Brent Sinclair Chambers (b. Napier, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, 1948) composed this song after experiencing an evening of ethnic music and dance in 1977. Chambers attended the Bible College of New Zealand and Auckland University and then became a self-employed painting contractor and song writer. He has written or co-written over five hundred songs, a number of which have been recorded or published. He based the text on Psalm 22:3, 22 and Psalm 145:7, though the words of the first line could also have been taken from Psalm 52:9b. He named his tune CELEBRATION, and both text and music were published in Scripture in Song (1977), one of the most important Scripture-chorus collections (initially from New Zealand) of the 1970s. The vocable "lai," s… Go to person page >
CELEBRATION is music in the style of the Jewish hora, that is, "dance music." Sing the tune with enthusiasm, beginning more slowly, and increasing the tempo for each repetition or new stanza. The accompaniment is best played with piano and/or guitars. The exuberant character of this music also invites hand clapping and the use of other instruments such as strings and tambourines. The descant may be performed instrumentally (on violin or oboe, for example) at pitch or an octave higher. This descant is unusual because it lies below the main tune much of the time. Once the congregation knows the melody, direct the whole choir to sing the descant in octaves.