Deep Waters – Part 2

ORANGE-MORNINGWhy is it that the Psalms are so intriguing to composers?  Simple enough.  Because they are lyrics to begin with.  That old King David, he knew what he was doing.  Probably no other book of the Bible has been so worked over by composers around the world and down through the ages.

Finding new material to approach is not easy.  There are tens of thousands of songs written from the Psalms of David.  One could say that he’s the most published lyricist in the history of the world.  I wish I had his ASCAP royalties – except that all of his lyrics are now and always have been in the public domain – that is, that they are free to use for anyone brave enough to tackle such classic literature.

So coming upon this verse in Psalm 107 was a most pleasant surprise to me.  It just sort of jumped up and called out, “Hey Pete!  Look here!  I’m a song!”

It was the line, “They that go down to the sea in ships” that did it.  I don’t know why, but it just had a ring to it, a rhythm, perhaps.  It immediately evoked a story.  I wanted to read on and find out what happened to them.  Well it turns out that they “do business in great waters.”  Now there’s an unexpected Biblical line.  They “do business?”  It sounded so modern.  Sort of like saying, “Hey do you wanna do lunch?”  :o)

Well, I was hooked.  I decided to read on and on and it turned out that David had a real point to it all and a most powerful message to tell.  It launched the whole idea of Deep Waters – the struggle we all have finding our way out of the materiality of day to day living, the anticipation of new breath, of smoother seas, of open air, of calm and of peace in our lives.

I much enjoyed writing around the idea – taking actual ideas and quotes directly from Psalm 107 and adding my own lyrical thoughts to the concept.  The endeavor of composition gave me a long weekend of concentrated work where I hardly slept, never got tired, never weakened, and found a kind of classical/folk approach to the moment.  I wrote with Julia’s voice in mind, but also with the reverence of a church solo foremost in thought.

The song, They That Go Down To The Sea In Ships, is our first song on the album – not the first music you will hear, but the first song.  It sets the tone of the adventure.

We’ll release the CD in late May of 2013, but here’s a preview of the lyric:

EARLY-MORNING-FAREWELL-They That Go Down To The Sea In Ships
Music and Lyrics by Peter Link
From King David’s 107th Psalm

They that go down to the sea in ships,
That do business in great waters;
These see the works of the
And his wonders in the deep.

They that go down to the sea in ships,
And adventure in His oceans
These hold the hand of the
Both in tempest and in sleep

For He commands,
And raises the stormy wind
Which lifts the waves thereof.
They mount up to heaven,
They go down to the depths of the deep

The waves, the waves they rule the sea
But in turn
Are ruled by God who holds
The heavens and earth and seas
In His grip
And they that go down to the sea in ships

Give thanks unto the Lord,
For all He does
He makes the storm a calm,
So that the waves are still.
He stays the wind,
He soothes the quake
With the impulse of His will

He quiets the night and ebbs the tide
And brings us to safe harbor
Safe harbor
Safe harbor
All those souls held in His grips
And they who go down to the sea in ships

He sends his word,
And heals us,
And delivers us from the depths

They that go down to the sea in ships

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