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Jeruba's avatar

Churchgoers: a music question. Have you ever heard your choir sing this?

Asked by Jeruba (41919 points ) April 4th, 2009

There’s a choral piece entitled “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” a verse rendition of the twenty-third psalm. It is usually set to a certain tune. If you Google it, that’s the tune you will find.

There’s another performance piece, often done as a solo, called “I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked,” by Geoffrey O’Hara. When I was a youngster, I often heard our church choir sing the “King of Love” lyrics set to the O’Hara melody, and I thought that was the only melody for those lyrics. Apparently that is the way my mother and all my siblings knew it, too. It must have been a special arrangement that is not commonly available. My mother wanted it sung at her funeral.

A year ago, upon my mother’s death, I spent several hours searching Google for sheet music for the hymn with the O’Hara music. I tried every combination of keywords I could think of and came up empty. Here is the only online instance I could find of this lovely pairing, but it is a performance, not sheet music.

If you are acquainted with this piece in the arrangement I’m interested in, I’d like to know where sheet music is available. I would purchase a set and donate it to her church choir in her memory.

Thank you.

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30 Answers

charliecompany34's avatar

i watched the video. very nice piece! i love choral music and i remember singing from sheet music back in my youthful days. i do not know this piece, however, but it is very beautiful and well executed on the video.

i would throw it down at my church just for kicks. i say that because i am music director for a vibrant growing congregation in inner-city chicago. to “go there” with this piece would turn many heads. where i come from, it’s all contemporary gospel and neo-christian praise.

nice song. wish i could help. keep searchin…

asmonet's avatar

Sounds really familiar which it would :p, I’ll ask my aunt. I’m no longer involved in any church, but she was in the choir, she might still have some of the music. Gimme a few days.

creativejuices's avatar

Local universities usually have a music library, I have found some old pieces there.

lillycoyote's avatar

Is this the one? http://www.music44.com/X/product/50280320-H I’m a little confused as to exactly what you are looking for.

Jeruba's avatar

@lillycoyote, thanks for looking. That is the melody. What I am looking for is that melody with the other words—the words to “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” in a four-part choral arrangement.

lillycoyote's avatar

I figured it wasn’t quite what you were looking for, because it was so easy to find. I wish I could help. It’s interesting that you would ask this question today. Today is the tenth anniversary of my Mother’s death. She was very, very into her church in terms of the music. They had a special piece commissioned for her for the choir to sing at her memorial service and I also asked that they sing A Mighty Fortress is Our God, that was one of her favorites. She was a musician and this is the kind of question I would have asked her and she either would have known or been able to point me in the right direction. I hope you can find it. If I can remember, next time I talk to either of my aunts I will ask. They are musicians and church music ladies too. :)

lillycoyote's avatar

I did a little more sleuthing and here is some info on that performance you linked too.
http://glenlorndav.wordpress.com/2007/12/24/remembering-nanay-photos-videos/

This is the address of the church where that version of the song you want was performed. Maybe you can write the choir director there for information on the arrangement, sheet music, etc.

Edit, actually, from the bulletins it looks like the performance was at a funeral home maybe, but I bet the choir was from the church.

First Filipino-American
United Methodist Church
of San Gabriel Valley
1415 S. Ninth Avenue Hacienda Heights
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

I hope this helps.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Try jrpepper.com. They have a lot of sheet music.

“I Walked Today….....” is a great song. I’m singing it for a lenten breakfast Wednesday morning.

Jeruba's avatar

@jbfletcherfan, thanks, but I couldn’t see anything at that link. That song is nice, too, just not what I’m after.

Jeruba's avatar

@lillycoyote, thanks for going to so much trouble for me. I did contact the person who posted the video, and there may be a contact by that means. If not I will use your information to follow up.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Jeruba Well, poop. Sorry it didn’t help you out any. :-(

Jeruba's avatar

@jbfletcherfan, literally, I meant that I couldn’t see anything there. Did you send the right link? It appeared to be one of those placeholder pages that don’t actually connect you to anything.

Meanwhile, the person who posted the video has replied to me and said that the music used by that choir was published by a publisher who is long out of business—but that he is going to copy it for me and send it to me!

@charliecompany34, if he does, I am going to send a copy to you. If all your congregation hears is contemporary gospel and neo-christian praise, they may be hungry for some rich, traditional-style choral singing of the kind that inspires and uplifts even nonbelievers like me.

mattbrowne's avatar

I can’t help you finding the information you’re looking for. I just wanted to share with you that I’m part of big choirs for almost 30 years with a strong focus on sacred music, from Bach’s mass in b minor to Mozart’s requiem to Mendelssohn Elias to Fauré and the music of John Rutter. Church music really means a lot to me. I’m not familiar with Geoffrey O’Hara.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Jeruba I’m SO stupid!!! It’s jwpepper.com. I’m sorry… I had a brain fart!!! :-(

Jeruba's avatar

I’m hot on the trail of this one! @jbfletcherfan, don’t berate yourself. It was a little mistake. You gave me a great big clue. Thank you!

Now I am thinking that O’Hara might not be the composer at all, but rather a lyricist who set his words to a much older melody. @jb, would you please look at your sheet music and see if I am right? Who are the lyricist and composer for the piece you are singing on Wednesday?

The man from the Filipino-American Methodist church came through for me with a .bmp scan of a tattered Xerox of what looks like a very old piece of sheet music, possibly published in 1912, without a front cover, so no verifiable publisher’s information. It’s playable (hurray!) but not really reproducible. However, I might have found it at J.W. Pepper. The product details at Pepper are too skimpy for me to be sure it’s a match, but I am getting closer, with an inquiry in to customer service. We may have a success here!

Jeruba's avatar

@mattbrowne, it sounds like you are an expert. Do you know any choral version of this anthem? That might help me triangulate.

I heard the Fauré Requiem in a performance by massed choirs just a few weeks ago. It was wonderful. My Jewish friend and I, an ex-Christan atheist, both love sacred choral music. For her it is all about the voices and the music. For me it is more like bittersweet nostalgia for a long-lost love.

@lillycoyote, even though it was not actually part of my quest, I looked at everything at the link you supplied. Thank you for that touching journey among good people.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Jeruba Actually, it’s in a hymnal that I got from the church, but it DOES say Geoffrey O’Hara, arranged by Fred Bock. In the upper left hand area, it says Daniel S. Twohig.

FYI, this is a Bill Gaither hymnal, called “Worship His Majesty”.

Jeruba's avatar

Very helpful! That name (Twohig) led me to a published version dated 1937. Apparently he did write the lyrics, so it’s O’Hara for the music. Now it’s a contest to see which composer has the earlier stake. They can’t both have composed it, but maybe the original melody is older still and they both arranged it. Or maybe they are variants but both essentially original.

Is this melody the same as yours?

I also found out that O’Hara is the composer of the familiar-to-oldsters tune “K-K-K-Katy,” made famous by Kate Smith (or vice versa).

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Jeruba Yep…....that’s it. Beautiful song. :-)

mattbrowne's avatar

@Jeruba – I’m not familiar with the anthem and tried a few Google searches myself. Without success, I’m afraid. But I’d like to suggest the following: Find the right music forum on the web, register and ask the same question there. You could for example try:

http://www.worthychristianforums.com/Christian-Music-t102301.html

There are others. You can try to google for forums.

Do you know the composer John Rutter? He’s as good as Fauré. Here an example sheet for “The Lord Is My Shepherd”:

http://www.musicroom.com/se/ID_No/063782/details.html

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@mattbrowne Several years ago, my choir did John Rutter’s Requium. OMG, what a georgeous piece of music. The Lord is my Shepherd literally gives me chills. I have the music & the CD to it. I never get tired of hearing it.

mattbrowne's avatar

@jbfletcherfan – Yes, we did the Requiem too. The conductor of our church choir (we call it Kantorei) here in Germany knows John Rutter personally. Awesome music indeed. Do you know Karl Jenkins’s Requiem and Stabat Mater? If you like John Rutter you will like his music too.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@mattbrowne No, I’m not familiar with them, but my choir director may be. The Requium is a piece that I like to listen to through my head phones, close my eyes & just enjoy.

Jeruba's avatar

Update: I think I have found the right version, which is not by O’Hara at all, and I think the O’Hara melody is similar in the beginning but is not the same all the way through. The melody I am looking for is actually by Harry Rowe Shelley, a 19th-century composer. The person I contacted at the Filipino-American church very kindly sent me scans, which I printed out and played on the piano last night. This is definitely the right music.

So now, with fingers crossed, I’ve placed an order for enough copies of an SATB arrangement of the Shelley version for the choir at my late mother’s church. This was from a sheet music vendor—not J.W. Pepper, because they had none in stock (better price, but no inventory!), but one I found because of what I learned there. So everyone who has tried to help me here really has! Thank you, all.

When it comes, I’ll report final success—I hope.

I’m going to check out John Rutter.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Jeruba Good luck with it. I hope you find what you want.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Jeruba – Yes, good luck!

Jeruba's avatar

Here’s the outcome. The video led me to the video maker, whose brother had an aged xerox of the music. The video maker kindly scanned it for me, page by page, and I was able to play it and establish that it was the right music. The scan showed the name of the composer, from which I was able to find at J.W. Pepper the name of the publisher. Armed with that information, I found an outfit that had the sheet music in stock.

I now have in my possession two dozen copies of a facsimile of an 1898 edition published by G.W. Schirmer, with a renewed 1914 copyright, composed by Harry Rowe Shelley. This is the very piece I was seeking. I am now ready to make a gift of these copies to the church.

Once again, many thanks to all for your help and encouragement. Sometimes things do turn out right.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Jeruba Great! I’m so glad you found what you wanted. YEA!!!

lillycoyote's avatar

@Jeruba I’m so glad to hear you were able to find the sheet music. I know you wanted to donate it to the church in memory of your mother.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Jeruba – A wonderful story with a happy ending !

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