448. I Lift Up My Eyes to the Mountains

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains,
I look to the Lord for my aid;
my help is the Lord God Almighty;
the earth and heavens he made.

2 His vigil is tender and constant,
and watchful the care that he keeps;
he suffers no harm to befall you;
he nods not nor slumbers nor sleeps.

3 The Keeper of Israel guards you
and keeps you in pathways of right;
he circles his canopy round you
for shelter by day and by night.

4 The Lord God will keep you from evil;
your coming and going he knows;
your life he preserves unimperiled;
look now to the Lord for repose.

Text Information
First Line: I lift up my eyes to the mountains
Title: I Lift Up My Eyes to the Mountains
Versifier: Henry Zylstra (1953, alt.)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 98 98
Scripture: Psalm 121
Topic: Creation and Providence; Providence
Language: English
Tune Information
Composer: Dick L. Van Halsema (1954, alt.)
Meter: 98 98
Key: G Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 121:1-2
st. 2 = Ps. 121:3-4
st. 3 = Ps. 121:5-6
st. 4 = Ps. 121:7-8

Written by Henry Zylstra (PHH 82) in 1953, this text is a versification of Psalm 121. It was first published in the 1959 Psalter Hymnal and is one of the few texts in that hymnal in amphibrachic meter. (For other settings of Psalm 121 see 121 and 180; for further analysis of the text see PHH 121.)

Liturgical Use:
See comments at PHH 121.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Dick L. Van Halsema (PHH 2) composed LUZON in 1954. The tune was published with the Zylstra text in the 1959 Psalter Hymnal on whose committee both writer and composer served. Zylstra and Van Halsema also served together as United States servicemen stationed on the Philippine island of Luzon at the end of World War II (hence the name of this tune). At that time both men experienced the truth of Psalm 121 in their lives.

The tune and harmonization make use of repeated tones and pedal points to portray the stability and dependability of God's care; the final phrase of the melody originally repeated one note throughout. The E-flat chord in the third line provides a delightful touch of color. LUZON is suitable for either unison or harmony singing. Maintain one pulse per measure.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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