Free Lent album download from New York Hymns

Songs for Lent is a collaborative album by various Brooklyn-based musicians, released in 2013, that reflects on themes of temptation, suffering, sin, death, grace, and longing.

Except for two originals, all the hymn texts were written between the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries; Bruce Benedict, the chaplain of worship arts at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, curated them for this project, based on their theological richness and their fittingness for Lenten meditation. I applaud his selections, most of which have heretofore been little known and little sung in the church.

The one that’s most familiar is probably “Alas and Did My Savior Bleed”—this is the only song on the album whose traditional melody is retained. All the others feature brand-new musical settings by twelve different songwriters; in a few cases, two interpretations of the same text are included. Though I enjoyed every contribution, I especially like the ones by Jason Pipkin: “Remember, Lord, Our Mortal State” and “Away, My Unbelieving Fear,” which he performs with his wife, Kanene Donehey Pipkin.

 

 

The collective—they call themselves “New York Hymns”—is graciously providing Songs for Lent for free streaming and download on Bandcamp. (Donations are welcome.) Lead sheets and chord charts can be accessed at www.newyorkhymns.com.

Below is the track list. Because most of the lyrics on the album are excerpts from longer hymns, I’ve included a link to the full set of original lyrics for each one in a parenthetical note.

  1. “Remember, Lord, Our Mortal State” – words by Isaac Watts (full) | music by Jason Pipkin
  2. “Broad Is the Road That Leads to Death” – words by Isaac Watts (full) | music by Brian T. Murphy
  3. “And Am I Born to Die?” – words by Charles Wesley (full) | music by Clint Wells
  4. “And Am I Born to Die?” – words by Charles Wesley (full) | music by Christopher Miner
  5. “I’m Dying, Mother, Dying Now” – words: Anonymous (full) | music by Bruce Benedict
  6. “I’m Dying, Mother, Dying Now” – words: Anonymous (full) | music by Brian T. Murphy
  7. “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone?” – words by Thomas Shepherd (full) | music by Karl Digerness
  8. “Away, My Unbelieving Fear” – words by Charles Wesley (full) | music by Jason Pipkin
  9. “Thou Man of Grief, Remember Me” – words by Charles Wesley (full) | music by Clint Wells
  10. “He Dies! The Friend of Sinners Dies!” – words by Isaac Watts (full; alt) | music by Melanie Penn
  11. “Jerusalem! My Happy Home” – words by “F. B. P.” (full) | music by Clint Wells
  12. “The Day Is Past and Gone” – words by John Leland (full) | music by Jered McKenna
  13. “The Day Is Past and Gone” – words by John Leland (full) | music by Benj Pocta
  14. “Behold the Savior of Mankind” – words by Samuel Wesley (full) | music by Eric Marshall
  15. “Alas and Did My Savior Bleed?” – words by Isaac Watts (full) | music: Traditional
  16. “It Is Finished, the Redeemer Said” – words by Samuel Stennett (full) | music by Jered McKenna
  17. “It Is Finished, the Redeemer Said” – words by Samuel Stennett (full) | music by Michael Van Patter
  18. “What Wondrous Love Is This” – words: Anonymous (full) | music by Matt Boswell
  19. “Jesus’ Body Is Laid in the Tomb” – words and music by Brian T. Murphy
  20. “Root This Mountain Down” – words and music by Jason Harrod

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