Forgive the song that falls so low

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to you among the nations. (Psalm 108:3)

Forgive the song that falls so low,
Beneath the gratitude I owe–
It means Thy praise. However poor,
An angel’s song can do no more.

Great God, and wilt Thou condescend
To be my Father and my Friend.
I, a poor child, and thou, so high.
The Lord of earth, and air and sky.

Text taken from the Sacred Harp tune “Cowper.” The first verse is by William Cowper (original in The Olney Hymns, which also contains Amazing Grace by Isaac Newton).  The second verse is by Ann Taylor, who, along with her sister Jane (the author of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”) wrote many popular poems and hymns for children.

About Will Fitzgerald

I work on recommendation systems and lexical resources for Wordnik.

One thought on “Forgive the song that falls so low

  1. John Thomas says:

    Praising God — Oh how I have struggled with the concept. How imperfectly I do it. I am not familiar with this song, but the lyrics remind me that praising God is appreciated by Him even when it is imperfect. Thank you for the reminder. For many years I just couldn’t imagine bowing and praising God. I was convinced that God didn’t want me babbling meaningless words of adoration, but what did he want from me? I didn’t understand that God wanted an honest relationship with me. In a close intimate loving relationship we say “thank you”, we acknowledge kind deeds done for us, and we complement God-like qualities in others. I have come to understand with respect to God that this is part of bowing and praising God. Just as these behaviors are part of healthy human relationships, they are also essential to intimacy with God. They are what God wants from me. I have learned that I can praise God by thanking Him for my life, giving Him credit for the gifts I could never earn, and learning to identify in His holy nature, the characteristics that He wants to see in me. Praising God engages my whole being. Through praising Him, I find that God is placing in my heart a desire to serve Him in His Kingdom according to His will. True praise changes me and the lives of the people who God touches through me. Praise transforms our relationship with God and with people; and enriches His Kingdom. False praise satisfies worldly satisfaction and the positive regard of men. I pray that so long as I am living on Earth, my life will be pleasing praise to God.


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