My worship professor often cited the revival era hymn, Love Lifted Me, with its cheerful, lilting melody beneath doleful lines of sin-speckled poetry, as the epitome of poor tune and text pairing. I countered that the point of the hymn is the sinner’s joy in redemption and the happy nature of the music is appropriate to its ultimate message. Yet, my professor’s words lingered over the years to the point that I endeavored to revisit the hymn in consideration of a more functional melding of tune and text. The result is this choral anthem, Love Lifted Me, setting a slightly adapted version of James Rowe’s poetry. Even though the music is completely new, albeit quoting snippets of the original hymn tune, it has an air of familiarity that melds with the text to paint its message in a fresh light. For example, the passages remembering sin and despair are aimless and brooding, while the lines rejoicing over redemption are flowing, energetic, and ebullient. Listen to Love Lifted Me and let your ears be the judge whether this setting expresses the story of personal redemption fittingly.
Arranged for SATB chorus and piano, this anthem fills the role of personal testimony and witness with an evangelistic call to respond to the Gospel. It is suitable for most experienced student and adult mixed choirs.