It was a freak accident. A completely unexpected turn of events in the lives of a faithful family. Children had lost their father, and a wife had lost her loving husband. There was mourning, shock. There was also an outpouring of support and love from friends and co-workers and the whole community. I had known this man and loved his family, had served as their bishop years before. I was asked to provide a musical number, and I was overwhelmed by the assignment. I knew that his musical tastes were a little more wild than mine, but I felt that staying close to the hymns would be the appropriate thing to do. I prayed.
As I sat at the piano and thumbed through the hymnal, I began to play "Come Come Ye Saints" and then tried some of my own chords to dress it up a little, and it sounded right... it felt right. In the end, I prepared and performed kind of a medley piano solo of "Come Come Ye Saints" and "I Am A Child of God", but this arrangement of "Come Come Ye Saints" has always remained with me, and it is one of my favorites to just sit down and play when I am roaming the halls of a church building and spy a free piano in a deserted room.
Come Come Ye Saints Hymn, lyrics by William Clayton April 15, 1846 with pioneer caravan at Locust Creek, Iowa. Just prior to writing the lyrics, Clayton had received word that his wife Diantha had given birth to a healthy boy in Nauvoo Arrangement by Michael Squires
Come, come, ye saints, no toil nor labor fear; But with joy wend your way. Though hard to you this journey may appear, Grace shall be as your day. Tis better far for us to strive our useless cares from us to drive; Do this, and joy your hearts will swell - All is well! All is well!
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard? 'Tis not so; all is right. Why should we think to earn a great reward if we now shun the fight? Gird up your loins; fresh courage take. Our God will never us forsake; And soon we'll have this tale to tell- All is well! All is well!
And should we die before our journey's through, Happy day! All is well! We then are free from toil and sorrow, too; With the just we shall dwell! But if our lives are spared again to see the Saints their rest obtain, Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell- All is well! All is well!
We'll make the air, with music ring, Shout praises to our god and king; Above the rest these words we'll tell - All is well! All is well!
Michael D. Squires - All musical material on this website is copyrighted by the owner, but may be used for non-commercial church or personal purposes without permission. Any recognition of me as the source (and perhaps a quick note to me) is appreciated.