More than a melody…

If you don’t know this song that became the title track of an album recorded by Yolanda Adams, then this post is for you.

Even by the very highest standards, this is a phenomenal song in any genre, but one of the finest in gospel music. The words are so meaningful, and I have included them below. They are the message of this post.

~

In the still of the moment, My voice can be heard
So listen carefully; here’s music inside each word
I am the composer of the melody of life
Take my yoke upon you’ll learn of me; I’ll be your guiding light

I am the director; be part of My symphony
I speak peace into the storms; even the winds obey Me
Let Me be your soul; you’ll never have to walk alone
I’ll help you carry on

I am the music within the inner ear
Harken unto my voice I declare I’ll draw near
I am the rhythm to every beat of your heart
If you place your trust in me, I’ll never ever part
Let me be your soul; you’ll never have to walk alone
I will help you carry on

When the notes are formed
And make a special sound
Music inside the music
It lifts you when you are down (I’m more than)
More than the beat of time (so much more than)
More than the lyric more than the rhyme (I am more than)
More than just a melody
More than just a rhyme (I’m more than just a melody – come unto me)

More than just a melody
I am your closest friend I’ll be there to the end
More than just a rhyme
Shelter in the time of storm and you’ll never have to be alone
More than just a melody
Troubles will last always when you realize that I am
More than just a rhyme
You dont have to be alone when you realize that I am so much
More than just a melody
I’m more, I’m more than a rhyme, more than the melody, more than the beat of time
More than just a rhyme
You wont have to face each day alone because I am
More than just a melody
More than just a song you sing; More than the beat
More than just a melody
More…than anything that you’ve experienced in this life
More than just a melody
More than just a melody

[to fade]

~

It was nearly seven years ago when in the early hours of one morning I was having a devotional moment, and this song became part of that – and it spoke to me so powerfully that I began to hear a choral arrangement in my head. Although it is based in large measure on what Yolanda herself recorded as BVs on this track, it does also take the track somewhere else – but still in keeping with the true meaning of the song.

This choral arrangement has so far proved to be beyond all but one of the choirs that has tried to learn it. And that choir’s best live performance of it is captured on a recording that is also in this post – it is also part of the message. What the Christian church choirs who tried it could not manage, ten undergraduates from York University, with a soloist from the London Community Gospel Choir (a very talented lady by the name of Claire Warburton, who like myself no longer lives in London) did manage – and to a standard that would require an entire choir of outstanding singers to improve upon.

Becky Whitlam (nee Watson) and Katie Musgrove were the sopranos; Alice Gamm, Nina Moore (nee Tite), Sarah Lant and Laura Yogasundram were the altos. The two tenors were Andy James (who has also since gotten hitched) and Oli Griffiths (who now sings with the Swingle Singers!). The brothers of the bottom row: Ian McCluskey and Jack Holloway.

Most of these guys were not Christians. Two of them were ready and prepared to stand up and declare their faith. Some of the others came from Christian backgrounds but were not confessing it seriously. Others were not totally averse to the idea but were not yet ready to believe. At least one singer would become much more set in atheism later on. And one person has since become a Christian as a result of a journey that begun the night of this performance. But each one of them sang their hearts out – an MD could not have asked for more. And despite some amazing moments since then, that remains a landmark night in my life as a maker of sacred music…and I see now that it always will. Because that night – God called me to sacred music – full time – but I didn’t realise that until much later…

But hindsight has its uses. And in this instance – we can now see that what those kids managed was even more than any of the performers realised – including the MD who is writing this post. God did take the credit for what happened that night, but what credit He was given was not close to being enough. It is only in hindsight that I really understand what happened there. I could talk more about that, but as of now I’m going to stop with the words and let God speak to you through the music.

CLICK HERE to listen!

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