8 Aug 2011

Update: Psalm 122, the halfway point

I have now posted my versification of Psalm 122 and arrangement of its melody. The opening verse is familiar: "I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the house of the LORD." Psalms 120 through 134 are known as the Songs of Ascent, which may have been sung by pilgrims on their way to the Jerusalem temple. Because God had chosen the temple as the most important place to meet his people, the pilgrims are understandably concerned for its continued welfare, as well as for the flourishing of the city as a whole. After all, their own relationship with God depends on it.

Psalm 122 is often used in christian liturgies to open a worship service. The Genevan tune is in the ionian mode, which is identical to our major scale. The metrical pattern is the highly unusual 8888 88 9898. I have largely maintained the traditional rhyming scheme of abba cc deed, with variation in line 7 to fit better the melody line.

With this I have now posted 75 psalms on this website, which is half the total number of the Psalms. It has taken me approximately 25 years to make it this far.

Update to update: I've redone the first stanza to this psalm. This project is, of course, very much a work in progress.

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