Saturday, 4 July 2009

Behind the Song: The Weight Of Glory

The Weight Of Glory was inspired by various sermons I’ve heard through the years on 2 Corinthians 4:17.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Verse 1 contrasts Momentary/Eternal,
Verse 2, Light/Weight
& Verse 3 holds up Christ as our example “who for the joy set before him endured the cross”(Heb 12:3).

The imagery in verse 1, this life being the beginning of a story continuing into eternity, was inspired by the conclusion of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia book The Last Battle

All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
(The Last Battle

How long, O Lord, this story seems
Till you return, and then we'll see

The strife that fills our mortal days
Barely fills the opening page

And each new chapter has in store

More glory than the one before.

In 1988 I was leafing through a film catalogue looking for potential band names. One of the ones that didn’t make it was ‘Dust be my destiny' which apparently is a 1939 prison break film starring John Garfield. (Anyone out there seen it?). I liked the sound of it and filed it. It became

My destiny will not be dust, for what will be is glorious.

The song took 3 years to write. The music and the chorus lyrics came pretty quickly, but the verse took a lot of work because you hang on each syllable so long that each one has to ‘sing’ well. Many perfectly acceptable words sounded odd when stretched out. The tune also had to be rewritten because the original range was too wide for a congregation to sing.

Some unusual things about the music are that in the verse several of the chords hang on for an extra bar

Bm, F#m, F#m, G,
G, F#7, Bsus4, B.

and though the song is in Bm each verse cycle ends on Bsus4 resolving to B major (which is called the Picardy Third in music theory). The chorus starts on G major instead of the more obvious D major or B minor and ends on the very unexpected Cadd9.

The weirdest chord from a guitar player point of view is the F#m7/A which is played (low to high) X04220 and it’s fingered 4th finger on the D string and 1st finger in between the G and B and thus fretting both.

Download the live mp3      Chord Sheet      Lyrics
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Related Posts: Great High Priest
Other free songs by Matt Blick

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