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By Grace I live

00044
$3.00
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By grace I live.


By grace I live.

By grace I am released.

By grace I give.

By grace I will release.

By grace I live. By grace I give.

By grace alone the hate and fear are gone.
Those whose minds are lighted by the gift of grace
can not believe the world of fear is real.





Lyrics: "A Course in Miracles", Lesson 169

Music: Anders Nyberg



Comment:

You're supposed to tell the truth, not so...

Forgive me for hesitating a bit with the story of this one though, as I have been afraid it could strip me of any credibility that I may have enjoyed. But here we go, this is the naked - and indeed beautiful - truth of how the song "By grace" came about.

I have had a long love for the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, nothing unusual with that. But the way our relationship became very intense with a definite feeling of a two-way kind of communication is probably a bit beyond the unusual. The full revelation of that relation I will have to leave for later, but here comes one facet of it.

At one time, when I felt his presence very concretely I said:
- Now Sebastian, you have to give me a theme!

I walked up to the keyboard, closed my eyes and put down a finger randomly. It landed on a G sharp.

- OK, I said, am I going up or down?

- “Down”, I could hear clearly and calmly from within.

I tried half a note down, got a definite no, and tried another half note down. Continued down the chromatic scale and got no's all the time. Past the thirds, fourths, the fifths and the sixths and nothing happened. By now of course I was starting to doubt my sanity, but as I came to the interval of a major seventh all of a sudden, I got a big affirmation!

Now, mind you, no song is starting with the interval of a descending major seventh. It just does not exist. If anything confirmed that something unusual was happening here it was the fact that the response came on the descending major seventh.

And Sebastian, by the way, has always had this love for these kind of musical challenges, hasn’t he?

-OK, I said, a bit shook up from the strong response, "it has to be up now, uh"?

-Yes.

And then I tried semitone after semitone up from the A where I had landed, and finally reaching F sharp I had that familiar confirmation again. And in this way the whole melody was build, note by note. From this impossible start of a descending seventh a beautiful and original yet very logical melody emerged. The rhythm with its lilting syncopation came intuitively as the notes came quicker and quicker. And finally I was sitting totally overwhelmed with this wonderful melody, sounding a bit like a possible theme for a fugue; it is easy to imagine those big steps for an organ pedal! I got totally excited and started writing down a polyphonic piece in four parts in what I took as a kind of dictation, but noticed quite soon that the piece was wandering totally off into some strange unheard of key.

Feeling a bit let down, it was as if I felt this fatherly pat on my shoulder.

-You will have to work that out for yourself...

I have not written my fugue yet. One day I will try, definitely. With the grace of God…

I have however used the theme in what I feel confident in doing; a simple song for the choir. I had to change the key from E major to A major to make it singable and I found some lovely words in ”A course in miracles”, which - come to think of it - sounds quite Lutheran in their emphasis of the all importance of grace.

"By grace alone..."

Well, I have been truthful here. You may argue that this story, and the way the song came about is all a product of my imagination. Fine. I am cool with that. I do think like that quite often myself.

But what I cannot argue is the exquisite beauty of this melody.

I don't think I could ever have imagined that myself…


The song is also available in a Swedish version; Jag lever av nåd

Order the score from here:
Listen to a recording here!


The picture shows my view from Söderås, Rättvik where the song was created.

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