Lay Your Head Down: 23rd Psalm Blues

The music VIDEO below is of one of my earliest compositions, “Lay Your Head Down.”  It’s my take on the 23rd Psalm:  He leads me by still waters, restores my soul, anoints me so that my cup overflows.  Its tone and form, though inflected only slightly that way, pay homage to the blues.  It was written during a time of struggle, and many have told me it was a balm in their dark times, too—one of the deepest compliments any piece of music can ever hope to have.

This was recorded live sometime in the late ’70’s in a service at the University Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia.  It has a lovely, though cavernous, sanctuary; and on this Sunday morning the echo was strong.  I’m on vocals and piano, and organist Robert Smith adds a ghostly organ version of an accompaniment I originally wrote for violin.

Many have asked why I hadn’t posted it on this site years ago.  It occurred to me the other day that in these difficult times posting it now would be appropriate.

For more music by me and other family go Here.

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One Response to Lay Your Head Down: 23rd Psalm Blues

  1. Beverly Seng says:

    Ah, Richard, this is so, so beautiful. I love the yearning music and powerful, understated words, and your gentle, tender, loving voice.

    I was in the University Baptist Choir back when you were there. ( I was another graduate student and very shy, so you probably do not remember me.) I remember so clearly your face shining with joy one evening over another song that you’d just written and were showing to Carl, “As Far as the East is from the West.” That song has stayed in my head all these years. In fact I’d like to sing that song at a zoom prayer meeting if you would not mind. That’s why I came on the internet: to try to track you down. You’ve had an amazing life of service. Blessings to you and your family.

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