I grew up singing hymns and gospel songs, and some of them are so familiar they have become virtually meaningless for me. It feels like I could sing them in my sleep. Backwards. In four-part harmony. For me, this especially applies to the nursing home gospel songs. If you’ve sung at a nursing home very often, you know which ones I’m talking about. Some of the Fanny Crosby songs fall into this category for me, so I’ve been thinking about writing a new musical setting for a Crosby text to see if I can hear the words again and find them meaningful.
The opportunity to do this came during my last term of teaching at Elnora Bible Institute. I wanted to write something and dedicate it to the students and staff at EBI during my last term there. Since I didn’t have time to do a choral setting for them, I chose to set the Crosby poem “All the Way My Savior Leads Me” to music as a choral hymn.
I call it a choral hymn mostly because of the ending. The ending is probably too chromatic to work well for most congregations, but a choir should be able to navigate it pretty easily. Rather than giving a musical analysis of this new tune, however, I prefer to let you listen and formulate your own thoughts about it.
I was fascinated to see how the text impacted me differently once I heard new music to it. God used the text to speak a timely and important message to me. Maybe the text will take on new meaning for you if you hear it set to different music. In case it does, here it is: All the Way My Savior Leads Me.