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Hymns for Nomads

by David Benjamin Blower

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1.
All Things 02:32
Image of the invisible God Firstborn o’er creation For by Him all things were made On earth and in heaven Jesus Christ, before all things Who holds all things together Reconciles all things to God And all things to each other All things seen and things unseen Rulers, thrones or powers All these things were made through Him Who levels haughty towers Our Messiah, Lord and head Of the gathered body We the wondering feet and hands Serving to Thy glory Here, God’s fullness, pleased to dwell In Him, Lord and beginning Making peace now with the blood Of His crucifixion Our Messiah, the first new day First raised among the fallen That all things may follow Him Through death to resurrection
2.
Song of Cain 03:37
Bless the LORD, O my soul With all that is within me Bless the LORD, O my soul Who crowns thy head with mercy Bless the LORD, O my soul Let all these broken bones sing Bless the LORD, O my soul The bloodied earth is groaning Bless the LORD, O my soul From yon to everlasting Bless the LORD, O my soul So all the wind-blown grass sings
3.
Come Holy Spirit Hovering over the waters Come Holy Spirit Hovering over the waters Awaken life from sea and soil Harvest for our work and toil Come Holy Spirit Hovering over the waters Come Holy Spirit Every language is on Your breath Come Holy Spirit Every language is on Your breath See your Image in every face Make the earth your half place Come Holy Spirit Every language is on Your breath Come Holy Spirit Groaning with creation Come Holy Spirit Groaning with creation Groaning with us every day Till all our tears are wiped away Come Holy Spirit Groaning with creation
4.
O destroying mountain, be rolled into the sea O destroying mountain, be rolled into the sea The mountains shall be levelled and the earth shall be set free Behold, destroying mountain, the blood beneath your feet Behold, destroying mountain, the blood beneath your feet You’ve crushed the poor into the floor, beneath your own conceit Be gone, destroying mountain, go terrify no more Be gone, destroying mountain, go terrify no more Put your weapons on the fire, your crown upon the floor You’ve heard, destroying mountain, that the first shall be last You’ve heard, destroying mountain, that the first shall be last Before the wounded crucified, we all shall be disarmed O destroying mountain, you too shall bow the knee O destroying mountain, you too shall bow the knee In the twinkling of an eye we shall be changed, both you and me
5.
Be Still 02:53
Though the mountains shake E B7 Though the oceans roar Though the earth may open up and fall Though the Powers gloat And malice roams the land Though the strongman lifts his bloodied hand May we yet be still Before the Prince of Peace May we lay our crowns before his broken feet Why ye stand far off? Seeming there beyond while the voiceless hurting suffer long? O Jesus, how we need the feet that bring good news the hands that heal the hurting and abused May we yet be still May our raging cease May we make these days, ready for His Peace
6.
Lord be with us when we hurt As among us in our mirth Lord be near our woundedness In all we carry along with us May we also go with thee On the walk to Calvary May we also be sharing In thy wounded suffering Jesus raised up from the grave carrying still the scars today In our midst declaring peace With thy wounded hands and feet May we stand with those who mourn Those who hunger, those who’re poor Those who weep in woundedness As our messiah stood with us
7.
Take the knee ye weary souls Though the song of empire rolls Subject to no woman or man Only to the Maker’s hand Take the knee ye cast aside ‘Gainst the powers that pass ye by Take the knee before the one Who watches over ye and them Take the knee ye weary souls Until righteousness shall roll For history doth bend toward When God shall judge between us all Take the knee ye suited powers Scoffing from thy glassy towers Ye, who think ye masters, see… Y’are but servants before He Take the knee ye conquerors all Who live and die by strength and sword All ye take shall be returned And ye shall see another Lord Take the knee ye weary souls Until righteousness shall roll For history doth bend toward When God shall judge between us all Take the knee ye silver tongues Who print the pages and spin the yarns For ye shall not forever stack Your lies upon the people’s backs Take the knee ye merchant lords Who sit upon the wealth of all Which comes and goes at thy behest Take the knee, open thy chest Take the knee ye weary souls Until righteousness shall roll For history doth bend toward when God shall judge between us all Take the knee, and keep the ground From the schemes of the unsound Who, for nought but easy gain Would tear creation up again Take the knee by river and lake Against the coiling black snake Who, for nought but want of more Would poison sea and sky and soil Take the knee ye weary souls Until righteousness shall roll For history doth bend toward when God shall judge between us all Take the knee, for to contend For the image of God in them Whom the powers hath kept outside For, your peace and theirs are tied Take the knee ye faithful ones For the grace to be daughters and sons of the Maker of thy enemies take the knee and pray for these Take the knee ye weary souls Until righteousness shall roll For history doth bend toward when God shall judge between us all
8.
Sacred Head 02:18
O sacred head once wounded With grief and pain weighed down How scornfully surrounded With thorns thine only crown How art thou pale with anguish With sore abuse and scorn How does that visage languish Which once was bright as morn O sacred head, what glory What bliss till now was thine And now, despised and gory And set on, here in time Thy grief and thy compassion Were all for sinner’s gain Ours was the transgression And yours the deadly pain What language should I borrow To praise the, heavenly friend For this thy dying sorrow And mercy without end Lord, make me thine forever And let me ever be Held within your shadow Beside your wounded feet
9.
I asked the Lord that I might grow In faith and love and ev’ry grace, Might more of His compassion know, And seek more truthfully His face. ‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray, And He, I trust, has answered prayer, But it has been in such a way As almost drove me to despair. I hoped that in some favored hour At once He’d answer my request And, by His love’s constraining pow’r, Subdue my sins and give me rest. Instead of this, He made me feel The hidden evils of my heart And let the angry pow’rs of hell Assault my soul in ev’ry part. Yea, more with His own hand He seemed Intent to aggravate my woe, Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, Blasted my gourds, and laid me low. “Lord, what is this,” I trembling cried; “Wilt Thou pursue this worm to death?” “’Tis in this way,” the Lord replied, “I answer prayer for grace and faith.” “These inward trials I employ From self and pride to set thee free And break thy schemes of earthly joy That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”
10.
Watching and waiting with these tired eyes Whither the horizon lies Watching and waiting with these tired eyes Waiting for the sun to rise Carrying the burdens of the days and years With us inside our hearts Carrying the burdens of the days and years Quietly along the path In all of our days and along our ways There’s been too many sorrows Lord Too many stories of such brokenness Too many hurts to hold But ever so dimly, as in a mirror Lord We see visions of the rising sun And little growing shoots of the age to come Are emerging in the present one And its love that doth span from the broken days To the glory of the days to come And its hope and faith that along the way Hold onto what the love hath done Yes its hope and faith that, along the way Draw toward the rising sun
11.
As we walk t’ward the mountain O the wind and rain’re howling And all history is scowling as we go Amidst all the beef and cussing And all the strife and fussing And all the wretched hustling down the road As we gather to the mountain gather to the mountain gather to the Maker of us all Our disputes’ll all be settled And we’ll hammer down our metals And make spades to keep the garden ever more As we stand there round it’s base Alongside some we used to hate And also some we used to quietly ignore And those that we had wronged And all those who suffered long And maybe those who left us bleeding on the floor Well if we’re headed down to Zion To make peace before Messiah Don’t make sense for us to argue all the way We are sisters, we are brothers Lets make peace here with each other An d Messiah journey with us all this day
12.
Maranatha 03:59
Let the trees all clap their hands Let the stones jump for joy Let the earth shake off its bonds Let the peoples all rejoice Maranatha, our Maker Who maketh all things right Maranatha our Healer Come rise, o healing light Let the peoples all delight In the Messianic light Let the whole earth be glad At the making all things right Let the poor be lifted up From the ashes and the dust Let the proud climb down from their thrones And we shall sing as one

about

Emerging from the patronage of Nomad Podcast, ‘Hymns for Nomads’ is a compilation of spirituals, murder ballads and campfire songs; digging through the soil of life in search of hope and humanity.

These are spirituals, but there is nothing much otherworldly in ‘Hymns…’ It is a record rooted in the soil and the struggle of material reality.

This is protest music, but ‘Hymns…’ shows a different kind of defiance. These are songs of weary, bone-deep, painful resistance. And they are songs reaching beyond anger toward mercy.

This is sacred music, but ‘Hymns…’ is no benign worship record. Here are sorrow, suffering and lament alongside faith, hope and love. These are songs for lives of love, prayer and resistance.

His most haunting, immediate music to date. ’Hymns..’ is a record out of time, indebted to ancient passion poems and shanties as much as 50s gospel and blues; in its deceptive simplicity and disarming warmth, it recalls the type of folk music standards that get passed down for generations. An invitation to pick up an instrument, to play, sing, join hands and have some hard-won hope.

‘Hymns for Nomads’ is out now on Minor Artists.

credits

released May 21, 2018

All songs written by David Benjamin Blower, except O Sacred Head, adapted from a medieval passion poem of uncertain origin, and Prayer Answered With Crosses, words by John Newton.

Naomi Haworth sings on Song of Cain, Holy Spirit Groaning, Be Still, Also Go With Thee, Take the Knee, Watching and Waiting and Maranatha.

All these songs belong to the public domain, and may be played and sung and re-interpreted freely, with appropriate acknowledgement.

The recordings: copyright David Benjamin Blower 2018.

Thanks to Jonathan Dean, Chris Donald, Trey Hall, Fiona Handscomb, Danielle Wilson and Joel Wilson for congregational singing on All Things, O Sacred Head and Maranatha.

Photography by Luke Sewell.

Thanks to Chris Donald and Michael Gilbert for all kinds of help.

And special thanks to the Patrons of Nomad who made this record happen.

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David Benjamin Blower Birmingham, UK

David Benjamin Blower: 6-string writer, poet, theologian and podcaster from Birmingham in the UK.

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