By the Babylonian Rivers
Composer Mark Sedio
Text Psalm 137, para. Ewald Bash
Voicing SATB, violin or viola or C instrument
Church Season Lent Topics Laments
Scripture reference Psalm 137
Length 1' 40" Price $1.65 (U.S.) Released 4/94
Catalog no. 410-850 Difficulty Moderately difficult
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"Mark Sedio's setting of BY THE BABYLONIAN RIVERS takes advantage of the lulling, rocking repetitions of the original Latvian folk melody. This is a beautiful, hypnotic work which is sure to be an instant favorite with singers and congregations alike."-AAM Journal, February 1995
"Simple, evocative Latvian melody combined with the text of Psalm 137. The strength of this setting is its simplicity. Easy." -Cross Accent, July 1995
Description Sedio has taken a Latvian folk melody that perfectly fits the laments of Psalm 137. The choir sings only with a solo instrument, and together they capture the sorrow and longing of this psalm.
By the Babylonian rivers
we sat down in grief and wept;
hung our harps upon a willow,
mourn'd for Zion while we slept.
There our captors, in derision
did require of us a song;
so we sat with staring vision
and the days were hard and long.
How shall we sing the Lord's song
in a strange and bitter land?
Can our voices veil the sorrow?
Lord God hear your lonely band.
Let your cross be benediction
for those bound in tyranny;
by the pow'r of resurrection
loose them from captivity.
Psalm 137, para. Ewald Bash, 1964.
Reprinted from Songs for Today, © 1964, The American Lutheran Church.
Used by permission of Augsburg Fortress.