Twenty-Three Early American Folk Hymns Arranged for Pipe Organ


During the years I served as church-organist, I was constantly searching for organ music to play at services. I subscribed to several organ journals that published quarterly volumes of hymn-arrangements that provided some nice arrangements of pieces appropriate for the liturgical calendar. Over the years, I realized that I had a very strong affinity for many early American folk-hymns whose arrangements I encountered. At that time, I made a note that I would like to, in the future, identify and record the favorites of ones I previously performed.

Several years ago (actually, November, 2012), I unpacked all of my organ literature stored in my hall-closet and scoured all of the volumes to find the folk-hymn pieces I had most liked. At that time, I made note of each piece to record. Earlier this year, after finishing my 4th of July (Stars and Stripes Forever) project, I decided to finally begin this project — to record all of my favorite early American folk hymns arranged for pipe-organ. My goal was to finish this project well before Thanksgiving to allow me sufficient time for this year’s Christmas project. I have done that.

The organ I used is a multi-historical-period pipe-organ-instrument, living in my computer and composed of organ audio-samples from Baroque, Renaissance, Classical, and Modern-Period organs that are part of Garritan’s Classical Organ product. Additionally, I used a few pipe-organ programs from my Kurzweil PC3K8.

This turned out to be the largest project that I have done since the multi-year Nutcracker. The twenty-three arrangements are fifty-three+ minutes of music. The tunes range from very soft to very loud and very slow to quite lively. I have allowed both very soft and very loud sections to remain unaltered — without making soft louder and loud softer. Respectfully, if the volume hurts your ears or you can’t hear it — please use your volume knob (veiled attempt at humor).

I hope you enjoy listening, maybe a little bit at a time

Click on the mp3 player to play
Title mp3 Audio LoudLightning Bolt Composer
Come O Thou Traveler Unknown mp3 Traditional Scottish Folk Tune. Arr, James Mansfield.
Beach Spring mp3 Sacred Harp, Philadelphia, 1844
Land Of Rest mp3 Appalachian Tune. Arr. Wilbur Held.
Foundation mp3 Lightning Bolt Arr. Wilbur Held
Simple Gifts mp3 Shaker Tune. Arr. Wilbur Held.
Detroit mp3 Lightning Bolt Sacred Harp. Arr. Wilbur Held.
Wedlock mp3 Sacred Harp. Arr. Wilbur Held.
Kedron mp3 Lightning Bolt William Walker, Southern Harmony, 1835. Arr. Wilbur Held.
My Soul Forsakes Her Vain Delight mp3 (Leander). Arr. Gardner Reed.
Thou Man Of Grief, Remember Me mp3 Arr. Gardner Reed
David The King Was Greatly Grieved And Moved mp3 (David’s Lamentation). Arr. Gardner Reed.
On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand mp3 Lightning Bolt (The Promised Land). Arr. Gardner Reed.
Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed? mp3 Arr. Gardner Reed
Fight On, My Soul mp3 Lightning Bolt Arr. Gardner Reed
Do Not I Love Thee, O My Lord? mp3 Arr. Gardner Reed
Once More, My Soul The Rising Day mp3 Lightning Bolt (Consolation). Arr. Gardner Reed.
My Comfort By Day, My Song In The Night mp3 From Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music, 1813. Arr. Gilbert M. Martin.
What Wondrous Love? (Version 1) mp3 Sarah Douglas, Southern Harmony
What Wondrous Love? (Version 2) mp3 Southern Harmony
What Wondrous Love? (Version 3) mp3 Southern Harmony
Saints Bound For Heaven mp3 Lightning Bolt E.J. King and William Walker (1809-1874)
Interlude On Resignation mp3 Southern Harmony
Sing To The Lord mp3 Lightning Bolt (Dunlap’s Creek). Freeman Lewis.

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