Sunday Singables: On Jordan's Stormy Banks

"On Jordan's Stormy Banks" by Samuel Stennett, released by Jars of Clay on Redemption Songs, Indelible Grace on Pilgrim Days: Indelible Grace II, and BBC's Chapel Band on Gospel Worship (along with many others)

Click to listen --> On Jordan's Stormy Banks - BBC Chapel Band from Gospel Worship (2004)

This song is a bit older than our last one. You can find the lyrics in almost any hymnal you pick up in almost any church. Arrangements will differ from minor, sad sounding ones to the more major, uplifting tune that is featured above. The recording I've posted is of the chapel band I was a part of in school (that's me on the bass and singing during the chorus). It is closest to the one that we do in our church fairly regularly.

Why I recommend this song for worship-

This song has a very particular function in our worship service. It serves to focus us on our rest, our eternal destination. After all, we aren't really from this world and we won't end up here when we're dead and gone. Few things help me take the focus off myself and the troubles of this world than songs like this. It reminds me and the congregation what this is all for, to be with God someday away from pain, suffering, sickness, and death. We all need to be reminded of that truth, especially on Sunday when we are getting a taste of the rest that is to come. Sunday is all about shifting our focus back to God and the mission He left us to do on this earth. If there was no hope beyond this life, no resurrection, then we should be pitied (1Cor. 15:17-20). But Christ has indeed risen, giving us our hope and our future.

Changes I've made-

The only significant change, other than an entirely new melody from the hymnal, is in the lyrics of the fourth verse. When we sing of resting with the Father, we sing "and in His presence rest" rather than "and in his bosom rest." This mirrors what I think the original intent of the author was, plus it better reflects how we use the language today. You can use whatever version you like.

(just click on the picture and copy it to a Word doc to play along with the song)

Just a note about the lead sheet. This song is great to play on a guitar with a partial capo on the second fret. The chords sound very fresh and are a bit fuller than just the traditional key of E chords. If you don't have a partial capo you can just flip your Kaiser capo upside down so the bottom pad covers the A, D, and G strings on the second fret. I've posted a picture of the the finger positions you'll need for this song. Enjoy!

You can find this song on amazon or itunes (the Indelible Grace & Jars of Clay versions).


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