I spent the evening last night listening to the fairly new cd by Leigh Nash called “Hymns and Sacred Songs.” For those of you who know me, you know how I feel about hymns. Growing up in Texas myself, surrounded by the old songs being sung in harmony with only the tapping of feet as accompaniment, I have a strong attachment to the singing of hymns. In fact, I spent time at my church a few years ago singing one hymn each week, describing it’s writer and and the circumstances surrounding it’s writing. After doing that for months, I myself recorded and released a hymns cd of a handful of my favorites. There is something deeply rooted in these older songs. Something coming from a different space of honesty and fragility than todays worship songs. For instance, one of my favorite songs on this album of Leigh’s, called “Be Still My Soul,” was written by a woman named Katharina Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel in the early 1700′s. Her hymn was called a revival hymn due to it’s popularity during a time of great change in the church in Germany where she lived. Churches were resurfacing from the darkness of the middle ages and they were once again, in the late 1700′s, worshipping as a congregation. The songs were no longer being led and listened to only, but instead the congregation was singing along and worship was changing, this song being one of the most beloved and sung. It’s lyrics taken from Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God,” say:
“Be still, my soul – the Lord is on thy side!
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide –
In ev’ry change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul – thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”
I imagine these lyrics being sung in that fragile, newly worshipping church and the impact of the lyrical truth. No wonder it brought about revival. No wonder it was passed along from singing mouth to singing mouth until I am hearing it sung to me by the lilting voice of Leigh.
This song is the summation of my thoughts about this cd. The combination of Leigh’s beautiful vocals and the depth and calm certainty of the lyrics being sung has caused my heart and soul to be still. This is a cd to rest in. To draw us back towards the peace found in relying on our Savior.
Thank you Leigh for leading us there.
Grab more info about this cd here: