the second most recognizable hymn tune, right after Amazing Grace, is Rock
of Ages. It was written by Rev. Augustus Toplady in 1763 and first published
in 1775 in "The Gospel Magazine." It's said that Rev. Toplady was
walking along a gorge in the Mendip Hills (in England) when he was caught in a
bad storm. He found refuge in a gap in the gorge and the title Rock of Ages
came to him. He immediately scribbled down the initial lyrics.
is one of the earlier hymns I learned on my flutes, so it was high on my list of
songs for this CD. The Cherokee lyrics illustrate how completely independent
they are from the original English. The Cherokee version has 18 verses that
detail the capture, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ. The first
verse is a call to listen to the story, followed by 17 verses of the story,
ending in verse 18 with the proclamation that those who do not believe will be
left behind to spend eternity in a "bad place." For my recording, I
start with that first verse, but then chose 5 of the remaining 17 that I felt
captured key points in the story. My recording ends when His disciples see he
had risen. Even my abridged version runs a little over five and a half minutes,
but I felt I had to maintain a level of fidelity to the story.
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