I was given the challenge to prepare some sort of musical presentation for the entire primary in our ward. This was going to have to be different from just the routine fireside or sharing time; I needed to hold the attention of some developing, busy minds - my calling at the time in the ward was the primary pianist and I had seen some of those minds at work (btw this is quite possibly the greatest calling in the church). As I thought about what might work, I also wanted to do something that might cause a lasting difference in at least some of them. The idea struck me that I was asked to do such a thing because I have proclaimed myself to be somewhat of a songwriter, so why not incorporate that experience into the presentation.
In short, the idea here was to actually have the kids come up with some phrases that might later be incorporated into a children’s song that could be sung in primary – or even next year’s Primary Program. How excited would they be to sing a song that they had a hand in creating?
I needed some music as a starting point that might be used along with some phrases for the kids to maybe get the meter so that they could then try to fill in with some words from their hearts. I came up with some music and began to experiment with words and phrases. I realized that there were consistently seven syllables in each phrase of text and each line of the music. From there, I went to the back of our wonderful hymn book under “Meters” and looked under “7 7 7 7 D” and for fun tried some of the hymns that matched up. When I came to “Come, Ye Children Of The Lord”, it almost seemed like it was made for it, so I decided to fit it in. I arranged a little bit of the original music from the hymn around it (apparently an old Spanish melody) and was fairly pleased with the result.
Armed with this music and some starter phrases, I did my presentation in front of the kids and gave them some time to write/draw some lyrics. In the moment, it didn’t seem to me that it was too successful, and it really took me some time to feel some motivation and inspiration to move forward with it afterwards. But when I finally decided to just really make it simple and let the words of the children do the talking, it became easy. I doubt this song will win any awards, and there will likely still be some revisions (I may have to consult with my lyricists), but I believe the messages are pure and innocent—and heartfelt.
Come, Ye Children of the Lord
Hymn: Come, ye children of the Lord, Let us sing with one accord. Let us raise a joyful strain To our Lord who soon will reign…
Lyrics from children: Heavenly Father hears my prayer, I am thankful He is there. He gave me my family, He has been so good to me. I feel comfort when I pray, It helps me to be good all day. I show my love when I choose the right, He blesses me with all His might. He loves me and hears my prayers; because of this I know He cares. I am grateful for His plan, I will share it when I can. We’re all learning who we are, reaching for the highest star. We accepted His great plan, and we’ll do the best we can. Hymn: Oh, how joyful it will be When our Savior we shall see! Oh, what songs we then will sing To our Savior, Lord, and King!
Michael D. Squires - All musical material on this website is copyrighted by the owner, but may be used for non-commercial church or personal purposes without permission. Any recognition of me as the source (and perhaps a quick note to me) is appreciated.