Excited to share a new song with you all that Naaman Wood and I have been working on for months. Initially we hoped to finish it for Pentecost this year but after that deadline went whizzing by we decided to labor on. Initially we recorded two different melody’s for this text with different chorus lyrics to provide two contrasting melodic takes that would make the song more amenable for various contexts. (I think artists writing modern hymns should try and provide 2-3 different melodic ideas for the breadth of congregations out there) This version was a bit too low for my vocal sweet-spot so we handed off the demo to our good friend Wen Reagan to record an arrangement. He tweaked my verse melody a bit and then we added some musical fill. The text is (chiefly) Naaman’s scriptural imagination at work tracing the actions of the Holy Spirit from Genesis to Acts2 – a grand, meta-narrative romp through redemptive history.
Hope you enjoy. You can purchase the song and charts at bandcamp.
1.On Babel’s plain, the fires of men
In common purpose roared
The unity that God once gave
They seized with one accord
But God poured out peculiar tongues,
Peculiar, odd, and vain
They scattered all the human fires,
That burned on Babel’s plain.
2.The desert pealed with flames divine,
“I hear my people’s cry!”
But Moses turned his face to hide
From unconsuming fire.
“O Lord and God,” the shepherd pled,
“My tongue is mute and mired.”
“O who inspires mortal mouths?”
The holy flame inquired.
Holy Spirit, Come O Sacred Fire
Holy Spirit, Come Our Hearts Inspire
3.On Sinai’s crest, the storms of God
In gales of holy dread
Beset the mount in veils of fire,
With smoke it palled and spread
Then God gave Moses words of life
In thund’rous peals construed
And Isr’el spoke in stark reply,
“What God says we will do.”
4. In Galilee, the holy cloud
That brandished Sinai’s crest
Bestowed itself on Mary’s frame
And settled there to rest
Then holy fires of power divine
Beheld her virgin womb;
They tabernacled in her flesh
But left her unconsumed
5. At Pentecost, the winds of God,
In savage tempest roared;
Like Sinai’s mount, their flesh assumed
The fires of their Lord
Then God poured out peculiar tongues,
From native lands abroad
And birthed the Church as holy flesh
In unity with God
Words and Music by Naaman Wood & Bruce Benedict.
(c) 2013 Cardiphonia Music | arr. by Wen Reagan, 2013.
Wen Reagan, lead and background vocals.
Barbara Hazelwood, choir vocals.
Amber Wood, choir vocals.
Tim Morris, electric guitar, hand claps, and choir vocals.
Dan Jaasma, electric guitar and hand claps.
Jeremy Ruckstatter, drums and hand claps.
William Glass, electric guitar.
Naaman Wood, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, organ, hand claps, and choir vocals.