Psalm 26, 7 Oct ’18

Psalm 26 is a declaration of, and perhaps a prayer for, integrity. Reminiscent of Psalm 1’s hope to be insulated from wicked people and their influence, it has been seen by commentators variously as the song of someone wrongly accused, a prayer for growth into worthy ways, and as a gradual for those entering a place of worship. The enduring value of these songs is how they speak with new voices to each reader, hearer, or singer.

Just as Joshua declared “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord., so in verse 11:

As for me, I will live with integrity.

Psalm 26 thus declares the wonders of divine love and encourages personal integrity, that we might sing confidently with the psalmist:

My foot stands on level ground  (12)

🎵

All the refrains in our regular sources, The Emergent Psalter,  New Century and PFAS, (there is no setting in Together in Song) quote verse 3: “Your love is before my eyes”. All are sweet and easy to sing. In fact the tunes by Isaac Everett (TEP) and John W Becker (PFAS) are very similar — almost variations on the same tune. The underlying chord structures, both interesting and enjoyable, differ a little more.

All require the singers to present the verses to a tone as provided or chosen, or to a background vamp.

Note: I sometimes paraphrase the verses into scanned blank verse which is then sung to the same refrain tune or variation. This technique would go well with the refrains mentioned. However, this certainly takes time and Psalm 26 is not one appearing in our library of such song sheets.

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