Hymns and Songs
As a youth on the farm I never thought of myself as
Nor is that something I see as a driving force in my career!
But somehow, at specific times and places,
I have felt the urge to write a song or hymn
to meet a specific need.
It all began with a bunch of teenagers
in the Ozarks of Missouri, U.S.A. in 1965.
They complained that the liturgy was boring,
and the music was boring
So we decided to use current melodies
to rewrite the Lutheran liturgy.
The melodies we chose were those of the time,
tunes by Pete Seeger, the Beetles and others.
The folk liturgy we created for those ‘kids’ was called
Create in Me
and was used for more than 20 years in the USA.
One song from that liturgy survived. It begins:
Send Your Servant Down the road,
With your message for his load,
For I have seen where freedom leads.
Of course, ‘freedom’ had all kinds of connotations
that appealed to youth in the 60s.
The song survives in the collection of songs:
All Together Now edited by Robin Mann
and continues to be sung!
For more than 40 years I have written songs
as a particular need has arisen.
Hymn to the Highlands
that I wrote in 1969 in Papua New Guinea
turned up more than 30 years later in Australia.
I have now begun to collect songs from my past
scattered across several countries,
into usable collections for the future.
The first two collections of my songs are entitled
Habel Hymns Volume One: Songs to Celebrate with Creation
Habel Hymns Volume Two: Songs to Share with Those who Suffer
New collections will follow. \
Will you come back with me to the birth of the Earth,
Before all its life forms evolved?
Will you sing with the heavens amazed at the sight:
A planet with secrets to unfold?
Will you praise,
With eyes as wide as a child’s?
Will you praise,
The song of the wild?
From Habel Hymns Vol 1, no. 6