May 8, 2003

Okay, I'm about to quote some stuff in Latin, so if the words don't make any sense to you, you haven't lost your mind! But don't worry, I'll explain.
This is the text from a song I sang in the All-State choir my senior year of high school. The title is "Lamentations of Jeremiah," arranged by Z. Randall Stroope.

O vos omnes,
qui transitis per viam,
attendite et videte
si est dolor,
sicut dolor meus.

Recordare Domine
intuere et respice
opprobrium nostrum.

(translation)
O you people,
who pass this way,
look and see
if there exists any sorrow
like unto my sorrow.

Remember, Lord
consider and notice
our humiliation and disgrace!

"About the Music: The composer chose this text because of its 'human-ness.' Suffering to a greater or lesser degree is common to all human beings. The present musical setting of these lamentations seeks to capture the wide range of emotions which Jeremiah must have felt-- grief-stricken, alone, ready to cry out, sobbing uncontrollably, and torn between belief and his circumstance. Indeed, the composer has sought to firmly root the listener's feet 'in the soil' of life and let him or her feel sorrow in one breath and love in the next. ... The piece ends in a sudden overwhelming feeling of confidence and unleashed power in his Lord ('Domine') and the strength of that relationship in difficult times."

If you haven't already figured out, the song is about the prophet Jeremiah from the Bible, and the text of the song is basically taken straight from the book of Lamentations. (I wish you could hear this song. It's powerful! Maybe one day I'll figure out how to put music files on here!) This next quote is the intro to Lamentations in my Bible.

"Lamentations describes the funeral of a city. It is a tearstained portrait of the once proud Jerusalem, now reduced to rubble by the invading Babylonian hordes. In a five-poem dirge, Jeremiah exposes his emotions. A death has occurred; Jerusalem lies barren.
Jeremiah writes his lament in acrostic or alphabetical fashion. Beginning each chapter with the first letter A (aleph) he progresses verse by verse through the Hebrew alphabet, literally weeping from A to Z. And then, in the midst of this terrible holocaust, Jeremiah triumphantly cries out, 'Great is Your faithfulness' (3:23). In the face of death and destruction, with life seemingly coming apart, Jeremiah turns tragedy into a triumph of faith. God has never failed him in the past. God has promised to remain faithful in the future. In the light of the God he knows and loves, Jeremiah finds hope and comfort."

What an incredible story! In the middle of a book whose title means "tears" Jeremiah proclaims the goodness of God. Chapter 3 verses 22-26 say, "Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I hope in Him!' The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the Lord."

Sorry this was so long and slightly random! I hope you got something out of it. But what am I apologizing for?? This is my website! Later.

3 comments:

Thomas Garza said...

I don't understand why he wrote it in D Dorian with an implied B flat when he could have written it in D minor.

Unknown said...

This song is powerful andit really tales me to that moment when Jeremiah is writing these words... I'm so happy to sing this

Abimael González said...

This song is powerful andit really tales me to that moment when Jeremiah is writing these words... I'm so happy to sing this