Lord, we do truly need you EVERY hour of each and every day. Do not pass us by, but hear us calling out Your Holy Name for who have we but You to call on in our times of need?
The lyric for "I Need Thee Every Hour" was written in 1872 by Annie S. Hawks, a prolific hymn-writer from New York and Robert Lowry added the refrain as well as the tune aptly called [I Need Thee Every Hour (Lowry)]. Lowry was the type of person who seemed to do absolutely everything; a preacher, church administrator, musician, writer...the list goes on. In the middle of reading his biographical information it mentioned he took a 4 year sabbatical in the middle of his life to which I thought, "Thank goodness! He needed one!" and then when that sabbatical wasn't long enough he immediately took another one after which he resumed his life's work in the church until his death.
"Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior" was penned by none-other than hymn-writing superstar Fanny Crosby. Despite losing her sight at age 6 through an illness, Fanny went on to get a full education and become a teacher as well as writing some of the greatest hymns of all time. The tune (Pass me not, O Gentle Savior (Doane)), was written, unsurprisingly, by W. Howard Doane. One source described him as an "amateur composer," but then went on to note that he "wrote over twenty-two hundred hymn and gospel song tunes, and he edited over forty songbooks." As my dad would say, "not bad for an amateur."
This 14-hymns-in-14-days project has honestly been one of the most fun but also most challenging creative projects I've undertaken. Either creating an arrangement of a song, or learning an arrangement one of my friend's has written alone is no small task, but couple that with trying to get a no-mistake-"take" without the cat meowing, or a loud car driving by, or did I mention that my 2 year old has decided to give up napping during this shelter-in-place-order? And writing these blogs takes time as well to research the hymn, and put together thoughtful sentences about the song or my guest. It's one of the most fulfilling projects I've undertaken, but I definitely underestimated how difficult it would be to accomplish.
To be honest, I woke up this morning with absolutely no clue what I was going to post tonight. I have a few collaboration videos coming up but none of those were ready to go for today. I have a list of potential hymns, but nothing was really jumping out at me and then I got a text from my mom with a request for "I Need Thee Every Hour" and it just made sense. "Pass Me Not..." has always been a favorite and I thought they would pair well together, and this was born. Isn't life like that?
I'm in a group text with 13 other incredible women who I've walked through alot with over the past 10 years. Today has been especially heavy for our crew for a host of reasons and my screen keeps lighting up with prayer requests and admissions of how hard things are and it is a reminder of how much we truly need the Lord...Every. Single. Hour. But the texts of encouragement keep coming as well, one after another, holding each other up virtually with our words. And I know that our Savior will not pass us by.
Stories and thoughts and current happenings in music and life
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!!