Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Touched n Inspired By Hymns Through My Years...

My Good Friday and Easter Posting

School Days

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died.

I do not remember, as a young student in an Anglican school, learning specific Good Friday and Easter songs. It happened too long ago but I can still recollect being taught, for both my music classes and Religious Knowledge (R.K.) lessons, by Mr. V. Q. 

Chapel Time on Friday morning was when we got our energy together and sang our hearts out, accompanied by a truly unique church organ played by Mr Q.
It was the most enjoyable period on the time table and I loved every moment. This weekly class was usually conducted by a kind Reverend Dr D.D. C. 

During special events, the school would use the majestic cathedral, beside City Hall MRT, for prayers, blessings and hymns. We were thrilled when we first entered it and found the grandeur architecture awesome but the visits seemed too few.  There were not many inaugurations yearly.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
YouTube Video from: Northern Baptist Association.

The hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, written by Isaac Watts and published in Hymns and Spiritual Songs in 1707 was one of the earlier hymns I learnt at school. The version I learnt is the one sung by Cliff Richard (You Tube One) above. 

There were many other hymns and I do remember a few like, Forty Days and Forty Nights (1856), Onward Christian Soldiers (1865/1871), All Things Bright And Beautiful (1848) and All People That On Earth Do Dwell (1650). And not forgetting the School Hymn. Woe betide the student who didn't know both, which included the School Song.

Post School Days

He touched me, oh he touched me
And oh the joy that floods my soul.

Since I left school, there was this period when I only listened to Christmas carols on the radio, vinyl records, cassettes and CD's. But because of my interest in pops, I had nearly two dozen songs recorded by an artiste who kept me in tune. 
The CD which I have till today is Take My Hand, Elvis Presley Gospel Favourites. This recording is a memorabilia among Presley fans and includes classics like I Believe (1953), Amazing Grace (1779), Put Your Hand In The Hand (1970), Joshua Fit The Battle (1865), How Great Thou Art (1885) and others. 

Then the Presley specials, Peace In The Valley (1937), Crying In The Chapel (1953), Take My Hand Precious Lord (1844) and He Touched Me (1964). There are twenty songs in all.

As the years went by, touched and inspired with this genre of music I started collecting again. One I learnt was Because He Lives (1971). Written two hundred years later after Wondrous Cross, this particular song was written by  William Gaither in the 60's. 

Gaither was an American singer and songwriter of the southern gospel and contemporary christian music.  He Touched Me (You Tube Two), the Presley favourite which became a hit, was the William Gaither breakthrough song.

Forty days and forty nights
Thou was fasting in the wild
Forty days and forty nights
Tempted and yet undefiled...

There is a second part to this piece; it will surface in another posting. 

Have a Good Friday and a Happy Easter.

The Hymn 
is addressed to God for praise, worship, adoration and prayer. It allows us to confess our sins to God, claim His mercy and promises, and pledge our loyalty and faithful service.

The Gospel song 
is addressed to the people, warn them of the consequences of sin, give the promise of liberty, peace, joy and heaven. With it we can appeal directly to the people to do likewise. 

Both Hymns and Gospels are used in Evangelistic churches.

(If errors are found in this article please write to advise; I am a novice with religious music.)

Images from: 
(1) http://www.pictures88.com/good-friday/wonderful-good-friday-graphic/
(2) http://episcopalvail.com/?event=easter-sunday

You Tube videos of Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley and Alabama from: 
(1) Sir Cliff Richard
(2) you tube addict cyber space enthusiast
(3) GaitherVEVO
Dates of song composition have been taken from WIKI.



SUNNY WEE said...

An inspirational article on Hymns and Gospel songs. Thank you Andy for sharing it on your blog. Have a Good Friday and Happy Easter too.


I love all the hymns you mentioned.

JCHONG said...

Happy Easter to you and your family too.

SYLVIA said...

HI Andy,

I'm Sylvia from Star Publishing, an educational publisher in Singapore.

We would like to use a hi-res image of Silver Strings playing at the National Theatre in our Music textbook.

Would you be able to provide
1) hi-res photo of at least 300dpi
2) the fee payable:
3) Acknowledgment/Credit:

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you!


Thank you Andy. Same to you. Blessed Tuesday.


Happy Easter Andy

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Sylvia for writing. Leave me your mobile number and email (I won't publish) and I will get back to you.

Thanks to everyone else for immediate response and greetings. Happy Easter.

JOEY KOH said...

Jesus loves you brother Andrew. Amen.

Unknown said...

Hi Andy. Thanks for creating another interesting subject for sharing. My personal favourite hymn is LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH. It was composed by Jill Jackson Miller in 1955 and the inspirational song has been recorded by countless singers, including Nat King Cole, Pat Boone and Lorne Greene.

In 2007 there was a campaign for this beautiful gospel song to be sung at all churches on the Sunday nearest to Sept 11, in remembrance of the victims of the attacks.

While Let There Be Peach can be sung anytime of the year, my favourite during the Christmas season is IF EVERYDAY COULD BE LIKE CHRISTMAS by Elvis.

In advance; Here's wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Easter!

Let there be peace on earth this Easter and for all Easters to come!

God bless!

JAMES K said...

Thanks Andy

Back in 1972, my ex-girlfriend A. and I attended our first Good Friday Service together in Geylang Gospel Hall at Lorong 29A Geylang. When the worship leader announced the name of the next hymn, A. excitedly whispered into my ear, "Oh, my favourite hymn." It was 'The Old Rugged Cross' by Johnny n June Carter Cash.

My ex-girlfriend is now my wife, and each time we sing this hymn during Holy Week services, we'll look at each other and say, "OUR favourite hymn."

Blessings in Jesus to you and all your beloved.


And a very Happy Easter to you and your family too Andy. My Mom sends you all her warmest regards.

SU G. (Perth, Western Australia) said...

Enjoyed reading your post just then. Have a blessed and happy Easter.

EDWIN GOH said...

I like your Easter memories.

Linda said...

Great post, Andy, thank you so much for sharing. Happy Easter to you.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Once again, thank you all for the support and from Australia and Canada too. We need to reach out to each other in the best way we can or our world will be destroyed by the evil in us. The only answer is LOVE and if we love music, spread love with songs of brotherhood and positive spiritual jubilation.

CYLIN said...

Hey Andy,
Didn't expect to read such revelations of your past and I hope continual interest in gospel music. You may not know this - I'm from your sister school - another saint in green and white. I can relate to the daily assembly in the school hall where we would sing a hymn or two and on a weekly basis listen to a weekly (if my memory doesn't fail me) sermon conducted by the school chaplain.

There was another sister school then - in blue and white but somehow she was never a three-some in the schools activities.

I remember Mr Q who got our two schools to put up a number of operettas - Pirates of Penzance, the Mikado. Although I loved to sing, I was never up to standard to be chosen for even a mini part in the chorus.

Hymns and gospels are perennial. To me, 'The Old Rugged Cross' and 'Because He Lives' say it all for this season.

So, here's to Happy Easter to you and the family.

H.P. said...

My sister knew Vivian Quek and his sister quite well.


I have seen Cliff on several occasions sing this totally alone onstage, here he at least has the luxury of backing singers,that takes a lot of courage :0)



People think this is at a church... it is in Jeff Cook's house in Fort Payne... I did a lot of work to it... Beautiful song in a beautiful home... Praise God.



Elvis kept gospel music very close to his heart and the passion he has for this music comes through in each and every note sung! I love when you can hear the passion come through, it's amazing! Elvis was -IS - amazing!!

FACEBOOK said...

Thank you for 'likes' from


Happy Holy Easter. My favourite is COME AS YOU ARE. It's a Catholic hymn. And much more like BLESSED ASSURANCE by Alan Jackson a country song. God Bless.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanking all who have written with their blessings and good tidings; to Lin, HP and the FB gang.

To Ioleen. Yes, I love Allan Jackson. I've listened to COME. Will check out BLESS ASSU. Keep in touch and God Bless.

Thanks for visiting everyone.