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I was asked to take part in the upcoming Good Friday service by singing a solo. Faced with a limited repertoire, and particularly a song that was new and original, I decided to study the Hymn book to see what ideas he could get.
The song, The Old Rugged Cross, was one that previously wasn’t a favourite, particularly based on years of continually playing the traditional melody as a favourite of so many people. However, on this particularly occasion, on reading the words, properly for the first time, I fell in love with the song, and then had to attempt to write a new melody.
I was very conscious of the traditional of the song, and so tried to be careful not to move away from the passion of the song.
Written primarily as a male solo, it can just as easily be used by a female. It has also been used as a male voice choir arrangement.
Alternative accompaniment has been used with either a nice warm string ensemble background, or a brass band; both of which played block chords as a background for the chorus.
The arrangement is quite flowing and can have a gentle rhythm, but needs the pace to be slow and steady.
Volumes are a guide only; the last verse might suit a different sound with the more powerful words.