This Sunday, one of the major themes of our service is the Christian’s love for God. Psalm 116 immediately came to mind as one of the seminal passages in the Bible regarding loving God. I scoured my psalters for a suitable setting of the text and ended up with Isaac Watts’ version.
I love the Lord; he heard my cries, and pitied every groan:
Long as I live, when troubles rise, I’ll hasten to his throne.
I love the Lord; he bowed his ear, and chased my griefs away;
O let my heart no more despair, while I have breath to pray!
The text is in CM (Common Meter), which means that each verse contains four lines – 8 syllables – six syllables – 8 – 6. I searched the Metrical Index and tried to find a suitable tune. None of the CM tunes seemed to work, but a CMD tune stuck out. (CMD stands for Common Meter Doubled. Instead of 18.104.22.168., the melody is 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.) I set the text to Laura Taylor’s tune for “To Christ the Lord”. I find it works rather well. After raising the key a minor third and setting Watts’ lyrics, it looks like this:
I’m pleased with the pairing.
I’ll be continually updating the metrical index on this site as a reference tool. Feel free to use it to use my tunes or others’ tunes. (If you have any suggestions on how to make it more useful, please email me and let me know.)