New Haven and Woodstock

These psalm texts, adapted from sources in both the King James and Hebrew Bibles, are intended to be performed in the manner of the old tradition of Shape Note singing, where the music is first performed in fa sol la syllables, and then sung as text.

New Haven (psalm 82)

How long will you judge unjustly
And defend the persons of the wicked.
Defend the poor and fatherless
Do justice to the needy.
Deliver the poor and the needy
From the hands of the wicked.

They know not neither do they understand
They walk on in darkness.
All the foundations are out of course
And they walk on in darkness.

I have said you are gods
And all of you are children of the most high.
But you shall die like mortals
And fall like any prince.

Woodstock (psalm 131)

Lord, my heart is not haughty
Nor mine eyes lofty
Neither do I take up great matters
Or things too high for me.

Surely, I have behaved and calmed myself
As a child that is weaned of its' mother.

Lord, my heart is not haughty
My soul is as a weaned child.

Commissioned by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, John Cook, Director.