Hymns by Dr. Bradley P Lehman (b. 1964), 1984-present

  • Introduction
  • List
  • Notes


    Most of my hymn tunes are in four-part texture, designed to be readily singable either a cappella or with accompaniment. I have designed them to present their texts dynamically, expressively, and as dramatically as possible, while remaining easily usable for typical congregational singing. They are also effective as choir anthems and for special events.

    My philosophy of congregational singing: There should be some level in the song at which every worshiper can experience God by participating. The more levels of meaning there are at once, from the immediate to the subtle, the richer the song is for single and repeated use. The four melodic parts must have foremost integrity as interesting, expressive individual lines, enriching and intensifying the meaning of the text (and not merely "sounding pretty"). My hymns are easiest to learn if the singers simply read their individual lines, instead of trying to do intuitive "harmonizing" against the soprano. That is, the individual parts are designed to be easily singable and expressive in themselves, and somewhat independent. Harmony, in my view, is much more a function of distinct simultaneous expressions (a dynamic texture of tensions and resolutions, as the individual parts play off one another) than a series of stereotypical chords. Dissonance and consonance must be used in a deliberate balance, always as a natural and direct expression of the text.

    The general style of this hymn music can perhaps be described best by the words intense and thoughtful. My melodic and rhythmic habits tend to be a composite musical language of Bach, Mendelssohn, Grieg, Sibelius, Jerome Kern, and Richard Rodgers....

    MIDI sequenced performances are now available for some of the hymns; download and listen to them! Or try this catalog of my other available MIDI experiments.

    Here also is a humble example of my text-writing craftsmanship: Come, let us celebrate today.

    And see also my review of The Harmonia Sacra, 25th ed. for further ideas about linear congregational singing and hymn composition. I explored some of those ideas further in a seminar presentation January 1, 2002: part of the 100th anniversary Harmonia Sacra sing at Weavers Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg VA.

    My views about nurturing a healthy mixture of a cappella and accompanied singing are here.

    List of hymn tunes (click on the tune name to download the MIDI file)

    TUNE NAME meter text - poet

    ABUNDANCE II C.M.D. Thy causeless unexhausted love - Charles Wesley

    ACTON BELL'S DESPONDENCY C.M.D. I have gone backward in my heart - Anne Bronte See text

    BRIDGE Love makes a bridge - Brian Wren

    COF irregular Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective - committee, 1995 (a setting of the "Unison Reading A" in that publication)
    This hymn has its own web page.

    DAILY PEACE S.M.D. Our earth needs rest and peace - Bradley P Lehman and Wilmer D Swope

    DEVOTED 8 8. 8 8. 8 8. O God, what offering shall I give - Joachim Lange, tr. John Wesley

    DOL Throned upon the awful tree - John Ellerton;
    also Holy Jesus, lovely lamb - author unknown

    EARTH 7 6. 7 6. with refrain All things bright and beautiful - Cecil F Alexander

    ELGAR C.M.D. O God! if this indeed be all - Anne Bronte See text

    ELOQUENCE 8. 8. 8. 8. 8. 8. Prayer is the language of the heart - Charles Wesley

    EUNICE MAY C.M. O for a heart to praise my God - Charles Wesley

    EVEN L.M. At even, when the sun was set - Henry Twells

    FIRSTFRUITS 8 4. 8 4. 8 8 8. 4. For the fruit of all creation - Fred Pratt Green

    FIRSTHAND 7 6. 7 6. D. Where restless crowds are thronging - Thomas C Clark

    FREI ABER EINSAM 8. 7. 6. 8. 8. 6. Lord, if thou know'st it good for me - Charles Wesley

    GLORIA DEO irregular Glory be to God (inclusive-language Gloria Patri) - Bradley P Lehman

    GLOWING PRIMROSE C.M.D. Your hand, O Lord, in days of old - Edward H Plumptre

    GOD OF BETHEL C.M. O God of Jacob, by whose hand - Philip Doddridge

    GRACEFUL Come, let us celebrate today - Bradley P Lehman (wedding/anniversary hymn based on 1 Corinthians 13) words/music

    GUIDEBOOK C.M. O hear and speak the scripture truth - Wilmer D Swope and Bradley P Lehman

    HAIL 7 6. 7 6. D. Hail to the Lord's anointed - James Montgomery

    HEALING HEM L.M. with refrain By Peter's house - Anne Metzler Albright

    JOYOUS DAISY 7 6. 7 6. D. How lovely is your dwelling - from Psalter (Psalm 84)

    KALANCHOE 7 6. 7 6. D. Sometimes a light surprises - William Cowper

    KINDLE L.M.D. O thou who camest from above - Charles Wesley

    LAMB (two versions) 6 6 4. 6 6 6 4. Shepherd of tender youth - Clement of Alexandria, tr. Henry Martyn Dexter

    LAZARUS C.M. At Bethany, where Christ had friends - Wilmer D Swope and Bradley P Lehman

    LILY L.M. Eternal beam of light divine - Charles Wesley

    MKO's 50TH 8 6. 8 6. 7 5 9. Sing to the Lord with vibrant voice - Janeen Bertsche Johnson (written for celebration of Mary Oyer's 50th year of teaching, 1998)

    MOUNTAIN PEAK 7 8. 7 8. with alleluias Christ upon the mountain peak - Brian Wren

    OFFERING L.M. Pour down thy spirit from above - William Romanis

    ORCHIDS 5 4. 5 5. 7. We are your people - Brian Wren

    OYER 7 7. 7 7. Prince of peace, control my will - Mary Ann Serrett Barber

    PASSAMEZZO COURTSHIP C.M.D. All good, all wise, almighty Lord - Charles Wesley

    PRAYER C.M. Prayer is the soul's sincere desire - James Montgomery

    PROMISE 7 6. 7 6. D. O Jesus, I have promised - John E Bode

    QUIETUDE Daily we come, dear master - Fred Pratt Green

    RAW PASSION O that I could cast all my load - Charles Wesley

    SINCERITY Try me, O Lord, and search my heart - Charles Wesley

    STANDING AGAPE 8.8.6. 8.8.6. O love divine, how sweet thou art - Charles Wesley

    STORM 7 7. 7 7. 7 7. Holy Spirit, storm of love - Brian Wren

    SYMPATHY 6 6. 6 6. 8 8. Thou God of truth and love - Charles Wesley

    TOUCH C.M. Heal us, Immanuel, hear our prayer - William Cowper

    TRANSCENDENCE 11 10. 12 10. Born of beginnings - Larry Warkentin

    TRINITY 7 7. 7 7. 6. Glorious mystery of God - Anne Metzler Albright

    TRUEST SINGING I sing to you from summers of my heart - Jean Janzen

    TURN 8 7. 8 7. Cross of Jesus, cross of sorrow - William John Sparrow Simpson;
    also Lord, thy mercy now entreating - Mary Ann Sidebotham

    UNLESS Gentle Jesus, meek and mild - Charles Wesley

    VENI C.M. Come, Holy Ghost, our hearts inspire - Charles Wesley

    VIRTUE'S REWARD Christ, my life, my only treasure - Charles Wesley

    WATERFORD C.M. O God of truth, whose living word - Thomas Hughes

    WATTS' 23RD C.M.D. My shepherd will supply my need - Isaac Watts

    WHISPER 7 6. 7 6. 7 7. 7 6. Open, Lord, my inward ear - Charles Wesley

    WILLST DU DEIN HERZ MIR SCHENCKEN 7 6. 7 6. D. O day of rest and gladness - Christopher Wordsworth (This tune is arranged from a melody in the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach)

    WINGS L.M. O God, thou art my God alone - James Montgomery

    Three more in progress:


    Click to supersize this! FIRSTFRUITS, STORM, WHISPER, MOUNTAIN PEAK, HEALING HEM, and OYER are published in Hymnal: A Worship Book, 1992, the current hymnal of the Mennonite and Brethren churches. All six are recorded in the three-cassette set associated with that hymnal. I have also compiled a complete concordance to the texts of that hymnal, now available for purchase.

    "Our earth needs rest and peace" (text only) is published in The Hymn, April 1993.

    MOUNTAIN PEAK has been transposed to C and republished as #209 in The Covenant Hymnal: A Worshipbook (Evangelical Covenant Church), 1996.

    HEALING HEM has been published in a choral arrangement by Philip Orr of Orrganized Sound. This arrangement has also been recorded for publication by the Presbyterian Church USA.

    MKO's 50TH is published in Canadian Mennonite, April 11 1998.

    WHISPER is recorded in a two-piano arrangement by Marilyn Houser Hamm, on the CD/cassette Hymnal Masterworks: Solo Piano (Faith & Life Press, Newton KS, 1994).

    WHISPER and OYER are recorded by a choir from Eastern Mennonite University, on the companion cassette to the book Praying with the Anabaptists by Marlene Kropf & Eddy Hall (Faith & Life Press, Newton KS, 1994).

    FIRSTFRUITS was featured in a summer 1995 workshop presentation by the Hymn Society in the US and Canada. It is also scheduled for republication in 1996, in a forthcoming collection from Brethren Press.

    Most of these hymns have been featured as anthems and introits by the choir of University Reformed Church, Ann Arbor MI, and elsewhere. Many of the unpublished hymns have also been sung congregationally in hymnsings and worship services led by the composer, in Washington DC, Philadelphia PA, Elkhart IN, Ann Arbor MI, Waterloo ON, Champaign IL, and Harrisonburg VA.

    For further information about any of these hymns, or for permission to use/publish them, or for suggestions of texts I might set in future work, please contact me:

    Dr Bradley Lehman
    address available by request

    Most of these hymns are also deposited to The Hymn Society in the US and Canada, P.O. Box 30854, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX 76129.

    See also my resume...

    Bradley P Lehman / bpl@umich.edu

    hits since March 8, 1996