Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Psalm 70: Deliver Me

Some of you have heard this background, but some have not, so I'll give it again:

In December of 1999, my mother was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. She was given only a 25% chance of living for 5 years. She beat those odds and after her treatments actually went into remission for about 5 years. We were told at the time of initial diagnosis, though, that if it ever came back it would probably progress so rapidly that there would be nothing that could be done medically. So, when it did come back, we were devastated. Thankfully, in 5 years' time cancer treatment had developed to the point that the doctors were able to treat the cancer, but for several days we did not know this.

About that time, I had been reading in the Psalms. During the night, a portion of Psalm 70 was going through my head constantly -- "O my God, deliver me. O my God, deliver me. O my God, deliver me. O my Lord do not delay." It was one of those nights where I was constantly shifting from a waking state to sleep, but the phrase followed me where ever I was. It started as a plea of desperation but as the night progressed it gradually developed into a victory chant.

That continual chant is the basis of "Deliver Me". It never leaves (sorry, basses) just as the phrase would never leave my mind. Other thoughts came in and mingled with it -- sometimes very confused thoughts. But by the end "O my God, deliver me" is not a plea so much as a declaration of assurance of our deliverance.

Recording note:
This is the first attempt at recording this version with words. I could only get one male singer, so the tenor line had to be supplied by an alto friend of mine, and it's in a difficult part of her range to project. We practiced for about an hour then recorded it. There are a couple of "cringe-worthy" moments, but I was so grateful to be able to hear all the parts at once with the lyrics.

The song is designed to be sung by a larger group, so the balance of voices and interpretation are not what I would envision in a finished product. It does make it difficult to understand some of the words, so I put the recording in a slide show so that the lyrics could be read while listening.

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