Prayer Perfect poem by James Whitcomb Riley; Music by Ervine J. Stenson

I know that in my head at night, I paint pictures.  Sometimes these pictures keep me awake.  My father, given that he has been blessed with the gift of music, recites hymns to himself as a matter of prayer.  Whatever the gift, I believe that it is intended that creative expression be offered back to our Creator.

Dad sang Prayer Perfect in the Moose Jaw Christian music festival a ‘few’ years back. (smiling, as I type this) and now he is thinking about singing it again, at the age of 82, likely in a different key.  I wish I could be sitting in a pew on the day that this might happen!

Robert Pounder would have been the accompanist for Dad in Moose Jaw.

Parting Gift Presentation with Mrs. A. Weir, Choral Director

 

I have archived most of Dad’s sheet music. It only took a minute to locate the piece and  I’ve enjoyed, the past few minutes, learning about the history of the piece.  A poem by James Whitcomb Riley, the piece was later put to music by Ervine J. Stenson, and published by SAM FOX.  Dad’s copy of the score has a copyright date of 1930.  It cost 60 cents at the time.

When James Whitcomb Riley died,  Woodrow Wilson called him “a man who imparted joyful pleasure and a thoughtful view of many things that other men would have missed”.

Title
  • The Prayer Perfect song /​ poem by James Whitcomb Riley ; music by Ervine J. Stenson.
Creator
  • Stenson, Ervine J.
Other Creators
  • Riley, James Whitcomb, 1849-1916.
Published
  • Sydney : Sam Fox, c1916.
Physical Description
  • 1 score ([2] p.) ; 28 cm.
Subjects
Notes
  • For low medium voice.
Language
  • English

While there are other versions, this is The Prayer Perfect written by James Whitcomb Riley and musical arrangement by Ervine J Stenson.

P1150429 P1150430 P1150434 P1150435 P1150437A quick narrative…a memory.  My Dad kept his music in a beautiful old leather satchel and most times, it was kept in the linen cupboard.  When I was a little girl, I remembered one time when Mom’s back was turned, taking out some of my father’s music and colouring pictures on it.  For a very long time, I felt very scared that I had ruined something very special and did not ever make confession of my actions.  Just today, as I went through the music, I found such drawings and they made me smile.

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