For Where I Stand Is Holy Ground

Aidan Whelan
Easy (Grades 1-3)
1 minute
Folk music
Instrumental parts

For Where I Stand Is Holy Ground is a setting of a poem written in iambic tetrameter.

The music is deliberately simple, almost chant like, to stress its nature as a testament of faith. It is best sung in four parts unaccompanied, in the style of an American folk choir. When this is not possible the soprano line can be sung by a congregation, again best unaccompanied.

The poem places the singers in the perspective of realised eschatology. Here and now is the eternal moment. This emphasis on the sacramentality of the whole of life is rooted in the writer's Quaker background.

The second verse hints at Hopkin's 'The earth is charged with the grandeur of God'.

The third verse refers to Luke 11:29.

'Eden's tree' refers to the discernment of good and evil that only comes from seeing through the divine perspective, not by reference to our egos. 'Moses' fire' refers to the epiphany of God to Moses in the burning bush in Exodus. The bush burn but was not destroyed by the fire of God's presence.

The tempo is given as 90 crotchets per minute but if this feels too fast the piece may be slowed as desired. Follow the mood of the words and music.

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