Lord, we truly do adore you, Creator of all things from the vast heavens to the tiniest sparrow. Whenever we are tempted or our heart is troubled, may we remember that you, who causes the sun to rise, unwearied, day by day, watch over each of us.
The lyric for "His Eye is on the Sparrow" was penned by Civilla D. Martin, or C.D. as she often signed her work. Although her second husband, a traveling minister, often composed the music for her many hymn compositions, it was Charles H. Gabriel who composed the hymn tune "SPARROW" that accompanies her now famous lyrics. Gabriel also composed other well known hymn tunes such as "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" and "Crown Him With Many Crowns."
In the year 1712, Joseph Addison wrote lyrics to a hymn known as "Of The Glory Of God In The Starry Heavens" initially set to a tune by famous classical composer Franz Joseph Haydn. Centuries later thanks to a penchant for collecting old hymnals and a confidence that lyrics such as "the spacious firmament on high" could coexist with modern congregations and praise bands with electric guitars, Carmen D'Arcy Stanczykiewicz composed a new hymn setting and also added a chorus and bridge that seamlessly declare the original authors' wonder and adoration of our great Creator God. Carmen and her husband have 4 children and she currently serves as the Worship Pastor for East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, IN.
**in the lyrics listed above, non underlined lyrics are the original hymn, and underlined lyrics were added by Ms. Stanczykiewicz.
I spent the majority of my growing up in a tiny Southern Baptist church in the middle of cow pasture land in Texas. It was the kind of place that encouraged me to grow in every way: not only did I do my first musical "solos" there, but I was also baptised there one Sunday morning when I was 10. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the combination of lysol and mustiness of my baptismal gown. It was a safe sanctuary in all ways for me, and I'm grateful that among other things I learned a love for the hymns in that place. Tonight's selection has a little bit of a that old Gospel flare to it that transports me right back in time and stills my soul.
I first met Carmen D'Arcy Stanczykiewicz at Christian Radio Broadcasters event in Nashville back in 2008. Our first conversation was both accidental and 2+ hours long, which has continued to be on-brand for the rest of our friendship. Proof that long-distance can not stand in the way of creativity, laughter and good ice cream, [her eldest daughter recently commented on the large amount of times I happened to be at her birthday parties growing up (Sorry, G!)] Carmen has graciously brought me along on many of her life adventures from CD release concerts to ladies brunches and even a couple job interviews...and then there was that one time that we played in a band where the bass player also happened to be running for President of the United States.
When I called Carmen to ask her to join in on this Hymns From Home project she didn't hesitate to jump in with both feet as she's consistently done with any crazy idea I've pitched her over the years. And when she asked if I had planned to do "His Eye Is On The Sparrow," I almost cried. Because if there was ever a message for hope in this season, it is surely that if His eye is on the sparrow, I know He watches me.
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Bethany is a freelance violinist/fiddler and tour manager who works with artists & events such as Kelly Minter, Cultivate: A Gathering Around The Word and Laura Story. She and her husband Keith live in Nashville, TN with their daughter Clare, cat & 6 backyard chickens. For more info on Bethany, visit her bio page!!