Archives For Old Hymns Made New

watts photo1Love the titles people use to give to essays and books. This is one from Issac Watts:

“A Short Essay Toward the Improvement of Psalmody: Or, An Inquiry how the Psalms of David ought to be translated into Christian Songs, and how lawful and necessary it is to compose other Hymns according to the clearer Revelations of the Gospel, for the Use of the Christian Church.”

It’s free as an ebook at Amazon.

By the way, Sojourn Music out of KY has produced two solid collections of contemporary treatments of Isaac Watts hymns that I highly recommend :

From the Sojourn site:

“In the midst of the Reformation in England, Isaac Watts recognized that people needed to see the gospel in the psalms and hymns of the church, and they needed to sing them in language and metaphors that they understood. In this, he became not only the father of the modern hymn, but the pace-setter for contextualizing the gospel for the people of God.

As musicians, pastors and songwriters, our desire was to explore the hundreds of hymns that Watts wrote during his lifetime, to learn from the incredible range and depth of his lyrics, and to re-envision those songs with modern language and melodies.

The songs are re-imaginings and adaptations of the hymns of Isaac Watts, the ‘Father Of English Hymnody.’ Watts was an extraordinary pastor and poet. These songs, these snapshots of the gospel, can profoundly help us to see Jesus as more beautiful and more believable.”

Click either album cover to hear samples or purchase.





A wonderful treatment of this hymn by William Cowper (1731-1800)

To see the Law by Christ fulfilled,
To hear His pardoning voice,
Changes a slave into a child
And duty into choice.

No strength of nature can suffice
To serve the Lord aright
And what she has, she misapplies,
For want of clearer light.

How long beneath the Law I lay
In bondage and distress
I toiled the precept to obey,
But toiled without success.

Then to abstain from outward sin
Was more than I could do
Now if I feel its power within
I feel I hate it too.

Then all my servile works were done,
A righteousness to raise
Now, freely chosen in the Son,
I freely choose His ways.

A Thousand Amens: LIVE Worship with The Falls Church Anglican.The Falls Church Anglican church has been thrust into the wilderness of portable church land after many years in its historical location in Falls Church, Va. as an Episcopal Church. After refusing to compromise God’s Word in reference to sexuality, the church lost its building (a stunningly beautiful facility) and has moved into a local high school. Before leaving, under the direction of Jamie Brown (Associate Director of Worship and Music), the church recorded a live CD called A Thousand Amens in the old facility. In Jamie’s words:

This recording captures the cry of a congregation that has learned and clung to the reality that Jesus is worthy of costly worship. And if that means we lose everything to gain Christ, then we say a resounding “amen”. So be it, Lord. We believe you’re all to us.

It is both a beautifully executed artistic work and a testament to the glory cloud that rested over that facility for many years and certainly is leading them forward on their journey. Below is a video that features the song A Thousand Amens and below that, links to purchase the CD as well as a free mp3 and chord chart for the song More Than Conquerors

Free Song Mp3 : More Than Conquerors
More Than Conquerors Chord Chart 

Purchase Physical CD

Purchase Download

The Welcome Wagon

June 13, 2012

From their Bandcamp page: The Welcome Wagon is a married couple, the Reverend Thomas Vito Aiuto and his wife Monique, who execute a genre of gospel music that is refreshingly plain. Their hymns are modest and melodic takes on a vast history of sacred song traditions, delivered with the simple desire to know their Maker—and to know each other—more intimately.

Taking their new CD’s name from the famous book by Thomas Brooks,  Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, they deliver a thoughtful, new hymn work. The good folks over at Cardiphonia have a great write up that includes links to chord charts and liturgical notes on using the music in a worship service.

Lifted this from an email sent out by Page CXVI. These folks are doing some wonderful renditions of hymns and some of the evidence is right here in these three videos! Give them a look/listen and take advantage of their free offer. Be sure to  follow them on Twitter and be a  friend on Facebook ! – Jeff


This has been a long time in the making, but we have brand new videos of us performing 3 songs. We set up in a beautiful church, and decided to record everything. You can get just the songs right here for free at Or watch any of the videos by clicking on the pictures below.

Check out all 3 of our videos here: 

We spent a lot of time on these videos and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Watch them, share them, comment on them, and then watch them again… and then repeat. And don’t forget you can get the audio recordings from our website.


Cardiphonia continues to gather musicians in a cooperative effort to produce some of the most creative, liturgically rich and accessible music around. They generously offer it through bandcamp for any donation (or free!) and, as always, they include chord charts for all the songs. I highly recommend their previous collections to you. The material below is from the bandcamp page:

Download the Album & Songbook – HERE

Download Michael Farley’s Article on the Ascension – HERE

Blog post with more resources and songs for the Ascension – HERE


You can find a full list of Artists and Churches that Contributed here.




Continue Reading…

Old Hymns Made New

April 15, 2012

This is from Mike Cosper’s blog on the Gospel Coalition website.  Well worth a listen.


“I had the privilege of sitting down with Isaac Wardell and Kevin Twit to talk a bit about the effect of hymns on the life of our congregations. Wardell is the worship director at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, and one of the founders of Bifrost Arts, through which he’s recorded a number of traditional and retuned hymns. Twit is a pastor with Reformed University Fellowship at Bellmont University in Nashville, and the founder of Indelible Grace, a collection of musicians who have been writing retuned hymns for many years.

In this conversation, we talk about why we’ve returned to hymns and some of the reasons for retuning hymns with new melodies.”