My selection this week of a hymn by Ralph Carmichael for inclusion in my series Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth would represent the “youngest” selection thus far, having only been written in the 60’s. According to his Wikipedia entry, he was “called a heretic for his use of guitars in worship and his adaptations of Gospel songs to big band stylings.” Carmichael wrote arrangements for Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Stan Kenton, Jack Jones, Peggy Lee, Julie London, Al Martino, Roger Williams, and Sue Raney.
I’m not certain if “He’s Everything To Me” should properly be called a hymn or a chorus, but I remember it from those days when it was a fairly new release. I don’t think we sang this one on Sunday mornings all that often, though it did appear… it was more of a youth song. When I hear the song in my own mind, I hear some insertions courtesy of the youth that didn’t feature in the Sunday-morning version. In the chorus after the words “face” and “grace” there was supplied an echo of “AAHHH-aahhh-AAHHH.” On occasion, in the final verse after “day” and “stray” there was also supplied an echo of “OOOOH-ooooh-OOOOH” for good measure.
He’s Everything To Me
In the stars His handiwork I see,
On the wind He speaks with majesty.
Though He ruleth over land and sea,
What is that to me?
I will celebrate Nativity,
For it has a place in history,
Sure, He came to set His people free,
What is that to me?
‘Til by faith I met Him face to face,
And I felt the wonder of His grace,
Then I knew that He was more
Than just a God who didn’t care,
That lived away out there, and—
Now He walks beside me day by day,
Ever watching o’er me lest I stray,
Helping me to find that narrow way,
He’s everything to me!
This is one for which I could come up with pretty much all the words from memory… does anyone else have recollections of this song from that time period, whether in campfire or pew-based settings?
Yes! We used to sing this pretty much every week in the late 70’s, sitting on the benches around the pond at our mission kid high school in Singapore. We’d sing it after vespers, sitting out there and looking up past the huge tree by the pond, to the stars beyond. And we did all the oohs and aahs as you did.
What a great memory. Thanks for provoking it.