Acappella CD with 30 songs.|
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The "psalms of ascents," psalms 120-134, have long fascinated readers. First, the term "ascents" is enigmatic:
it could mean "steps" or "stairs," as in steps leading up to the temple, "degrees," as in
stages in the performance of worship, or "songs of going up," as in pilgrimages to annual festivals.
Second, these psalms may in some way narrate a progression from psalms 120 to 134.
Many today think that the psalms of ascents are pilgrim songs, that is, psalms intended to be
sung as travelers "went up" to Jerusalem. There may also be a sequence to the narration: from a
lament, longing for the peace and stability of Jerusalem (psalm 120), to preparation to depart
(psalm 121), to arrival at its gates (psalms 123-124), to engaging in worship with fellow Israelites
(psalm 133), to blessings intoned over the worshippers by the priest (psalm 134).
Whatever the exact ancient background, these are psalms which still teach us to lament
faithfully in dire straits, to confidently turn our eyes to God, and to worship the Lord in
thanksgiving and praise. May all who hear and sing these psalms of ascents also "go up" into the
presence of the Lord in lament, thanksgiving, and praise.
This album is dedicated to Randy Daw (1954-2019), music editor, assistant producer, author and composer
and Madeleine Showalter (1958-2020), wife of Michael Showalter, who encouraged all of us.
Songs on this CD:
1. In My Day of Distress (Psalm 120) / Gary Pendergrass
2. I Cry unto the Lord (Psalm 120) / Marva L. Hughes
3. I Lift My Eyes to the Hills (Psalm 121) / Michael E. Showalter
4. He Watches Over You (Psalm 121) / Jerry Shipp & Ruth Ann Somervell
5. I Was Glad When They Said unto Me (Psalm 122) / Mark Shipp & Chris Stivers
6. May There Be Peace (Psalm 122) / Jack R. Reese
7. To You I Lift Up My Eyes (Psalm 123) / Mark Shipp & D. J. Bulls
8. Have Mercy On Us (Psalm 123) / Gary Pendergrass
9. Our Help Is the Name of the Lord (Psalm 124) / Zach Olson, Julianne Grace Brown & Mel Witcher
10. Had It Not Been the Lord (Psalm 124) / Debbie Dorman
11. We Pray For Peace (Psalm 125) / Matthew K. Porter
12. Peace upon Israel (Psalm 125) / Marva L. Hughes
13. The Lord Has Done Great Things (Psalm 126) / Debbie Dorman
14. Restore Us Lord (Psalm 126) / Jack R. Reese
15. If the Lord Builds Not the Dwelling (Psalm 127) / Jack R. Reese
16. If the House Is Not Built By the Lord (Psalm 127) / Marva L. Hughes
17. Respect the Lord (Psalm 128) / Jerry Shipp & James W. Tackett
18. How Blest Are All Who Fear the Lord (Psalm 128) / M. W. Bassford & Michael E. Showalter
19. How Many Are My Enemies (Psalm 129) / Mark Shipp & Michael E. Showalter
20. Let Israel Confess and Proclaim (Psalm 129) / Mark Shipp & James W. Tackett
21. From the Depths I Cry to You (Psalm 130) / Glover Shipp (1927-2016), Rachel Shipp and Mark Shipp
22. Out of the Depths (Psalm 130) / Marva L. Hughes
23. My Soul Waits (Psalm 130) / Sarah Shipp & Jack R. Reese
24. My Heart Is At Peace (Psalm 131) / Mel Witcher
25. In You, O Lord (Psalm 131) / Michael E. Showalter
26. In Royal David's City (Psalm 132) / Michael Morgan & D. J. Bulls
27. Remember Us, O God Of Grace (Psalm 132) / M. W. Bassford & M. L. Daniels
28. How Good and How Pleasant (Psalm 133) / Mark Shipp & Michael E. Showalter
29. Come and Bless the Lord Forever (Psalm 134) / Jack R. Reese
30. Bless the Lord (Psalm 134) / Gary Pendergrass
Executive Producer: Mark Shipp
Producers: D. J. Bulls and Joseph Martin
Recorded at Lone Pine Studios, Orlando, FL.
Engineered and mixed by Michael Hurley
Vocal Tapestry is Tony DeRosa, Christy Dillon, Brandon Martin, Sue Martin, Drew Ochoa,
Jessica Raspolich, Sarah Whittemore, and Myron Whittlesey.
Front cover art by William Strutt (1825 - 1915), Jerusalem Pilgrims 1872
Cover design by James W. Tackett, Granddad Productions
Timeless cover art by Rick Gibson, Strong Design