This hymn tune by Arthur Mann with lyric by John Bode has been characterized by some as a funeral hymn, when it is in fact a hymn of consecration, a plea for close fellowship through the trials of life and a commitment to constantly seek God's guidance.
This is intended to be sung by a baritone, and the solo part is written in bass clef. Treble singers may do well with this piece, as well as some instrumentalists.
In the accompaniment, substituting oboe or flute for the high part or bassoon for the low part might be good alternate possibilities, though the flautist may find the lack of good breathing places daunting. Either or both accompaniment parts could also be played on a high-quality synthesizer in a pinch.
The tune and harmony are interesting and beautiful, but the best feature is the prayer that is the lyric:
O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend.
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my guide.
O let me feel Thee near me, the world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me, around me and within,
But Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin.
O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory, there shall Thy servant be;
And Jesus I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow my Master and my Friend.
Lord, give me grace to follow my Master and my Friend.
O JESUS, I HAVE PROMISED, by Bode and Mann, arranged for baritone soloist with violin and cello by Tom Kirkland, comes in a pdf file of 486K, with a four page score, two-page violin part, two-page cello part, and a license page, nine pages in all. Performance time should be about 3:00.
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Last update: 5 December 2018