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Een smekeling, zo kom it tot uw troon - psalm 119, 1967 - 1984

Identifier: 84

Scope and Contents

After Psalm 19 for Unison Choir and Assembly with Keyboard Accompaniment


  • 1967 - 1984


Biographical / Historical

This early Oosterhuis poem reflects on Psalm 19. This psalm sings of Ruah and Torah. Ruah is the Wisdom-Breathof God over the deep at Creation. Torah, is the Wisdom-Joy of God restoring order to Creation. The song is a testimony about embracing the Law, the path of Wisdom. While ultimately the shape of one's life is ultimately up to the individual, this song expresses the hope that by embracing God's path, we may lead our lives not for ourselves but for others. In this way, we will preserve harmony in our own lives and throughout the Cosmos.

Huijbers uses this melody in 3 other songs: You Gazed On Me, I Stand By You In Suffering and In Need,’ and ‘The Song: Friendly Light. In the earliest days of introducing their vernacular songs, Oosterhuis persuaded Huijbers to adapt new words to pre-existing Protestant hymn melodies, just as Martin Luther had done from the outset, turning toindigenous materials for his new hymns. Huijbers was emerging from writing Sacred Music, and invoking his familiar Gregorian tradition. He would turn initially to Dutch traditional songs and folklore, borrow lavishly from the classics (Borodin and Chopin, and others) and from the popmusic prevalent throughout the 1969s. All music, he maintained, had emerged from the popular music cultures of the Ages. Who could claim originality, since every composer had built on previous styles, and in most cases borrowed (stolen) from the best of what had gone before. In the instance of this is early song, it is not surprising to find Huijbers stealing from himself so many times! Here was yet another a closed-form strophic song, and it made for ease of assembly singing, the priority throughout his entire career.

As for the melody, formula technique is apparent, where a common tune supports different texts, rendering them singable with ease and with no learning process required. Observing Carl Orff's principles of elementary music, he invoked interval technique, of writing basic melodic steps, and a simple identifiable rhythmic flow, in a pattern of rising and descending phrases, and all within a compelling 2:4 time. The result is a song in which the text is able to breathe in all its brevity, resonating in the comforting key of E flat. -- Tony Barr


1 Scores

Language of Materials


Dutch; Flemish

Alternate Numbering

BH 84 JM 919


Repository Details

Part of the Saint John's University Archives and Special Collections Repository

P O Box 2500
Alcuin Library
Collegeville Minnesota 56321 United States