My Australian Christian Songs
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Let's Sing it Again
20 of Robin's best community songs
|Jesus please watch over us||Lyrics|
|Here we are||Lyrics|
|How shall I call you?||Lyrics|
|God Version 1.0||Lyrics|
|Spirit of God||Lyrics|
|There'll be peace||Lyrics|
|Walkin down the road||Lyrics|
|Feed us now||Lyrics|
|You are the prisoner||Lyrics|
|Then I will praise you||Lyrics|
|Love one another||Lyrics|
|May we be one||Lyrics|
|Because we bear your name||Lyrics|
|For you, deep stillness||Lyrics|
|A Christmas blessing (May the feet)||Lyrics|
When I wrote my first song in 1965, I had no grand vision of writing truckloads of songs that would transform an eagerly waiting public. No idea even of writing songs for the church to sing.
I was going to be a pastor. Hugo Stiller, the pastor who confirmed me, asked me to consider entering the public ministry of the church. I liked the idea, and throughout my secondary school years I pursued a course of study (including Greek, Latin and German) that was the first stage in preparing for the ministry.
But God sent me a messenger, an angel, to steer me in a closely related but slightly different direction. Dorothy was Hugo's daughter, and we fell in love in our final year of secondary school.
She did not want to be a pastor's wife. What was I to do? Marry Dorothy or become a pastor?
I began a teacher-training course at university, and we married in the last month of the 60s.
By that time I had begun writing songs to be used in worship services. This became more focused in 1971 when Dorothy and I were invited to be part of a band playing for worship services. The band was called Kindekrist (the name was Dorothy's idea — not bad for a non-German speaker) and we needed more songs than were available in the charts or in the newly emerging stream of (mostly American) Christian songbooks.
So, one by one, I produced songs, and that's how it's been for the past thirty years. Actually, I should say that 'we' produced songs. While I write words and make up tunes, Dorothy has been the chief editor and often the one with the voice to make the songs work. This is especially true for the community songs that make up this collection.
Though I still have no grand plans to produce a body of work to hand on to future generations, I hope one or two might be used well into the new millennium. I know these songs have enabled some people to hear God's song. I hope that one or more of them enable you to hear God's voice singing to you.
- Thanks always to Dorothy. Thanks also to our children, Kristin, Jon and Thom, who not only helped inspire many of these songs but, alongside Dorothy, have been my best supporters. They can be strongly critical and terrifically complimentary, and in the process they help songs to happen.
- Thanks to every person who was a member of Kindekrist over the last twenty eight years, who played these songs well and helped spread them around. Special thanks to Doug Petherick and Andrew Pill, who were with the band almost as long as Dorothy and me.
- Thanks to the band of angels — Thom Mann, Darren Schache, Tom Belcher, Brett Stafford, Tim Irrgang, Kathie Renner — for helping to make a good recording of these songs.-
- Thanks to ministers too numerous to mention whose feedback has encouraged me greatly. Your view that songs help to teach and preach, as well as inspire and comfort has helped me retain this ancient but currently unfashionable view of hymns.
- Thanks to Monica Christian for helping me with the piano arrangements.
Doctor of Divinity awarded to
Last night, December 6, at the University of Divinity's Adelaide Graduation night at the Glynde Lutheran Church, I was awarded the University's highest academic award.
The citation opened by praising my "sustained and distinguished contribution to theological scholarship over the last fifty years through original musical composition that advances the celebration of Christian, communal life and identity."
While feeling a little overwhelmed by the grandeur of the event & the impressive outfit provided for me to wear, I was very pleased to receive the award, as it recognises the importance of the music of Christian communities. The award is not just for me but for the many writers & musicians who have contributed so much over many years.