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Why do you leave out that measure in Here I Am Lord?

I was introduced to Here I Am Lord when an organist in the Presbyterian Church USA. It is one of my favorite songs. However, the composer, Dan Schutte, committed a musical no-no with this congregational song.

So, what is the problem? Congregational singing must be predictable!


At the beginning of the song, Mr. Schutte keeps his nicely-composed, and easily-sung melody going along with a very predictable beat. Then all of a sudden, the predictable flow goes wacko with that crazy addition of a musical interlude right in the middle of the verse. This is where two, three, four, ten, etc. innocent parishioners fall into the hole and are embarrassed when they keep on singing during the musical interlude. It’s like you’re riding on a road, trusting that road to deliver you to your destination when suddenly there is a sink-hole, and your car plunges, hopefully with only a few minor scratches!


Most of us in the music world recognize this flaw but we like the song, and it is theologically sound. Thus, we remedy the flaw by disregarding the out-of-place musical interlude and keep the natural rhythm and flow moving us along to our destination. So, it’s not that your organist is blind and misses that measure every time we sing the song. He’s only trying to get you safely through to the other side!


Brad Cunningham, Organist

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