Monday Melody – Psalm 121

Took a trip this weekend to Pennsylvania with my girl Rose to visit some very good friends facing a very tough time in their lives.  God is amazing in His ability to give us strength in times of adversity.  May each of you know Him in the valley as well as on the mountaintop!

Song/Album: “Psalm 121” by Susan Ashton, on the album My Utmost for His Highest:  The Covenant.

Why it made the cut:   The clarity and beauty of Susan Ashton’s voice is a perfect match for the comforting and hope-filled lyrics of “Psalm 121,” an almost verbatim rendering of the biblical psalm of the same name.  It’s a song I return to often for reassurance that my God “will neither slumber nor sleep” and that He “will keep me from all harm.”  Our God is in control of it all!

The entire album, which was the follow-up to the hit compilation disc My Utmost for His Highestplaces emphasis on the covenant between God and His children and the power and reach of that covenant in all aspects of our lives.  This  track solidifies that covenant by quoting the Word of God so that we can repeat it as we sing the psalm.  There is tremendous power in being able to speak forth that covenant!

Musically, the excellent bass line on “Psalm 121” by the multifaceted Tommy Sims and the lush guitars and strings provide the ideal accompaniment for Susan’s warm and soothing vocals.  

Artist:  Texan Susan Ashton was one of the bright stars of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) in the 1990s.  Her debut album, Wakened by the Wind, became the top-selling debut ever for Sparrow Records.  Susan would go on to record eight studio albums and chart nine #1 hits on the CCM charts. 

Ashton was nominated for a Grammy for her 1992 album Angels of Mercy, won the 1993 CCM Readers’ Award for Favorite Inspirational Album, and has been nominated for Dove awards several times.

Susan’s collaboration with Margaret Becker and Christine Dente led to the trio’s album Along the Road in 1994, and a second collaboration, again with Dente and this time with Michelle Tumes, produced the 2005 album Lost in Wonder:  Voices of Worship.

In the late 1990s and 2000s, Ashton forayed into country music, opening for Garth Brooks, releasing the album Closer, and collaborating with several other country music artists.  She also scored four singles on the Hot Country Songs charts, with the track “You’re Lucky I Love You” peaking at #38.

Susan is currently working on a new music project.

Favorite lyrics:

He will not let my foot be moved
He who keeps me will not slumber
Behold, who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep

Sweet spot: The elevation at 2:44 and the swirl of strings and guitars toward the very end of the song.  

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