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What a Friend We Have in Jesus


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I've been spending my music time putting together a music book of children's singing games and play parties. I've also been getting things ready for our new tone-chime choir for some shy and beginning musicians. I've arranged about a dozen familiar hymns to practice and to choose from to perform. This is one of those hymns. Public domain, familiar, easily followed melody line. The tone chimes we have to work with are only 2 octaves, so most of the harmony parts are in closed position, and some of the countermelodies had to be kind of 'folded over' to fit within the range. This is nothing groundbreaking, but I do have to let folks here know that I'm still alive, and still arranging music:)
"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" was written as a poem in 1855 by Joseph Scriven, a Canadian preacher. It was set to music in 1868 by Charles Converse, an attorney and an accomplished musician.
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Lyrics
What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged— Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful, Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden, Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge— Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, Thou wilt find a solace there.
Song Stats
Hits: 3608
Comments: 25
Fans: 7
Plays: 140
Downloads: 102
Votes: 1
Uploaded: Sep 18, 2009 - 10:52:37 PM
Last Updated: Sep 21, 2009 - 09:57:15 PM Last Played: Jul 05, 2019 - 03:28:34 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
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Hardware:
Yep, still using the PowerBook G4
Software:
Finale, with a quick clean-up in GarageBand.
Comments
Feter said 3588 days ago (September 18th, 2009)
What a Friend We Have in jesus
what a sweet arrnagement and sound ..very lovely
I love to hear it with a choir I might go look
for it ...thank you so very much for sharin such
sweet music !!!!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
kristyjo said 3587 days ago (September 19th, 2009)
Thanks, Feter
This is a favorite hymn in the English speaking world, and, I just found out, a favorite melody to use for weddings in Japan. Thanks for listening, and commenting. As is often the case, You got here first!
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
johnwhitehead said 3588 days ago (September 19th, 2009)
Friend
Sweet arrangement. I've always loved the sound of chimes. I love the space in this. Would be great to here this performed live.
Check out my latest song called Wandering Blues
kristyjo said 3587 days ago (September 19th, 2009)
John -
When (if) our chime choir plays this, I'll invite you over. I'm just 3.5 hours east of you, in Wisconsin (Hwy 29) Thanks for listening.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
Moviz said 3588 days ago (September 19th, 2009)
Always
a favourite and familiar hymn. The words too seem to convey that it's not only us who are/were going through troubled times and are in need of upliftment. I think your idea of a music book for children is wonderful, so congratulations on that and here's hoping for it's success, regards ~M
Check out my latest song called We'll Meet Again
kristyjo said 3587 days ago (September 19th, 2009)
Familiar hymns-
I do best at arranging things that I know inside out. I was actually surprised to find out it was written in Canada, for Scrivener's mother, who lived in Ireland. i thought it was an American hymn, because it is in so many of the denominational hymnals in America. So, I learned something new from the researching/arranging experience. Thanks for listening.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
paul f. page said 3588 days ago (September 19th, 2009)
Beautiful.
It is wonderful that you are working on this project of arranging music for little ones to play. This is a beautiful little hymn and your arrangement sounds like it will be easy for children to learn. Teaching them classic hymn tunes is such a wonderful way to pass along our collective traditional songs and culture. What a wonderful way to do this.
Peace
Paul
Check out my latest song called Caprice
kristyjo said 3587 days ago (September 19th, 2009)
Paul,
So good of you to stop by. Actually, the chime group is for high school age and adults who are beginning musicians. (Never too late to learn a musical skill!) The music book is for school, and is a compilation of action songs and play parties for ages 4 - 12. I've been musical without really composing these last few months. I usually start writing again when the snow flies. i've been able to sneak some 'listening time' in at school, but I don't log in there. You have some really lovely pieces posted!
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
peacepiano said 3587 days ago (September 19th, 2009)
Still here
Good to hear you are still here. I did enjoy this little arrangement, and hope people realize I am still here too. I've also been quite for a while.
Check out my latest song called Beat SoloMe-O
kristyjo said 3586 days ago (September 20th, 2009)
Bill-
I think we all go through the 'nothing to post' phase. Mine are closer together and longer than I'd like. I'm glad that when I do have something to share, you good folks here listen and let me know what you think.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
blindsidedpoets said 3587 days ago (September 19th, 2009)
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Great arrangement. Breaths new life into a hymn that has long gone stale in over use... like Stairway to Heaven. Much appreciated, thank you!
Check out my latest song called Meaning Of
kristyjo said 3586 days ago (September 20th, 2009)
A fresh treatment-
of an old song is the best of both worlds! Thanks for listening, and all the best with your own 'Bracelet of Hope' project!
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
Ed Hannifin said 3586 days ago (September 20th, 2009)
There's a wonderful sound...
...as the gently clanging overtones of the chimes start building up over the course of the tune... Very neat...

Ed
Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
kristyjo said 3586 days ago (September 20th, 2009)
The overtones
are really quite an interesting part of tonechimes. When I've tried recording real players 'through the air' I would get quite a muddle of competing overtones. I think that listeners often simply 'filter out' the ones that don't really fit. Thanks for listening 7 the nice comments.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
michael2 said 3586 days ago (September 20th, 2009)
wonderful
i think the fact that have such strict limitations really lends to the charm of this. i really love this, and I see that it is share alike, so do not be alarmed if you find yourself listening to a version with me singing in a scratchy way over the top of it. wonderful.
Check out my latest song called Jazz Glitch Dub Experiment
kristyjo said 3586 days ago (September 20th, 2009)
Go for it, Michael -
I'll be watching for your version.
The limitations actually give a bit of shape and personality to all of the tunes I've been arranging for tone chimes. There's kind of a 'do what you can with what you've got' feeling and a challenge that I enjoy working with in those limitations. Thanks for listening!
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
said 3586 days ago (September 20th, 2009)
Marlena
says "that sounds like a Vibraphone" she was just walking through and stopped to listen in...

Marlena (daughter) is a sophomore now and plays Mellophone in the L.D. Bell HS band, after playing French horn in her Freshman year.

This is one of my favorite hymns, and simple as this is, I was singing along in an attempt to harmonize..

. - Harold
kristyjo said 3585 days ago (September 21st, 2009)
Thanks for sharing that 'family moment'
My kids, too, comment on what I'm listening to. Vibraphone isn't actually too far off the mark. Thanks for listening.

Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
ic42 said 3585 days ago (September 21st, 2009)
it rings with simple beauty
the melody and rhythm are compelling. this is beautiful in its sparseness. the bell sounds have warmth. there are spirits of countermelodies and harmonies that hover around this, just out of reach. but we hear them. it creates a charm that way. 0x0
Check out my latest song called Mars à Oublier - 0x01
kristyjo said 3579 days ago (September 27th, 2009)
I am so glad-
that you are hearing the hovering harmonies and countermelodies. When ther are only two octaves to work with, it helps to be able to use the overtones as well as the musical intuition of the listeners.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
jiguma said 3585 days ago (September 22nd, 2009)
Reminds me so much
of the glockenspeil chimes on the clock in Marienplatz Munich - when all the mechanical activity happens on the hour.
Nice arrangement. Good to hear you're still around.
Neil
Check out my latest song called Closing Down
kristyjo said 3579 days ago (September 27th, 2009)
It's good to still be around:)
The tonechimes are a branch of the clock chime family. Poor 2nd or 3rd cousins, I think. If we'd have had the money, we'd have purchased handbells. These work well, though, and I can let younger students use them without worrying about fragility or difficulty of use.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
Roxylee said 3582 days ago (September 24th, 2009)
Sweet Chimes
to a familiar and loved hymn. And you already know I loved the harmony. ;-) Real pretty, KristyJo.
Check out my latest song called Emma, by davisamerica
kristyjo said 3579 days ago (September 27th, 2009)
Roxy-
Thanks for stopping in! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
amie said 3486 days ago (December 29th, 2009)
what a friend we have in jesus
Always nice to have sweet music to listen to.

Artist Info
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Name: Kristine Johanek
Location: Marshfield WI United States
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I've been performing, composing and teaching music for many years. I enjoy arranging traditional and classic pieces, and also enjoy composing original music. I'll write for whomever will perform my music, so I've written for children's choirs, co... [see more]

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