy! Wendy


From mountains high, cool waters flow,

The singing breeze, green meadows grow;

Shine tall pine trees, blue sky above,

Are all expressions of my Lord’s love.

And this one God who made all these,

Is interested in you and me;

His greatest gift is to make us free,

New self, more life, abundantly.

God speaks, he acts, what he says he will,

His promises he will fulfill;

Through Christ his focused love appears,

To put at ease the life that fears.

Relationships to all he brings,

The solid feel inside me rings;

No phony do I have to be,

For God, through Christ, accepts just me.

The dawning sun, a bright new light,

For folks to join, no need to fight;

Creation through variety

Displays God’s plan for unity.

And this one God who made all these,

Is interested in you and me;

His greatest gift is to make us free,

New self, more life, abundantly.

-song by Johann Anderson

Maroso Marco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maroso Marco said...

Thanks alot :-)

Life Abundantly

Does someone know if there's a place with the music of this song, i would like to sing it and record it on singsnap?

Life Abundantly! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Life Abundantly! said...

Key C
Sung slow and easy, Calypso Blues

C, F
G, C
C, F
G, C G C
Am, Em
F, G7, C G C
Am, Em
F, G, C G C
(repeat all twice more)

Maroso Marco said...

wow, you guys are pretty fast in replying ... were you waiting for me ? LOL

Thanks for the keys of the music, how can i use them?

Is there any sort of program i can put them in to make them play?

Thanks alot,

you're fantastic for the help you're giving.

So many years have passed since i haven't heard the music of that song, and i realize just now that i did forget some parts of the song!!

Life Abundantly! said...

I can barely play guitar, and i can play this...
I'd say ask a friend who can play to assist you.
IDK any other way
; ) wendy