There is a Redeemer

Today’s song from Sing Praise is ‘There is a redeemer’ by Keith and Melody Green. Dated 1982 on the copyright, I’ve known this song since probably not long after that. 

The song praises Jesus by several of his Biblical titles: Son of God, Lamb of God, Messiah (Christ), Holy One, Redeemer, Name above all names, King for ever.  The chorus invokes all three persons of the Trinity: ‘Thank you O my Father for giving us your Son, and leaving your Spirit till the work on earth is done’.

My only criticism would be that there is an inconsistency whether we are singing to God (‘Jesus my Redeemer’, ‘Thank you O my Father’) or about him (‘There is a Redeemer’, ‘I will see his face’).  It’s an inconsistency that we have found in other songs, but I prefer it if a song or hymn is clearly one or the other: are we encouraging our fellow singers in the faith or expressing a personal faith directly to God? The style of the music suggests the latter. So why not reword it ‘You are the Redeemer’, ‘I will see your face’?

1 thought on “There is a Redeemer”

  1. I agree with Stephen – this is a popular Christian song/hymn which does a good job of calling to mind titles and ministries of Jesus, and it rather nicely straddles the boundary between “hymn” and “song” and bridges the gap between the ancients and the moderns in church music preferences. We like it at St Luke’s Eccleshill.

    But (in my opinion) the song rushed into print a bit too quickly without going through the “critiquing” process, and as a result has a few little inconsistencies in it. Among these are the variation between first-person and third-person writing, but also the repetition of v1 line 3 in v2 line 3, the way that v3 slips an extra syllable in at the start of line 3. There’s also a musical weakness in the original version of bar 5 where the bass moves in parallel octaves with the melody – presumably this is why the book prints an arrangement by Peter Moger instead. I wish Keith and Melody had ironed out some of these problems , and I think the hymn would have been improved if they had.

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