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Sing Praise by Anne Harrison was published by Canterbury Press in September 2010 and is our 8663rd best seller. The ISBN for Sing Praise is 9781848250345.
This book is intended as a supplement rather than a main hymn book, and is aimed at Anglican churches, although it will find far wider use. Its 330 items are organised by theme, and there are many of them, so some sections are quite short. The indexes include a thematic index to cross reference items which fit under more than one theme, and a reasonable Biblical index (though as ever, I wish we could have first lines instead of numbers).
The book has a website - www.singpraise.info - and there is a possibility that instrumental parts will be published there in the future. (There is no CD of words, but a download will be available for purchase from November 2010.)
Any book which includes Bernadette Farrell's Litany of the Word for Advent, Townend and Getty's "See what a Morning" and Bell and Maule's "Enemy of Apathy" (though its title is omitted) is definitely my kind of compilation. Turn the pages and keep saying to yourself, oh good, they've included that! The recently revived "My life goes on in endless song" (RS Lowry). I, the Lord of Sea and Sky (Dan Schutte). Sing of the Lord's Goodness (Ernest Sands). Eat this bread; drink this cup (Taizé.) I could go on. And on.
Timothy Dudley-Smith, Christopher Idle and Martin Leckebusch are the best represented of the more traditional hymn writers. I'm less familiar with some of the others, but the general quality of the compilation makes you want to try everything, even if all that's been done is to pair a tune you know with words you know but have never seen together before. All my favourite writers are here, and it was especially pleasing to see five items by Marty Haughen, when I was expecting no more than the obligatory "Let us build a house".
Without doubt, the compilers have scoured both highways and byways to make this collection.
A few items look slightly out of place, but can be explained by the need to cover what are (to me) curious omissions from the main hymn books which are likely to be in use at the churches the book is aimed at.
For sure, you can nit-pick this book. In a few songs, key changes no doubt taken in the interests of vocal range don't feel right, and guitarists will need to use a capo and transpose. Occasionally the cadences of a set hymn tune don't seem to match the rhyme of the words. The inclusion /non-inclusion of the original language words for non-English songs appears inconsistent. The tune selections for "Lord Jesus Christ, Lover of All" and "Take up the Song" seem perverse to me - perfectly good ones have already appeared elsewhere and are well known. And of course, every serious church musician will have some quibbles about the selection. Some of mine are the omission of "Go Peaceful" (Field), "Peace Child" (Farrell/Murray),"Holy Spirit Living Breath of God" (Townend/Getty)... and the inclusion of Come and see the Shining Hope (Idle).
But these are all minor points. My overwhelming impression was that the compilers have taken much of the best from a shelf-full of books and put it in one fairly slim volume. If you are in a hymnbook-using church, and you want to use the best of recent repertoire, this book would be an excellent choice. It's ideal for the more traditional church musician who would like to explore the "compatible" end of new genres. And even if you project words at your church, it’s good news for the church musician who would simply like a lighter music bag. (It will find a place in mine!)
|Author / Artist||Anne Harrison|
|Publisher||Canterbury Press (September 2010)|
|Edition||Full Music ed.|
|Number of Pages||736|
|Page last updated||25th January 2018|