by Will L. Thompson
Eddie Lewis Trumpet
Softly and Tenderly trumpet duet sheet music is available at:
Softly and Tenderly Trumpet Duet
Here’s another trumpet duet in our Trumpet Hymn Duets series. This is number sixteen in the series.
The series began with Amazing Grace, which I thought would be a one off arrangement. Now, fifteen duets later, I just can’t seem to stop writing them. Everything about these Trumpet Hymn Duets is just right. Composing them satisfies me on a deep level. But then, to see how much other Christian folk are enjoy them, it just reaffirms that this is a good thing to keep doing.
The Softly and Tenderly trumpet duet is a little different from most of the others. If you’ve read my other posts about some of the other hymns, then you know I try to say true to the original mood and harmonies of the hymn. I am quite capable of writing what other composers might call “more creative” arrangements, but for this series, I want to remain true to the original hymns while still giving the musicians something that helps them feel like they are contributing something of value. In this sense, Softly and Tenderly was a little more difficult to write than the others.
How do you make something sound “trumpety” while also remaining true to the concept of “softly and tenderly”?
If you look at the details of what I’ve done with this arrangement, it really is a lot more plain than the others. I just couldn’t seem to do anything with it that didn’t take away from the original mood of the hymn. In fact, it’s quite possible that what I have here in the second verse may have gone too far. We’ll see.
Jesus Is Calling
This hymn is typically used as an invitational. I am writing this arrangement during the Covid 19 situation. The official lockdown has ended, but it will be a long time before the gigs start happening again. That is a sizable chunk of our income that has been removed.
I would be lying if I said that it doesn’t make me angry. I won’t go into details here, but it is clear that there is more going on about this virus than what we are being told. I’m not into conspiracy theories, or anything like that. But things just don’t add up. And the only people I know who “believe” all these things we are told are people who have often expressed great amounts of hatred. I don’t believe they even know that they are being lied to.
But that’s not what this blog post is about. Yes, these things make me angry. Not just because they greatly affect me personally, but because I KNOW that hundreds of thousands of musicians in this country are actually coping a lot worse with this stuff than I am.
I chose to write the Softly and Tenderly trumpet duet next in the series because I’ve been walking around humming the melody. This melody soothes me. It reminds me that God is greater than not only Covid 19, but He is also greater than the hysteria and the hatred that fuel the problems surround the virus.
Colossians 3.15 says:
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.Colossians 3.15
As Christians, we are not supposed to stew in our anger. The melody for Softly and Tenderly helps me to God’s peace again.
Interestingly, there are no praise and worship songs that I find soothing like the hymns. I mention this only as a side note.
The truth is, not only is God greater than all these inconveniences, and greater than any man’s hatred, but I also believe that it is all part of His plan. No, I am not saying that God is punishing people with a virus or anything like that. I just think that we are living in a time when righteousness is being mocked by increasingly more people and there is a great division in our society across ideological lines. Something in my spirit tells me that this is something that must happen.
And to get back on point, the hymns in general, and this one, Softly and Tenderly, soothe my soul in a way that gives me the strength to do my part in what must be coming next.
Peace in Hymn Harmonies
There was a short period of time when I was experimenting in my original compositions, trying to find greater expressions of peace in my harmonies. The results of my experiments were surprising. What expressed the deepest amounts of peace for me were typical hymn-like harmonies.
I believe this is partly why my Unadorned Trumpet Hymn albums are doing so well. I’m using those peaceful harmonies in all of those hymns on those albums. So I don’t think it’s just that I’m playing hymns that people like. They could easily listen to someone else’s recordings of the same hymns. What I think they like is the peace.
The reason I mention this now is because the first verse in this arrangement is exactly the same harmonies I would have used on the Unadorned Trumpet Hymns. In fact, I got the harmony part directly from the Unadorned Trumpet Hymn recording of this hymn. It will probably be on our next Unadorned Trumpet Hymn album.
Softly and Tenderly Lyrics
The lyrics for Softly and Tenderly are as soothing as the melody. “Come home, come home, you who are weary, come home.”
Where is home? Home for us as Christians is certainly not here on Earth. And I don’t mean that we have to die and go to heaven to be home. The more we let the Holy Spirit guide us, the more “at home” we are.
At least, that’s how I see it.
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!
Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?
Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.
Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.
Trumpet Hymn Duet Series
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